November 8/12 8:48 am - Rob Britton Joins Team Raleigh UK
Posted by Editoress on 11/8/12
British-based Team Raleigh has announced that Canada's Rob Britton will be joining the Continental squad for 2013. The team made the following announcement:
After a highly successful 2012, Team Raleigh have undergone a significant rebuild as part of their planned progression, bringing in a number of very strong and experienced riders to complete a formidable line up for 2013.
Retained from 2012 are former National Circuit Race Champion Graham Briggs, along with 2012 National Road Race Bronze medallist Russell Hampton and Scottish hard man and Commonwealth Games rider Evan Oliphant. Also retained is the talented 18-year-old Matt Holmes, silver medal winner in the British National Under-23 Road Race Championship this year.
New riders include Frenchman Alexandre Blain, Australians Richard Lang, Lachlan Norris, Sam Witmitz and Mark O’Brien, Canadian Rob Britton, Tom Scully from New Zealand and two more British riders, Tom Moses and Mark Christian. (Note: Missing from the lineup is Canada's Jamie Sparling, who raced for the team in the past two seasons)
We contacted Rob at his home in B.C., where he provided the following comments:
I first spoke with Cherie (the DS of Raleigh) at Tour de Beauce this year and we had a really positive conversation about 2013. As the Fall went on there was a bit of a hiatus in our talks, but a few weeks ago I received a message asking if I'd found anything yet, and if I was still on the market? I had a few connections with the team that certainly helped a lot and after we had a fairly brief Skype conversation I think we were both happy, two days later the contract was in the mail ...
So that would have been about three weeks almost to the day. I will be heading over to Derby (team headquarters) mid-January and be based out of the UK for the season. It's a one year deal, but to be back into racing at a high level I [can] only hope to build on the season to come.
I was very close to walking away from it all this fall, it seemed I was in the same situation as last year ... too old, too foreign for US teams, so things were looking grim, and then when Spidertech folded that was almost it ...
The one thing I was going to be most upset about if I had gone down that road was to never have had the chance to race in Europe. So, it goes without saying that now I'm extremely motivated and excited to see what I can do over there and really have a go at it.
I've spoken with a few of their former riders and also from what I've seen at Beauce they run a tight ship with a solid international program, including races in the UK, Spain, Belgium, Mexico, US and Canada. I can't thank Team H&R Block enough for giving me the platform to bounce back to this level and am counting the days until the 2013 season kicks off!