There was something about the Matrix Vulpine Team last May when we met them at the Friend's Life Women's Tour. Despite the fact they were the only domestic team in the line up, they meant business. They presented themselves in the same way as the other big budget professional outfits. They were kind, friendly and along with team manager Stef Wyman, had a look of 'watch this space' about them.
And boy have they delivered over the last few months. First up, Matrix Vulpine applied to the UCI for professional standing. Then they made the really big announcement - they were signing cycling superstar Laura Trott. And just when we thought it couldn't get any better, the team revealed today that they have signed Elinor Barker.
News: Matrix Vulpine have signed GB pursuit and TT big cheese @elinorbarker as the momentum builds ever higher!
— Vulpine Bike Apparel (@vulpinecc) September 26, 2014
The 2012 World Junior Time Trial champion will join the British squad as it enters it’s first season as a professional team, her focus is to increase her presence on the road in her bid for the Olympic Games in Rio, 2016.
Speaking of the move, team manager, Stef Wyman had the following to say about the young rider:
“Elinor has nothing to prove in terms of her ability; twice a world champion on the track as well as a Junior world title. She’s young, fast and adds to our strength on the road in many ways. With Molly Weaver, Mel Lowther and Laura Trott, we have some fantastic TT riders and it's great to see another rider added to that list to give us the strength in depth we are looking for."
The 20 year old from Wales will have the National Road Championships as one of her targets for 2015 and will also be looking to gain a spot in the team roster for the Friends Life Women’s Tour.
“We have great riders on the team now, and the competition in the squad is going to drive them forward. We have tried to keep a British core and give an opportunity to riders who are sometimes overlooked. We believe that in the right environment they can flourish and we intend to create that for them. Adding a World Champion like Elinor into the mix gives everyone extra motivation as well as people to learn from. We have our first training camp starting on 1 November and everyone attending is very motived to make a big step up next season," continued Wyman
“Matrix Fitness is a really exciting team to join. They are British and on the way up. They’ve worked hard to develop the UK women’s cycling scene over the past 5 years and now they are becoming a professional team themselves. I really wanted to be a part of that and I’m happy with the balance I’ll be able to achieve as I look to my longer term goal of Rio 2016," commented Elinor.
Elinor will leave Wiggle Honda for Matrix Vulpine at the end of December. She is the fourth rider to leave the dream team this season, following in the footsteps of Laura Trott, Linda Villumsen and Joanna Rowsell.
“I’ve had a really good two years with Wiggle – Honda and of course I thank them for the opportunity they’ve given me in my first two years as an elite athlete. Now my future is with Matrix Fitness and that’s a really exciting prospect."
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