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Raleigh launches Rider Support programme for up-and-coming cyclists

Big Heron offers bikes and gear to talented youngsters

Bike company Raleigh is looking for talented young riders for its Rider Support programe for the 2014 season. The programme provides up-and-coming UK-based cyclists with bikes and equipment from Raleigh and is open to cyclists from road, time-trial, triathlon and track disciplines.

Raleigh says the support provided will depend on the disciplines of the chosen riders but is likely to include at least one racing bike plus a selection of components from Raleigh brand partners including High5 sports nutrition. 

Applicants must be 16 or over and will receive bikes and equipment, as well as a boost to their public profile that comes from being associated with one of the most well-respected brands in cycling.

"You don't need to be number one in your field, although that certainly helps," said Geoff Giddings, Raleigh marketing director, "but you do need to have the passion, drive, and above all, the right personality to make it onto our Rider Support programme."

Raleigh's support programme for 2013 has seen the company sponsor four ambitious cyclo-cross riders, Nick Barnes, Joe Atkins, Dylan Kerfoot-Robson and Harry Yates.

How to apply

There’s an application form on Raleigh’s rider support application page

Eligible riders must:

Be 16 years or over as of 1st January 2014.
Be based in the UK.
Have demonstrable race results from 2013.
Have an outline race calendar for 2014.
Be a member of a cycling team or club.
Commit to providing written and photographic reports on a regular basis.
Have permission of a parent or guardian if under 18.

The application period will end on Sunday December 22nd 2013 with successful riders being informed in the new year.

Acknowledged by the Telegraph as a leading cycling journalist, John Stevenson has been writing about bikes and cycling for over 30 years since discovering that people were mug enough to pay him for it rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work.

He was heavily involved in the mountain bike boom of the late 1980s as a racer, team manager and race promoter, and that led to writing for Mountain Biking UK magazine shortly after its inception. He got the gig by phoning up the editor and telling him the magazine was rubbish and he could do better. Rather than telling him to get lost, MBUK editor Tym Manley called John’s bluff and the rest is history.

Since then he has worked on MTB Pro magazine and was editor of Maximum Mountain Bike and Australian Mountain Bike magazines, before switching to the web in 2000 to work for CyclingNews.com. Along with road.cc editor Tony Farelly, John was on the launch team for BikeRadar.com and subsequently became editor in chief of Future Publishing’s group of cycling magazines and websites, including Cycling Plus, MBUK, What Mountain Bike and Procycling.

John has also written for Cyclist magazine, edited the BikeMagic website and was founding editor of TotalWomensCycling.com before handing over to someone far more representative of the site's main audience.

He joined road.cc in 2013 and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.

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