Racing is seeing a mighty resurgence, not only with thanks to lockdowns easing but Tom Pidcock's Olympic gold, the Commonwealth Games being held on British soil and the UCI launching the Gravel World Series and championships is certainly turning eyes towards competition. We seem to have caught the itch too, as we have formed Team ORCC, our very own amateur race team.
Team ORCC is made up of four of our staff members all with varying race experience and we'll be sending them off to compete in a full race season in their chosen discipline.
We'll even bring you along for the ride as each month we'll throw up a fresh video on our Youtube channel documenting the highs and lows as each rider races and trains with the aim of truly showcasing the joys of grassroots racing in the UK. Without further ado, here's Team ORCC.
Brad will be riding a cross country season. Much like Liam Cahill, he's usually found on the road but has made the transition as he reckons it's a bit more fun (we can only agree). He will be tapping into the rest of the team's wealth of experience in order to get him ascending, and descending with the pros with the main goal of progression from the Sport to Expert categories.
Aboard his Canyon Lux Trail, Brad will also be taking on a gravel event or two just to see exactly what can be done on a cross-country rig.
Yes, we've pinched Liam C from his usual road.cc duties but that's because we've deemed him the most suitable candidate to swing a leg over a cyclocross bike as he's no stranger to rolling about in the mud on skinny tyres.
Usually found suffering up some mental hill climbs, or pedaling his way through road crits. Liam will be catching some of the later cyclocross races in the coming weeks before his season gets really serious towards the end of the year. We reckon Liam's biggest challenge will be keeping his fitness up until then. His season will be spent with the Canyon Inflite.
Keen off-road.cc readers will recognise Matt Page as our resident gravel veteran. He'll be leading the pack in a range of gravel events throughout the year. He's not been part of a team for 10 years, so he's proper excited to get back into the swing of things.
Our Matt is not shy of big distance as he's a self-confessed 24hr specialist, holding a number of records for cycling massive miles very quickly. He will tackle his gravel season equipped with the Canyon Grail, of course competing in gravel events but we wouldn't be surprised to see him taking it bikepacking too.
Finally, I'll be filling the role of the team's enduro rider for the season. Since starting mountain biking in 2014 my riding has remained firmly on the trails and I've actually had a go at racing once or twice over the years. I'm mostly looking forward to seeing my riding (hopefully) progress throughout the season and simply enjoying the thrill, and comradery of grassroots enduro.
I'm going to be riding the Canyon Spectral CF8 Mullet CLLCTV through the Southern Enduro series along with any other events that may pop up. There's been talk of us all having a crack at Gritfest too, so I'll swallow my pride and perch myself over a gravel bike... Here's hoping it'll have suspension.
Now you've met the riders, let me introduce you to our sponsors. That's right! This racing lark is serious business and we've managed to bag a pretty comprehensive range of sponsors to help us get through our seasons.
As you might have guessed already, Canyon has supplied us with the bikes. Then Kingud has sent us enough cleaner and chain lube to keep our bikes looking sharp and running smoothly for decades.
Stan's No Tubes has well and truly sorted us out with sealant but the brand will also kit each of us out with some fresh hoops. Those wheels will then be shod with rubber supplied by Goodyear.
Hammerhead has all of our cycling computing needs sorted, kitting each rider with a Karoo 2. Be sure to follow our Komoot profile too as we'll be uploading all of our training rides so you can see how hard we're really trying.
Finally, Alé will be keeping us clothed and will even send us over some super special Off-road.cc team kit. We can't wait to see what the designers will come up with.
Again, each month we'll update you on our training, races, and kit so be sure to head over to our Youtube channel and give us a subscribe to give yourself the best chance of keeping up with our escapades. There are also plenty of bike reviews and other neat videos to keep you busy between times.
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