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Brother UK Cycling Podcast – Episode 18

Episode Description

Co-hosts Timothy John and Phil Jones, the Managing Director of Brother UK, use episode 18 of the Brother UK Cycling Podcast to look back on the recent Tour Series, look ahead to the 2022 Women’s Tour, share more information on Brother UK’s Green Zone sponsorship at the Women’s Tour and Tour of Britain, and celebrate a second national title in three months for Brother UK - Orientation Marketing.

Additionally, the episode includes clips from new interviews with Sammie Stuart (Brother UK - Cycle Team LDN) and Jo Tindley (Pro-Noctis - Rotor - Redchilli Bikes p/b Heidi Kjeldsen), in which each rider reflects on their Tour Series success: a competition in which Sammie won two rounds, and Jo led her squad to overall victory in the team competition. The pair also fought a season-long duel in the Freewheel sprints competition.

The Brother UK-sponsored Women’s Tour begins in Colchester on Monday June 6 and finishes in Oxford a week later. A world-class field will also contain the best British riders, including the British road race champion Pfeiffer Georgi (Team DSM) and British time-trial champion Anna Henderson (Jumbo-Visma), who began her career on a Brother UK-

sponsored team. Phil and Tim discuss the race’s stellar line-up and gruelling parcours.

On stage four, the peloton will roll past the Brother Industries’ zero carbon, zero waste to landfill recycling facility in Ruabon. Tim and Phil use this happy coincidence as a springboard to discuss Brother UK’s sponsorship of the Green Zones: in-race sectors where riders can dispose of gel wrappers. Tim shares the technical process Enval, the race’s recycling partner, will use to recycle the wrappers, while Phil describes Brother UK’s sustainability agenda.

Brother UK – Orientation Marketing is a development team, but few would guess from its recent results, including two national titles. Our hosts discuss the success of manager Mark

Botteley’s junior and senior women’s teams and the pathway it offers to professional careers via its connection to the UCI-registered CAMS-Basso squad.

Listen now on the Brother UK website or via any of the leading podcast platforms, including Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts and Spotify.

 


 
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Episode 18: 2022 Tour Series Review

Episode contents

  • 00.02 – Introduction
  • 00.37 – Hello And Welcome
  • 01.50 – Part One: Manchester Calling
  • 05.07 – Part Two: Tour Series (Women)
  • 09.30 – Part Three: Jo Tindley Interview
  • 17.19 – Part Four: Sammie Stuart Interview
  • 22.03 – Part Five: Tour Series (Men) 
  • 29.18 – Part Six: Women's Tour Preview
  • 40.07 – Part Seven: Green Zone Sponsorship
  • 40.07 – Part Eight: Celebrating Brother UK-Orientation Marketing
  • 42.41 - Part Nine: Outro

Transcript

Introduction

Timothy John

“If your passion lies in elite British road racing and you want an inside line on the teams, riders, organisers and sponsors that make this sport such a compelling spectacle, you’re in the right place.

“I’m Timothy John and joining me for every episode is my co-host, the Managing Director of Brother UK, Phil Jones.”

Phil Jones 

“Thanks, Tim. It’s great to be here. We’re going to use this platform to talk about all the key issues surrounding the sport. With special guests, deep dives into hot topics and plenty of chat, we’ll keep you informed about all things UK racing. Stay tuned!”

Hello and welcome

Timothy John

“Hello and welcome to this new edition of the Brother UK Cycling Podcast. 

“Today, we’re looking back on a sensational Tour Series, and we’re looking ahead to what race organisers The SweetSpot Group are predicting will be the hardest edition yet of the Women’s Tour. 

“We’ll talk about an expansion of Brother UK’s sponsorship of the Women’s Tour and Tour of Britain: that’s our new role as presenting partner of the Green Zones.

“We’ll celebrate a second national title in three months for Brother UK - Orientation Marketing, and we’ll hear from two of the biggest stars of British women’s road racing.

“Here with me to discuss all of this and more is my co-host, the Managing Director of Brother UK, Phil Jones. Phil, good to see you."

Phil Jones

 “Hiya Tim, and hello everybody."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Part One: Manchester Calling

Timothy John

“Phil, you had a pretty enjoyable evening in the centre of Manchester last night, I think.”

Phil Jones

“Indeed, I did. It was absolutely brilliant to see the Tour Series in Manchester, Tim: huge crowds and, thankfully, a lovely evening. It was raining cats and dogs in the morning. I had Tweeted the day before that the weather conditions looked pretty good. Thankfully, it all came together. We had big crowds and some very, very fast racing.”

Timothy John

“It looked fast even on the live stream, and, as a general rule of thumb, if something looks fast on the telly, in real life, it’s even faster, and you were there at the side of the course.”

Phil Jones

“It was. One thing I always do when I go to the Tour Series is to walk the circuits, Tim. Don’t just go to the finish line and watch it come round. Walk the circuit, because what you’ll then find is: you’ll see the undulations in the circuit and the best place to watch it from. I found that the best place to watch it from is the second turning.

“The riders came down Deansgate. There was a very fast left turn. Then there was a small, negative descent, probably only minus two percent; something like that. A really fast corner: my goodness me, that was a fast second corner; frighteningly fast. Then there was a drag up, and then, of course, up to the Science Museum, swing a left, and then back onto Deansgate. 

“That corner was a really, really great place to watch the race from, because you could see them come round the top, hit the bottom and who was sprinting up the top, effectively. And it was so quick that when the TV camera motorbike was going through, the foot stands, where the cameraman rests his feet, were hitting the tarmac because the riders were going so fast, he was having to go through with such a lean. It was incredible." 
 

Timothy John

“Wow! The grand final of this year’s Tour Series in Manchester seems to have been a bit of a success story all round.

“You caught up with some of the senior guys from SweetSpot, the race organisers, Manchester is a big deal for them, isn’t it? Getting into a major city and using that opportunity to show leaders from other cities what the Tour Series is all about.”

Phil Jones

“For me, something like the Tour Series should always end in a really big venue and somewhere like Greater Manchester is the perfect place to give it the staging it needs, and particularly at this round of the Tour Series, of course. 

“There was a lot on the line. The men’s series was on the line, and while the women’s team competition was already wrapped up, there was the sprints jersey, the race win on the night and all this sort of stuff, so there was a lot to play for. 

“So the staging in the future really needs to be in these big venues. I think that’s the intention of [race organisers] SweetSpot. Having other city leaders there to showcase what ‘good’ looks like: what it does for foot traffic in the bars and the restaurants and the city. What does the Tour Series bring to any city in the country? That was the perfect opportunity last night.  

“There were many, many civic leaders there. Also, a very, very big crowd. I live on the outskirts of Greater Manchester in Cheshire. I could see people who go in the cafés and clubs of

Cheshire around the circuit last night. People had come in and wanted to lend their support, It was just brilliant; a great, great atmosphere.” 

Timothy John

“I’m very glad, just as a fan of the sport, that the senior team at SweetSpot took that opportunity. 

“Wouldn’t it be great to see the Tour Series in Birmingham, in Newcastle, in the centre of London, in all the big cities in this country to give it the platform it deserves. 

“You can deliver all the PowerPoint presentations in the world, but having civic leaders on site, in the city, watching the races, seeing the crowds, that’s brilliant news.” 

INTERLUDE

 


 


 

Part Two: Tour Series Review (Women)

Timothy John 

“What a series we’ve had. Let’s look back on it now, Phil, and let’s start with the women’s series, because that’s the key area of interest for Brother UK. 

“We had two teams in the action: Brother UK - Orientation Marketing, and Brother UK - LDN, the latter, of course, led by the sensational Sammie Stuart, who will hear from later.

“The overall winners were - and I’ll give them their full title - Pro-Noctis - Rotor - Redchilli Bikes p/b Heidi Kjeldsen, and I think I got that right. 

“How does that sound, Phil? 

Phil Jones

"I did go to the team last night and say: ‘Somebody tell me how to pronounce this for our podcast.’ We got to the place of ‘Heidi Kyeldsen’, we think. 

“Heidi, we totally apologise if that’s totally incorrect, but that’s where we’re going to have to start from today.”

 

Timothy John

“We’ve mangled Heidi’s name, but it sounds like we’re getting closer! 

“And the Freewheel sprints competition: that went right down to the line. Jo Tindley vs. Sammie Stuart. What a contest! One that ran for all seven rounds but, ultimately, went to Jo. 

“Let’s have a quick recap, as well, of the individual winners. The Tour Series, of course, is primarily a team competition, but, at each round, a rider crosses the line first, so let’s

recognise those who’ve had their hands in their air over the last three weeks.

“In Guisborough, that was Sophie Lewis of CAMS-Basso, and her team made it two victories in a row in Galashiels with a win for Meg Barker, who won two of three rounds last year. 

“Sunderland: that brought a debut victory for Brother UK-LDN’s Sammie Stuart. 

“In Stranraer, victory was claimed by teenager Emma Jeffers of Team Jadan - Vive Le Velo, and what a series she had. 

“Clacton saw Sammie back in the winner’s circle with arguably the ride of the series: after just two laps, she just rode off the front of the bunch and that was the last her competitors saw

of her. An incredible victory, for which Sammie will give us the inside story later in this episode.

“In Barking, Ellen McDermott took a superb sprint victory, and didn’t Team Boompods come good towards the end of the series? 

“And then in Manchester, a second victory for Emma Jeffers, but only by inches from Sammie. 

“What a fitting finale, Phil: what an incredible finish to an incredible series in which I think we can say, with hand on heart, the women’s racing was every bit as good as the men’s.” 
 

Phil Jones

“Indeed it was, and I wandered to the pits after the race Tim, just to meet Sammie and the team and congratulate them on a great series and just see a few people.

“Jo Tindley nipped over to see Sammie, and what I liked, and I think it’s the mark of a genuinely true champion - Jo is the national circuit race champion - she congratulated Sammie for being a great competition, for pushing her and raising standards and making the racing hard.

“I began to hear how the racing has evolved and how it’s nice that there are a few teams who ended up on the winning list and took individual rounds with individual riders. It’s not just the same people rolling over the line with their hands in the air.

“Genuinely, I think it’s been one of the most open Tour Series that we’ve seen for a while and also there have been issues - rider sickness and injuries and things like that - but that’s racing for you. Every season has all this sort of stuff. 

“I totally agree. I think absolutely one of the best Tour Series that I’ve seen for the competitiveness of the women’s racing.”

Timothy John

“You make a very good point, Phil, when you say that there were lots of different winners and not just two or three dominant teams. 

“After the first two rounds, we might have said: ‘Ok, it’s going to be CAMS Basso vs. Pro-Noctis and that’s going to be the end of it,’ but no, nothing like that.

“That women’s peloton proved to have strength in depth. We had a range of winning riders, and we had several different teams at the sharp end during various rounds, and great, Phil, that you were on the spot to see Jo offer her congratulations to Sammie. 

“We know that there’s a lot of mutual respect there, and how do we know that? We’ll we’ve spoken to both of them. Let’s have a listen now to Jo Tindley.”

Part Three: Jo Tindley Interview

Jo Tindley 

“I can’t win or a rider can’t win without at team, whether it’s on or off the bike. It’s as simple as that. It’s our jersey. The nationals was our jersey. It was a whole team event. The nationals was all about that. 

“But, as you say, the Tour Series, because we’re all in yellow, it is more inclusive. Everybody has a role within that team. Especially, when you pull on a jersey as a team. It gives you that morale. It is special to be able to share that together. We had the full team on that podium in Manchester. That was key because every one of those girls contributed to the result.

It’s as simple as that. We couldn’t have done it without all of them. 

“Sammie could have won in Manchester, but, again, it wasn’t an individual result. If you watch what happened, the girls came forwards and led me out. I was struggle. Sammie was hurting me, and the girls, for that third sprint, were there. That lead out by Amy and Lucy was absolutely incredible. 

“And then because they’ve done that, you’re going to win it. You have to finish that off. You don’t want them putting in all that effort and then not finish it off. It’s great to have that

individual result but, ultimately, I couldn’t have done that without the girls. I genuinely believe that, because of that, we won it.

“Having the livestream has changed everything. You see the whole race unfold. You see how aggressive they are, how strong they are, and it’s a huge step forwards for us to be able to see this. 

“We raced. The girls are racing. They’re racing hard. I’m knocking out power PBs, and it’s fast. I had a notification from Strava - this is just an example - that Harry Tanfield took a

segment off me by one second. That’s how fast the women raced. 

“It’s stepped up. Every year steps up, and I have to train harder to be active in races. There’s young talent coming through like Emma Jeffers. It’s pretty cool.

“The scene’s just absolutely brilliant at the minute. We still have a long way to go with lots of things, but the fact that we had equal race times through the Tour Series, equal prize

money. I remember when [women’s] races weren’t even televised. I’d be the only girl to turn up to a race, and I’d have to race with the men.

“The standard is incredible. It’s just really good to see.”

Timothy John

“We’ll great to hear there from Jo, Phil. Some really valuable insights into what it takes to win this series. 

“Very interesting, Phil, to hear Jo talk about the inclusivity of the Tour Series. The team competition is its unique selling point. Jo, of course, knows all about winning individual competitions: she’s the reigning British Circuit Race Champion. 

“But she says, at the end of the day, she’d rather wear a yellow Tour Series leader’s jersey than a British champion’s jersey, because, for her, it’s all about the team.

“Now you know a bit about team building and about getting people to work together. What’s the story behind the success of Jo’s team?"

Phil Jones

“On the night, I was able to move around quite a bit, so I saw quite a few people. I saw Phil Kelly from Pro-Noctis and also Ed Clancy, and Dean Downing who is Jo’s individual coach. 

“What was evident to me when I saw a post form Phil Kelly on Instagram this morning, really talking abut some of the work that they’ve done with Jo and with that entire team to really

build this togetherness: this ‘we win together’ mentality, which I think anybody who runs any team, whether you’re running a sport or a business, wants that. 

“At our place at Brother, we have a mnemonic that we use which is: ‘TEAM: Together Everyone Achieves More.’ That’s how we use the expression team within Brother. I could really see that, and we can’t forget that the Tour Series is a team competition. You can win the Tour Series and never win a round. It’s just about getting those three riders consistently over the line, which they achieved. 

“I think that’s the thing to be celebrated: what is the objective here? The objective is to win the entire series, and you do that by togetherness and teamwork. No single rider on their own is going to win the Tour Series. You can win individual rounds. We can see that. But unless you have that strength in depth and togetherness in the team, then you’ll never take home that team title.”

Part Four: Sammie Stuart Interview

Timothy John

“That sprints competition, Phil, was the ultimate sub-plot to this year’ women’s Tour Series, wasn’t it? Jo Tindley and Sammie Stuart going wheel-to-wheel, for round after round after round, and never more so than in Manchester. What a series Sammie Stuart had.”

Phil Jones

“Yes, she did, and what you’ll begin to learn more about Sammie as we hear her more in interviews, like today on our podcast, [is that] when you talk to her, she has a huge amount of humility. She’s a very, very nice person, but underneath it all, she’s very, very competitive. She wants to improve all the time. 

“That’s the key thing: she learns quickly. Again, when I saw her in the pits afterwards, I said to Sammie: ‘What have you learned from competing in your second Tour Series that you’re going to carry forwards?’ And she just said: ‘Positioning. I’m really learning how to position myself now. It’s not about being on the front. It’s about good positioning and making sure that

I’m in the right place at the right time to compete for the right things.

“The beauty about the Tour Series, I think, is that, basically, although the circuits look quite easy on paper: they just look like a few squares with a few dead tuns etc. - they’re all very different because of the undulations that you experience in these city centres. 

“Sunderland, for example, really suited Sammie’s sprinting style: a long drag that needs a big diesel engine where the sprint starts and it just goes and goes and goes. That suits her, and, to some degree, I thought Manchester suited her quite a bit too. because there was that long drag up, where she could really put down her power and set herself up and a very,

very long sprint. You could see from the TV that it was a really good, long sprint.

“I think it was just the build up from racing so many rounds, where she just had that little bit of tiredness which meant she couldn’t quite deliver in the final moments and she knew that. She said: ‘I’m really happy with second. I tried to give it everything.’ 

“Back at the pits, she was saying to the team: ‘I’m really sorry I finished second. I was trying for first.’ And it’s like: ‘Everyone knows that. Everybody knows that. Second is an amazing

result for someone who’s only been racing a bike for a little over two years and has gone from zero to elite category in two years. Don’t worry. You’re on the right pathway here!’

Timothy John 

“Let’s hear a little bit from Sammie now about exactly how and why she engages with everybody involved in the event.”

Sammie Stuart

“I really enjoy looking around and seeing what’s happening. The real stars of the Tour Series are the guys on the motorbikes and the guys supporting you from the side of the race. Give them credit and chat to them. We’re all human beings at the end of the day. They’re a really good crack. The lads running up and down the side: I think they used more energy than me, actually: screaming my name and cheering me on.

“For me, it’s just the experience of it all. I mean, the crowds: they’re what make it for me. I’m just doing something that I love and those people are coming to support. My win for the night was meeting a little girl called Olivia, who’s just started racing. She’s fallen off her bike recently and really damaged her arm. She was in a cast and came and said hello to me, so

we handed over a jersey. For me, that’s a win: inspiring the girls to racing. 

“There’s a lot going on in the world, isn’t there, so just be nice and share your smile. That’s the biggest thing. Racing’s just what I love, you know?  It’s certainly a personality trait that you require to be a firefighter: it’s all about that team aspect and living every day for what it is. I would say that it comes from that background.”

Timothy John 

“Well, great to hear from Sammie there, Phil. She’s such a…well, what’s the word? She’s such an engaging personality. She has a sort of magnetic appeal, and it comes from that deep-seated humility. It comes from her genuine desire that everybody enjoys the experience as much as she does. 

“You got an eyewitness view of that in Manchester, didn’t you?”

Phil Jones

“Sammie talks about giving a jersey to a young girl who’s had a crash, and I was there in that moment when she came over. She stood there, and Sammie clocked it straight away. She went to her rucksack and pulled out a jersey and said: ‘Right, that’s for you. I’m sorry that you crashed. Have that and take it home.’

“The look of delight on this young girls’ face was lovely. Sammie’s mum and dad were there and the team were there, and I was there. It was just one of those wonderful little moments

where you think: ‘I’m was really glad to see that.’

“And maybe, sometimes, even in competitive sport, we have to step back a bit and say: ‘What is it we’re trying to do here?’ And I know that with many people who race, they are trying to inspire people. They are trying to say: ‘You can do it too.’

“I posted some pictures on Instagram this morning that I had taken and a few other people had taken from the race; I thin a few from Larry at VeloUK. Big shout out to Larry: thank-you for all that you do again. 

“But putting a bit of text underneath [that picture] my reflection was that, seeing that moment with Sammie, sometimes with sponsorship, it’s not all about eyeballs on a television screen. It’s about a number of different tings. It’s about that small moment with that young girl and helping that moment to happen. 

“It’s also about providing platforms - and, in this case, it’s a sporting platform - for individuals to perform to their full potential. And on the whole Tour Series, regardless of the team you ride for, everyone’s trying to better themselves; to be a better version of themselves. They’re training on a turbo, night after night after night, to come to that round to try and do a little bit

better.

“And that’s what it’s all about, I think: it’s about human potential and human kind, really. So, taking all of those things into account, not just the people who take decisions about where the races go, but right the way through to these small moments where that passing of a single jersey may well man that in 15 years’ time, there’s somebody in an interview, at the Tour Series, saying: ‘This all started for me when Sammie gave me that jersey.’

“And I think that’s what it’s all about: small moments can inspire great things.”

Timothy John

“Well said. You’ve hit the nail on the head with the word ‘humanity’. That’s the word. There’s a humanity about Sammie Stuart. Tour Series audiences have taken Sammie to their hearts and part of that is down to her results - she’s a great rider, at the end of the day - but an equal part, in my opinion, is her obvious humanity. 

“She said in our interview, ‘Actually, that’s part of being a firefighter. You meet people in very difficult situations, and you have to be able to interact with them,’ and she does that very

well. 

“Finally, Phil, let’s think about Sammie purely in a sporting sense. Just how far can she go in this sport? She’s a comparative latecomer, but, my goodness, she’s on an upward trajectory. 

“And it’s not just Tour Series crits that she can win. In between those victories in Sunderland and Clacton, she won the Aughton road race, the second round of Cold Dark North’s Proper

Northern Road Race Series. She was third in the opening round at Capernwray. She’s a very good time-trialist, among other things.

“How far do you think she can go, Phil? Could she end up on a UCI team?” 

Phil Jones

“In my opinion, yes, looking at how quickly she learns, and her underlying ability on a bike. She’s got bike handling skills for crit racing, but, equally, she can compete in a long road race. 

“She has quite a ‘rouleur’ style. She has that diesel engine that can just bang down power, mile after mile after mile. I think that’s really the strength that she’s got. 

“Thinking about what role she could play in a larger team, you could stick her up front all day long, taking the wind, or indeed she could be the breakaway queen, who I’m sure could just nip out of a peloton and, the next thing you know, she’s rolled over the finish line, 60 miles later, saying: ‘I didn’t look back and the next thing you know, I’ve taken the win.’

“It’s great to see individuals coming through the sport who can progress. We often talk about the future of the sport in the UK, and it’s becoming a bit more difficult, but I think that this is a great success story among many in the domestic sport, and I really do, genuinely hope that Sammie can go on and maybe do better and bigger things in the sport.”

INTERLUDE

Part Five: Tour Series Review (Men)

Timothy John 

“We’ve talked in depth about the women’s Tour Series and particularly about Sammie and Jo who were the standout performers. 

“Let’s look back now at the men’s series. The overall winners of the team competition were WiV-SunGod, who, in various guises, have now won it three times. 

“It was a close run thing in the end. They won by four points from Team Ribble-Weldtite, but even that doesn’t really tell the full story.

“There were outstanding performances, I thought, from Trinity Racing and from the Wales Cycling Academy. Even St Piran were in the fight. 

“Actually, Phil, this was a closer competition than the scoreboard suggests, wasn’t it, albeit with very clear and deserving winners in Wiv-Sungod?”

Phil Jones

“Yes, I think from round one, we saw their intent laid out fairly well at Guisborough, didn’t we? A really convincing win there. When you look at that squad in Wiv-Sungod, they’re a very, very good squad of riders as we’ve spoken about already, when you’ve got that strength-in-depth. 

“But I would also say that Tim Elverson has a really good brain on him. He knows what you have to do, effectively, to win some of these Tour Series rounds, and they got their tactics right, for me, more of the time [than their rivals].

“You’ve got individual riders in there, like Matt Bostock, who is absolutely outstanding. Watching him up close at Manchester and just seeing the power he’s putting out and also his

technical ability: his cornering and positioning; all of these sorts of things. The things that are really important to win a crit, he’s got. 

“Fair play to them. For me, they’re deserving winners. They really took the bull by the horns, in my opinion, in every race. They were up front, battling, and had a clear plan about how they not only wanted to win rounds, but also to win the whole series.”

Timothy John 

“You're right to tip your hat to Tim Elverson. I think the Tour Series really matters to that team, as well, which is encouraging. They put out strong squads, they implement intelligent tactics and they win consistently, and that ain’t easy.

“Just a word, Phil, on WiV-SunGod’s fast men, Matt Bostock and Ollie Wood, because you had a ringside seat, so to speak, to the two best breakaways of the evening in Manchester. 

“Ollie Wood went way early in the race and, to me, looked uncatchable, but ran out of steam, believe it or not. Then, bang, Matt Gibson was the next of his team-mates to attack and, finally, Bostock, who’d finished second in Guisborough, second in Galashiels and had won in Clacton. 

“Just thinking about the modern crit rider. When we think about the golden age, we think about Dean Downing, Ed Clancy, Ian Bibby, and I think you were rubbing shoulders with all of

them last night - but isn’t the modern rider even faster, dare I say that?”

Phil Jones

“Oh, well I’m sure if I brought some of the legends onto the podcast, and we put the younger versions of them up against the riders of today, I’m sure there’d be some strong debate about who’s the better rider. 

“We can say, without doubt, that they capability and ability of the current Tour Series riders is absolutely at the top of their game, from an equipment perspective and, again, from technical and bike handling skills, it’s quite something. 

“When Ollie Wood went up the road and had a lead of about 25 seconds, I thought, ‘This is it. They’re not going to be Abe to catch him.’ But when I was stood on that corner, I just saw the faces of the Ribble-Weldtite riders, .The Tanfield brothers took it on. Within about two laps, it closed to six seconds. The next thing you know, the bunch was back together and they

were lapping the field. Then the motorbike was getting caught up in this huge bunch, and I was thinking: ‘Oh, my goodness. It’s all going off here.’

“Likewise, the bike handling skills needed at that point, when the race came together, the bikes in the middle of it all, they had to navigate through it all and emerge again. And that’s why I love watching crit racing live. You get the sound and the noise and the shouting from the riders - ‘Get out the way! Left! Motorbike!’ - it really brings it to life. It’s a bit like being at a football match, where you hear the small details, effectively, of what’s going on. 

“The whole experience, I guess, of seeing those riders and seeing their excellence on the road was quite something. And, yes, I did get the chance to have a chat with Ian Bibby and

Dean Downing. I sent Ed Clancy a message this morning, and, of course, you’ve got Jon Mould there, who completed his last Tour Series race.

“I floated the idea: we need a legends comeback Tour Series round.  And, look, they’re all a bit older now, it might need to be a little bit shorter. They might need a bit of notice to get a bit fitter, but I tell you what, nobody was saying no. Nobody was saying outright no. The might need a little bit of time to get in shape. 

“I’m putting it out there today: Dean Downing, Jon Mould, Ian Bibby, Ed Clancy. Let’s get you back to a big shoot out, a final shoot out of the legends of the Tour Series.”

Timothy John

“Well, you heard it hear first: the Tour Series Legends round, coming your way! Wouldn’t that be amazing? We can but dream.

“We should just run through the individual winners from the men’s series as we did for the women.

“The overall team winners, as we’ve said, were Wiv-Sungod, and the overall winner of the Freewheel sprints competition was Matt Bostock, who was pushed hard by Ribble-Weldtite’s Harry Tanfield but opened up a decisive margin with his dominant display in Manchester. 

“Victory in Guisborough went to Thomas Mein of Wiv-Sungod. Jim Brown, his team-mate, won in Galashiels. 

“In Sunderland and Stranraer, the pendulum swung towards Trinity, thanks to victories from Blake Quick and Luke Lamperti, the US Crit champion. 

“In Clacton, Bostock took his first win of the season after two second places and various top-five finishes, but in Barking, Ollie Peckover closed the gap by winning for Team Ribble-Weldtite in a photo finish with Wiv-Sungod’s Rory Townsend. 

“And in Manchester, as we’ve said, Matt Bostock wrapped up proceedings for Wiv-Sungod. What an incredible series we’ve had this year. 

“Phil, I know you’ve been super impressed by the way SweetSpot, the race organisers, have bounced back from the Tour Series’ Covid-enforced hiatus in 2020 and last year’s half-throttle return with a three-round series.”

Phil Jones

“A big shout out to everyone at SweetSpot: Hugh, the chair. Mick Bennett. Andy Hawes. Miles. Jonathan. The whole build team. The safety team. The hospitably teams. Karl on commentary. Everybody. 

They're a massive team that works ever so hard to bring these races to our towns and cities across the UK. I just want to really give them the credit that they deserve for keeping this going despite a very, very tough economic environment. They’ve done ever so well this time around to put on seven great rounds.”

 

Part Six: Women's Tour Preview

Timothy John 

"Let’s stick with SweetSpot. You’ve given us a great intro there, Phil, to the next item on our agenda which is the Women’s Tour. 

“This is a Brother UK-sponsored race, of course, and a race we’ve sponsored since its inception back in 2014.

“And this year, my goodness, we’ll have some big names on the start line, and that’s just the Brits.  

“Our own Anna Henderson, started life on a Brother UK-sponsored team, and now rides for arguably the best team in women’s professional cycling, will roll out for Jumbo-Visma

Women. 

“The former world hour record holder, Joss Lowden, formerly of Brother UK-FusionRT, will roll out at the Women’s Tour in the red and yellow of Uno X. 

“Pfeiffer Georgi, the British women’s road race champion, will lead Team DSM, while Josie Nelson, who finished as runner-up to Pfeiffer at last year’s national championships, will

represent Team Co-Op Hitec Products.

“If we look beyond the Brits, the line-up is similarly impressive. Trek-Segafredo have been among the first teams to announce a line-up, and they’re sending the new World Hour Record holder Ellen Van Dijk, and Elisa Longo Borghini, who, in April, won the second edition of the women’s Paris-Roubaix. 

“That’s some line-up, isn’t it?”

Phil Jones

“Absolutely incredible, and, of course, Andy Hawes, the Route Director, was at the Tour Series last night. He’s got a real grin on his face. He said it’s absolutely the hardest of all Women’s Tours thus far. 

“There will definitely be a very worthy winner, I think, We’re looking at six stages, 734km and a whopping over 9000m of climbing. This is not going to be an easy race whatsoever, and it

might just suit a couple of the riders that you mentioned there.

“It’s a very heavy parcours, very undulating, some big climbs, so I think it will be quite open. We’re going to see some really great racing, and it might not follow some of the patterns that we’re used to with some of the large pelotons. Were’ going to see some big breakaways, I think.”

Timothy John

“The Women’s Tour has enjoyed this wonderful reputation within the women’s peloton for many years as far and away the best UCI Women’s WorldTour stage race. 

“It’s going to have a bit of competition this year, Phil, when we’ll see the first edition of the Tour de France Femmes. In recent years, we’ve had La Course by Tour de France, which, to

be fair, only inspired a luke warm reaction from the riders. 

“Do you think the Women’s Tour will be affected in any way? Will it’s status as the best women’s stage race be challenged? Or will it continue to thrive alongside the Tour de France in the way the Tour of Britain does?”

Phil Jones

“Exactly that. In my view, the Women’s Tour, in its own right, has a very, very strong reputation among the riders and the teams. We’ve spoken about this on previous podcasts, Tim, that it’s not just a race, and its wrapped up, in the UK etc. 

“It’s actually the total experience. The riders want tough racing, The want good hotel. They want to be looked after, and the team at SweetSpot really look at that whole end-to-end

racing experience; not just the route, but the entire racing experience for the entire Women’s Tour. 

“I think that’s what keeps the riders coming back. Of course, they’ve had equal prize money and some big prizes on offer, and a lot of the riders really, really respect that and, without a doubt, really want to come here to the UK to support the race and keep it going. 

“Certainly, with a parcours and a route like the one we’re seeing this time around, probably it will remain quite open until stage four, stage five, where suddenly it’s all going to get a bit interesting, isn’t it? We’ve got stage four from Wrexham to Welshpool, with 2000m of ascent, and stage five from Pembury to Black Mountain: another day with 2000m of ascent. 

“So you’ve got a couple of pretty heavy climbing days there, so any time gaps that exist could be challenged. Again, it just disrupts the pattern of the racing. Maybe it will make it a lot

more open, and I’m sure the riders will really enjoy that and, equally, participate in making this probably one of the best Women’s Tours ever."

Timothy John

“I think it’s going to be sensational. That race will unquestionably be won or lost on those two Welsh stages you mention, Phil. 

“A bit of breaking news is that GCN have confirmed in a Tweet that they will broadcast the Women’s Tour live this year. There was some controversy last year, you might remember. The expectation was that the race would be shown live, and, for various reasons, it was reduced to a highlights package, but this year, it’s going to be broadcast live.” 
 
INTERLUDE
 

Part Seven: Green Zone Sponsorship

Timothy John

“Sticking with our theme of potentially race-changing stages in Wales at this year’s Women’s Tour, we’ll have a front row seat because the race is going to roll past our Brother Industries facility in Ruabon on stage four, from Wrexham to Welshpool. 

“And that leads us rather nicely into this new aspect of our sponsorship, which we talked about in our previous episode and that’s this Green Zone sponsorship, and we can finally give

you a little more detail. 

“Effectively, the Green Zones are in-race litter zones: designated areas where the riders divest themselves of all the gel wrappers that the accrue in their pockets as they progress through a stage. 

“Embracing these designated areas where they can get ride of litter has been a big step for professional racing.

“We know now that SweetSpot has partnered with a recycling business called Enval, and I spoke recently with Enval’s Head of Business Development, Andrea Troy, who gave me some very interesting information about how they recycle these gel wrappers. 

“They use a very specific technique, a proprietary technique, their own technology, called ‘microwave-induced pyrolysis’. What does that mean? Well, they can separate, by heat, the constituent parts of a gel wrapper, such as plastic, paper and aluminium.

“Once the aluminium is extruded, they heat the plastic and turn it into a gas. About 75 percent of that gas is turned into ‘pyrolytic oil’, which can be mixed with virgin materials to create

new plastic products.  You’ve probably seen shampoo bottles in the supermarket with labels that read: “Made with 30 percent recycled plastic.”

“And to cap it off, Enval uses the remaining 25 per cent of the gas generated from the gel wrapper by its  ‘microwave-induced pyrolysis’ process to power their plant in Huntingdon.

“So, SweetSpot has a pretty impressive partner there in Enval, and they also have a pretty impressive partner, dare I say it, in Brother UK, because we’re no slouches on the

sustainability agenda.

“We’ve won two Queens Awards, in 2011 and 2018: ‘Enterprise: Sustainable Development’. We’ve got this wonderful facility in Ruabon, near Wrexham, which is certified ‘net zero’ by the Carbon Trust. And our HQ in Manchester has been certified zero waste to landfill by Valpac for 12 years. 

“Phil, you must be very excited about this Green Zone sponsorship. It really does speak to what Brother UK is doing within its business and within its communities.”

Phil Jones

“Yes, I am, and when I was discussing commercial rights this year with individuals from SweetSpot, this was just something that I raised and said: ‘Is this up for grabs, and could we do something about it?’ And the answer was: ‘We haven’t really spoken about it but, yes, its up for grabs, and should we talk?’ And we did.

“We’re doing a lot around the circular economy and our own global footprint sound C02 is minimised as much as possible. When I saw that the race is going right past our factory, I said

to Andy last night: ‘Thanks very much, mate. You couldn’t have planned that better!’ 

"It wasn’t done deliberately. I can exclusively reveal to our listeners. We didn’t ask for that to happen. It was just part of our route planning. It was a ‘nice to have’ afterwards. 

“Some of the things that you spoke about a moment ago, I visited that factory only a couple of weeks ago in Ruabon and, honest to goodness, it just is incredible what goes on inside those walls. All of those things that you spoke about that Enval do, we do too. 

“It’s a zero waste to landfill facility. They are recycling 3m or more toner cartridges a year, that go through that front door and are treated, recycled and remanufactured. Any waste is recovered and reused, as you say, right the way down to energy recapture, or indeed plastics that are recovered are then ground down and reformed and resold again and put back into

the market places.

"It’s an incredible site: one that I’m absolutely amazed at every time I go in: the further advances they make in the circular economy and the zero carbon economy."

“Sponsoring the Green Zones just seemed the next logical step for us in looking at what we already know, looking at Enval’s capability is, and, maybe for the first time, being able to say, ‘Actually, what about on a race like this where we’re able to recover all this waste, it doesn’t just go into bags. 

“What it does do is go away somewhere where it can all be treated, and then with Enval and Brother, what we can do is bring the back to the market and say, in reality, this is what we

can do now, and isn’t it good, and if we’re all committing to a lower carbon future then these are some of the initiatives that need to take place. 

“Now I know there’ll be a big debate about the overall footprint of the professional racing scene, because that is already quite a big carbon footprint, is it not? You’ve got coaches and trucks and cars and motorbikes and air transfers and all of these sorts of things, so we didn’t want to get wrapped up in that debate for now. 

“But what we did want to get wrapped up in is, ok, what can be done at a very simple level today, that’s easy to do, and we can get involved with?’ So, ‘end-to-ending’ the Green Zone,

which was really the start point for us.

"And then we uncovered the Enval relationship with SweetSpot and thought, we can maybe wrap this up into something quite good and maybe an added value of the Women’s Tour is to give something back to the market to say: 'And this is the waste that was created, how it’s been treated, what was recovered and here’s the situation with it.’”    

Timothy John 

“Absolutely. I don’t think the Women’s Tour could hope for a more ‘purposeful friend’ than Brother UK to work alongside them on this Green Zone initiative, and they’ll also work with Enval, as we’ve discussed.

“It won’t just be the Women’s Tour. We’ll be doing the same at the Tour of Britain in September, and whatever learnings we make at the Women’s Tour, naturally they’ll be applied at the Tour of Britain.”

INTERLUDE

Part Eight - Celebrating Brother UK-Orientation Marketing

Timothy John 

“Let’s wrap up with a change of subject. We’re going to celebrate our development team, Brother UK -Orientation Marketing. 

“Now, we’ve had a relationship with that team for a number of years. They’ve raced under various names, including Team OnForm. 

“They really are punching above their weight this year. They’ve won two national titles in three months, believe it or not. 

“Brother UK-Orientation Marketing is, first and foremost, a development team. It helps young riders and even riders who are more mature to progress and to fulfil their potential. Anna

Henderson, of course, is their standout product. The junior and senior women’s teams are managed by Mark Botteley. 

“In March, they upset the odds by winning the senior British women’s team pursuit tile with a squad made up of three juniors and an under-23, which was pretty impressive. 

“At the recent Lincoln GP, Jessie Carridge delivered a surprise podium for the team, and last Sunday, Jessie, riding with her team-mates Daisy May Barnes and Laura Pittard, won the RTTC National Team Time-Trial title.

Phil Jones

“It’s brilliant. It’s really brilliant, and, for those who don’t know, this team is also the feeder team for CAMS-Basso, overseen beneath the umbrella of Simon Howes, and they do a great job of bringing riders through, giving them that first step, the ability to get into bigger races, learn how to ride in pelotons and crit races. 

“I was looking at their riders in Manchester and some were working very hard and were lapped, but this is all part of the development process, is it not? How are you going to learn,

improve and get better if you can’t get into some of these bigger races and be really challenged in order the you can figure out what you’re doing to do next? 

“So I think they’re a really, really important part of the process, but I think it’s amazing that off they go, and they’re out there winning national titles. Equally, it’s not like we’re saying this is a second-rate option. This is just the stepping stone that some riders need to very quickly get their talent identified.”

Timothy John 

“Absolutely. They don’t set out their stall as a dominant team that’s going to win every race it enters, but they approach every race with a serious mentality. They’ve got a very good tactical brain in Mark Botteley, and they’ve won two national titles against the odds in both circumstances already this year. 

“A big hat tip, a big round of applause to Mark Botteley and all of his riders at Brother UK - Orientation Marketing. They’re doing a sensational job."
 
INTERLUDE

Outro

Timothy John 

“Well, another fantastic flyby there, Phil. Thanks very much again for joining me. 

“We’ve covered a good deal of ground, but there’s so much more to come. We’re into the meat of the season now, aren’t we? We’ve had the Lincoln Grand Prix, we’ve had the Tour Series, but so much more to come, starting next month with the Women’s Tour, the Women’s CiCLE Classic, the opening round of the National Circuit Series in Otley…some mouth-

watering races ahead. 

“Make sure you’re following us - we’re @brothercycling on all three channels [Facebook, Twitter and Instagram] - and make sure too that you’re following our media partner VeloUK. They’re @velouk on Facebook and , and Twitter @veloukwebsite on Instagram

 

 

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