Inside the UK's top UCI continental cycling team…
This year we joined Canyon and dhb as the new title partner for the UK's leading UCI Continental Cycling team, Canyon dhb SunGod. The team, who are second only to Ineos Grenadiers in the UK, will be training and racing in their Team Edition Pace Series and will be directly involved in our future product development. A selection of riders have already kick-started Covid-secure racing in Belgium, living and training together as a bubble on the continent. To celebrate what promises to be a belter of a season for the team, Tim Elverson, team founder and principal, gives us an inside look into the team's plans and preparations for the season ahead...
WHO ARE CANYON DHB SUNGOD?
“We’re in our fith year as a UCI Continental team and have been the UK's leading continental team in Europe for four of those years. We’ve won multiple UCI races including wins in the Tour of Antalaya, a stage of the Tour of Yorkshire, the sprints jersey two years in a row at the Tour of Britain and have won most of the major UK races. The UCI races are against all the major teams so when you can take a win, it's very satisfying!”
The riders to watch…
“This is a tough one to call because the whole squad is there on merit and part of our strength is that the whole squad can win! But, I’m expecting Tennant to take a good win this year as he has done a lot for others over the years. Brenton and Matt will be a good duo in key sprints, and I would like Max to continue the form he showed winning the Tour of Antalaya last year. I think the squad surprise will be Ryan - he has started the year well and has matured to have a good attitude when it comes to helping the team, and I think this year we will get the benefit of that. My riders to watch that may be off the radar are Jim Brown and Thomas Mein - two clever and hungry riders who could take some big wins. We shall see…”
“I never start a season with a set race goal as the only real goal is to be better than we were last year! We’ve done that every year so far, and I see no reason why that won’t happen again. I also look at the areas where we could’ve been better the year before and make improvements! This involves changing anything from riders to staff, altering our processes or correcting simple planning mistakes made in previous races. This is so that if anything goes wrong, which it will from time to time, we will know why and change it. A three-peat on the Tour Series would be nice though..."
What does early season training and preparation look like for the team?
“We coach some of the squad ourselves and some have coaches we have a good relationship with. In November, we tend to look at weaknesses from the year before and crack on with fixing those. By now (March) big gym sessions are behind us but obviously, core and mobility is something the lads all work on to prevent injury. At the moment, all our riders know when their key races will be so it’s all about hitting them in the best shape and getting the relevant training in now."
Target races for 2021
“This is a tricky one because all races we win are special! But, the Tour of Britain is probably the pinnacle race for all the British teams and we have been very successful in the last few. I’d like to look for a jersey again but what I’d really like to do is win a stage. That is a tough thing to do as the field is full of World Tour class but never say never. I love all the classic style European races we get into but Ronde van Drenthe or Koga Slag om Norg would be particularly nice to get a result in! But, I love all the races we do, we roll up our sleeves and we get involved!”
2021 Race Predictions
“First up I know we’ll be better than last year! I don’t have any specific predictions but I just love being in the race and seeing the guys elevate and really punch above our weight. When someone takes that step and you see them have their moment, it makes the hard work worthwhile.”
Tell us about the equipment you’re using this yeaR
“I always want to race in the knowledge that if we were not good enough on the day, it was down to us and not to any piece of equipment. We’re lucky really, all the money in the world wouldn’t change the products we’re using. Canyon is a great bike and the new frame this year is another step up again. We’ve worked with Hunt for 5 years now and I really feel we have the best wheels, and with Pirelli and Peatys on them, it’s a great combination. dhb have made huge progress across the years and we love our clothing. And as for the top, the team needs to see in changing light, as well as wet and sunny conditions so from the riders' point of view, eyewear is the key component! So, working with SunGod and using these market-leading lenses is the great final piece to the jigsaw!”
Canyon dhb SunGod 2021 squad: Andy Tennant, Jacob Scott, Oliver Wood, Rory Townsend, Brenton Jones,Jacob Hennessy, Damien Clayton, Reece Wood,Ryan Christensen, Charlie Tanfield, Matthew Bostock, Max Stedman, Rob Scott, Callum Macleod,Thomas Mein, Dan Tulett, Euan Macleod and Jim Brown.
Watch out for these blue Jerseys out racing this summer, we cannot wait to see what’s in store for the team and to watch their hard work pay off! Learn more about Canyon dhb SunGod here.