Ben Thomas and Tim Dunford raced all over the UK and Europe in 2013 and pulled in some very respectable results under their self-run team banner. We liked what they were doing and featured their race reports along the way, something we look forward to repeating in 2014. The good news is that the team has now expanded and the team now becomes four-strong. Good times!
We’ll let the team do the explaining:
Two New Riders
2014 will see two new athletes join the Mountain Trax – Vauxhall Motors Cycling Team. Isaac Pucci entering his second year as an Under 23 and first year as an Elite has already earned a reputation following his domination of the expert category in 2013 and his Silver Medal performance at the National XC Championships on the Commonwealth Games course in Glasgow. He will be joined by athlete Sam Stean, former Junior National XC Champion who is now entering his first year as an Elite Under 23. Both athletes were selected based on their potential for the future and had the following to say about joining the team.
Isaac: “I’m really looking forward to the 2014 season, racing the fastest guys in the country and having the support of the Mountain Trax – Vauxhall Motors Cycling Team. My targets for next year are top 10s at the British XC Series or maybe even a podium but we’ll see how it goes. Also I’d like to go one better at National XC Champs and get on the top step but I know this won’t be easy especially with my new teammate also racing the Under 23 Espoir race. Joining the Mountain Trax – Vauxhall Motors Cycling Team is a huge achievement for me. The team has sponsors who really want to help develop young riders like myself. For the stage I’m at with my racing they are the best possible team I could have been approached by as they support the Gorricks and Southerns, which are my local races. They have arena pitches and support crew at these races, which will make life much easier. I’m motivated to really make 2014 a success and cannot wait to get racing in the new colours.”
Sam: “Joining Mountain Trax – Vauxhall Motors Cycling Team for my first season in the elite category is perfect as I am being supplied with everything I need to compete and train. My main aim is the U23 National Championships at Hopton as it’s a course I really enjoy racing on. I am also going to be focusing on the British National Series and hope to be able to get in some good results while gaining experience racing against elite riders. The team has some great riders in it for next year and I’m really looking forward to starting racing.”
Tim Dunford and team manager/ rider Ben Thomas have renewed for 2014
Tim will once again target 12 hour events hopefully continuing his dominance of the 2013 season which saw him win European and National titles. Tim will also race UK marathon events plus select rounds of the UCI World Marathon Series. He will conclude his season at the World 24 Hour Championships in Scotland.
Ben will continue mixing cross country and marathon races with a focus on the European Marathon Championships, which take place Ireland mid June. After the disappointment of the 2013 National XC Championships Ben will return to Selkirk to do battle once again, winning the jersey will be his main goal for the 2014 season. Ben will also race select rounds of the British XC Series with the aim of winning UCI points and possible selection for Welsh Cycling’s Commonwealth Games Team.
In 2011 Ben launched what has now become the Mountain Trax – Vauxhall Motors Cycling Team
Ben Thomas: “My original goal was to have four athletes signed to the team for 2014, to my delight this is possible thanks to the commitment of the sponsors and the team’s dedicated support crew. To have Sam and Isaac on board is a big motivation for me and I’m looking forward to racing with these two new riders. Since we approached Sam and Isaac back in August I’ve been impressed with their commitment to training and I’m sure they’ll fit into the team very well. Hopefully the team can provide the support they need to achieve their goals in 2014 and beyond. I think for Sam and Isaac they need a year where they can collect a good haul of UCI points, gain some extra experience, and then next year they can have a good go at racing the UCI Cross Country World Cup Series.
It’s great to have Tim back for another year; he showed in 2013 that he can really dig deep and put his all into a race when needed. I’m looking forward to seeing this continue next year and look forward to travelling to lots of European races with him. 24 Hour Worlds will be a trip into the unknown but I’m sure with the support of the team he can come away with a result we can be proud of.
With these four riders we can make an impact at Cross Country, Marathon and team events. I’m excited about what this team can achieve.”
The team maintains its name for 2014 with Mountain Trax and Vauxhall continuing their support of the team
Mountain Trax have supported Ben since his very first race and continue to do so as the team’s co-title sponsor. The Wokingham based bike shop will support the team riders with professional bike fitting and by servicing the bikes throughout the season.
Vauxhall Motors came on board in 2013 and have renewed as co-title sponsor for 2014. The team will be driving the Vivaro Double Cab van and Antara 4×4 car. With this increased support the team can travel in comfort to two different events on a single weekend with all the equipment necessary.
Sandy MacRitchie – Marketing Manager, Commercial Vehicles – Vauxhall Motors had this to say: “Vauxhall Motors are delighted to be associated with the team for a second season. We wish all the riders and the hardworking support staff an enjoyable and successful 2014.”
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Mountain Trax – Vauxhall Motors Cycling 2014 Team Rider Roster
Ben Thomas, Isaac Pucci, Sam Stean, Tim Dunford