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Velotec | Inside the jersey

Velotec | Inside the jersey

It’s difficult to overstate the importance of Velotec’s partnership with Vitus Pro Cycling Team. A handpicked collection of emerging talents, Cherie Pridham’s development squad seeks every advantage in matching its more experienced competitors. With a breakthrough performance in May at the most gruelling edition of the Tour de Yorkshire so far, the men in red have carried the Velotec marque into some of the biggest races on the calendar and worn their jerseys with pride.

 

Velotec, in turn, has gained the feedback of riders for whom performance is everything. Those whose working day amounts to five hours or more on the road, or an hour-long circuit race that brings a new meaning to the phrase ‘high intensity’, are not inclined to pull their punches. The honest and unfiltered feedback of Vitus Pro Cycling Team’s professional riders is vital information for a brand focussed on producing the fastest clothing available.

The sheer volume of training undertaken by Vitus Pro Cycling Team’s riders also makes them an invaluable resource. The thousands of miles racked up each year by every rider offers a test programme of significant scale; one far beyond the scope of an amateur rider or team. Put simply, the job of the young men in red is to ride their bikes, day in, day out, in all weathers. Velotec could hope for no better partner.

A racing heritage

Founder Padraic Quinn is well versed in the demands of elite cycling. An Irishman who followed the traditional pathway to the sport’s heartland by moving to France in the 1990s. he spent seven years as a full-time racer, gathering a first-hand knowledge of the advantages gained from quality clothing - and the detriment to the rider of garments that failed to perform.

Quinn founded Velotec in 2004, determined to remain at the heart of the sport. Equipped with the admirably simple modus operandi of supplying quality clothing at reasonable prices, while offering good customer service, he has guided Velotec to a successful decade-and-a-half in business. Increasingly, Velotec has made a specialism of speedwear: developing aerodynamically optimised garments that have propelled riders to national and even world titles.

Design philosophy

Aerodynamics and comfort are the two driving forces that power Velotec’s development. The search for a sleeker silhouette and more slippery fabrics has taken on a greater significance in recent years, in response to mounting evidence that improved aerodynamic performance from clothing offers the cyclist his greatest ‘bang for buck’, with the rider accounting for 80 per cent of the aerodynamic picture.

The performance benefits of enhanced comfort are increasingly recognised, too. Every watt lost to a shift in position, every joule expended in the adjustment of a bibstrap or jersey hem, is performance lost to competitors on the road. The significant investment of time and money made by any professional team in finding a rider’s optimum riding position is squandered if the clothing is not up to task. Little wonder that Vitus Pro Cycling Team places such value on its partnership with Velotec.

Bella Italia

Northern Italy is a place of pilgrimage for the cycling aficionado. The greatest marques in the sport are clustered in Bella Italia’s industrial heartland; names with their own mystique, interwoven into the very fabric of the sport: Campagnolo of Vicenza, Bianchi of Treviglio, Colnago of Cambiago, to name only three.

The mechanical mastery of such marques is only one piece of the jigsaw, however. Those who craft in fabric are also to be found in this venerated corner of northern Italy. Some are located close to the great fashion houses of Milan, but their focus is on function, rather than form (even if an Italian is incapable of extinguishing entirely his instinct for elegance). Velotec has found a wealth of blue chip suppliers on this hallowed ground: manufacturers like Carvico, Miti and eVent; Dolomiti and Elastic Interface.

 

Material world

The explosion in the development and manufacture of technical fabrics in the last five years has left Velotec spoiled for choice. The materials can be divided, in the broadest sense, into two different categories: those that protect the rider from the elements, and those that help him ride faster. The rapid rise in the standards of both has broadened the cyclist’s scope, allowing to him to train for longer in bad weather and to gain more from the advantage offered by enhanced aerodynamics.

Year-round riding is now a realistic target for a rider correctly clothed. The days when rain stopped play are passed. Modern, technical fabrics that not only keep out the rain but which shift moisture from inside the garment to the outside world keep the man in the saddle dry and comfortable, however severe conditions might be.

Aerodynamic optimisation is another matter entirely, but here again the intelligent use of technical fabrics can make a greater difference than any other component; frames and wheels included. Velotec’s considered selection of materials to disrupt and reunite airflow as required gives Vitus Pro Cycling Team an advantage when their riders roll out for individual and team time-trials: those timed efforts where the slightest advantage over a competitor is faithfully recorded by the remorselessly ticking clock.

 

Sublime to the not-so-ridiculous

Sublimation printing has been the industry’s default for a generation or more, broadening the design scope for the rider seeking a custom  design. The days of a limited colour palette and primitive techniques for logos, such as ‘flocked’ lettering, so susceptible to wear and tear, are over. Sublimation printing not only delivers lasting ink transfer, but means that design choice typically is limited only by the rider’s imagination.

There is another advantage too: an ever-increasing palette of fluorescent shades removes the need for cyclists to compromise on visibility when choosing a custom design. Velotec’s Italian production facility is filled with the newest sublimation print machines, which allows the brand to realise almost any design requirement. Vitus Pro Cycling Team’s vibrant red jersey is the most easily identified of any in the British peloton and a fine example of the standards to which Velotec works.

An ethical stance 

No manufacturer can afford to ignore the environmental agenda and Velotec, rightly, is actively pursuing a programme to increase the amount of recycled materials in its products and packaging. Its celebrated Italian production base offers an environmental advantage too: by shipping directly from Treviso to the customer, rather than first transporting the garments to its administrative centre in Ireland, Velotec is able to reduce the carbon footprint of its fulfilment process.

For further information on Velotec Custom Clothing click HERE

Join us in celebrating #June3WorldBicycleDay

Join us in celebrating #June3WorldBicycleDay

The United Nations has declared June 3rd as International World Bicycle Day. This was decided last week during the 72nd Regular Session of the UN General Assembly in New York City.

The resolution acknowledges the "uniqueness, longevity and versatility of the bicycle, which has been in use for two centuries, and that it is a simple, affordable, reliable, clean and environmentally fit sustainable means of transportation, fostering environmental stewardship and health."

Why celebrate the bicycle?

  • The bicycle is a simple, affordable, reliable, clean and environmentally fit sustainable means of transportation;
  • The bicycle can serve as a tool for development and as a means not just of transportation but also of access to education, health care and sport;
  • The synergy between the bicycle and the user fosters creativity and social engagement and gives the user an immediate awareness of the local environment;
  • The bicycle is a symbol of sustainable transportation and conveys a positive message to foster sustainable consumption and production, and has a positive impact on climate.

What is the UN asking of Member States?

The UN encourages Member States to "devote particular attention to the bicycle in cross-cutting development strategies and to include the bicycle in international, regional, national and subnational development policies and programmes."

All states are encouraged to "improve road safety and integrate it into sustainable mobility and transport infrastructure planning and design in particular to promote pedestrian safety and cycling mobility, with a view to broader health outcomes, particularly the prevention of injuries and non-communicable diseases".

The bicycle is highlighted in by the UK as a tool for sustainable development, strengthening education for children and young people as well as promoting health, preventing disease, promoting tolerance, mutual understanding and respect and facilitating social inclusion and a culture of peace.

Michael Møller, Director General of the United Nations Office in Geneva, shares his views on this important milestone:

“Sport is a powerful tool to promote peace and achieve development objectives. The values of sport find their echo in those of the United Nations, whose foundations rest on universal values that transcend differences of culture, and social standing, language and religion. Physical activities, like cycling, not only contribute directly to implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), they also foster the values on which progress depends: tolerance and respect, teamwork and fair play.

 

What are we doing at Vitus Pro Cycling? 

The UN direction is timely and supports our aims within the cycle industry. As a cycle team in the professional domestic circuit, we have a unique opportunity to lead by example in supporting the UN SDGs and we are aiming to do develop this capability at every level within our organisation. 

What can you do?

We are encouraging all members of the cycling family and all our supporters to join us in celebrating World Bicycle Day today by sharing the news, and promoting any events organised for this occasion on social media using #June3WorldBicycleDay.

Race report | The Tour Series (Stevenage)

Race report | The Tour Series (Stevenage)

Cherie Pridham’s young Vitus Pro Cycling Team gave a further glimpse of its ultimate potential with strong performances in both events at the seventh and eighth rounds of the 2018 OVO Tour Series in Stevenage.

The young men in red - Andy Shackel, Grant Martin, Liam Davies, Harrison Jones, and Julio Amores – acquitted themselves well, both in the team time-trial and the circuit race that followed.

Pridham, the team’s owner and manager, and a former rider who raced in professional cycling’s top tier during a pioneering age for the women’s sport, was pleased with her young team’s performance.

“The whole Stevenage event was a positive one for us because we had five rookies at the team time-trial, and they rode a very positive race,” she said.

“We had the option of finishing with four of the five riders in the team time-trial, as only the times of the first four finishers counted towards the team’s result, but we decided to finish with five, just in case. They rode a very tight formation and looked great. Importantly, they were happy with their ride, too.”

The team time-trial is arguably the sport’s most beautiful discipline, driven by a smooth interchange of positions among the riders, but a truly synchronised performance cannot be achieved overnight. A coordinated display by Vitus Pro Cycling Team in the team's first competitive team time-trial offered a window on how much they had learned during a pre-season training camp in Spain.

Confidence was high among the same quintet as the started the ‘crit’ race later the same evening. Racing on a deliciously warm evening that delivered almost perfect conditions the team rode with without fear against its more experienced rivals.

“We went into the Stevenage crit feeling really positive and we saw Harrison, Liam and Julio in the main group,” Pridham said. “It was only being taken out by a lapped rider that prevented Harrison from finishing off a good ride with a great result. 

Jones’ misfortune echoed that suffered by team-mate Adam Kenway in the previous round. Kenway, a breakaway specialist with a huge ‘engine’, and a useful time-trialist to boot, would have been a significant asset in Stevenage, but was left with a broken jaw and scaphoid after being brought by a back marker in Aberystwyth.

In Stevenage, Vitus Pro Cycling Team gave further signs of a young squad growing accustomed to the demands of the Tour Series, justifiably regarded as the world’s most competitive circuit racing series. 

“It was a very positive start to the two days of racing and in the circuit race that followed, the riders again acquitted themselves well, with three of the five in the main group until a lapped rider took out Harrison Jones who crashed.”

Vitus Pro Cycling Team will race again at the Wembley Park round of the Tour Series on Tuesday May 29, where Jones is expected to return to action.