Revolution London

Another great revolution series has come to a close, with more great performances by Elinor and the return of Laura to racing following a post-Rio break.

Another great revolution series has come to a close, with more great performances by Elinor and the return of Laura to racing following a post-Rio break.

Here a gallery of photo’s from our social media pages taken at the event.

A unique perspective for 2017

Being outside the day-in day-out schedule of road racing whilst supporting our Olympic stars has given us the chance to pinpoint exactly what we want to achieve in the coming seasons. Until now we have been a pure racing team fulfilling a full race program with riders with mixed skill sets within a professional environment. Those elements combined with our work off the bike allow us to provide the investment return our partners need to justify their continued investment. These additional activities have included our involvement in events, either directly or via partnerships with team sponsors, leading to the creation of the televised criterium series the Matrix Fitness GP.

In recent seasons we have worked in an increasingly crowded market, with more teams created and pushing for their place at the top of the domestic scene, most having very similar objectives and all targeting the same pool of riders. When we entered the sport under the Matrix banner in 2010 it seemed a distant dream to have so many strong and successful teams at the top of the domestic scene.

Reflecting on what we have achieved as a team at our team launch back in April, we highlighted the 2015 graduation of Molly Weaver to the upper echelons of women’s professional cycling as the previous year’s biggest success despite holding jerseys in major races and winning prestigious events. That leg-up for Molly shone brightly above the other achievements and since 2012 there has been a steady stream of riders that have taken a step, via our team, to a UCI team that matched their ambitions.

It has become clear that developing riders for strong international UCI teams is a far greater goal for us and we are now looking at forging development pathways for riders in two ways:

  • Creating sustainable links to leading professional teams, and being able to provide those teams with World Tour level riders that match the skill set they are looking for.
  • Continue putting the best riders we can into our set up, and giving them the highest support available in all the areas they can get, to allow them to move up to the right team.

These two clear branches of our operation mean that going forward we will be moving away from the traditional racing team format, and creating a “performance centre” environment, where we focus on fewer riders, with each rider having a far greater input from us into a fully customized program.

A major consideration for us has been staying unique, and offering something that is currently missing in the sport for female riders. Part of our thought process involved the analysis of “What is Development”. Increasingly often we hear the words development team, but we do not always get an explanation of what a rider is being developed for, or how that process is happening.

With our training facilities in southern France, as well as in Belgium, we have options as to where we can best position riders to achieve their goals. We want to ensure our program is the most tailored structure available to aspiring female riders who will then be able to best position themselves to move up the ladder of women’s cycling. With the continued support of Matrix Fitness for 2017 we are in a great position to meet our goals and are in the process of adding riders who have road ambitions for the 2017 season. It will be our 8th season with title support from Matrix, something rarely seen in women’s cycling. Our work towards finding a large and long-term co-title sponsor will continue throughout the winter and spring as we hope to increase the scope of our program beyond what we currently do, even into other areas of cycling.

We are pleased to be in the position to continue working with Olympic Champions Corrine Hall, Lora Turnham and Elinor Barker, with more rider news to be released very soon. By being outside of the UCI team structure, we are extremely happy to be able to continue our support for Lora and Corrine, both will be starting their 3rd season with the team. This follows their outstanding performances in Rio, bringing home a Gold and Bronze medal. We have a very exciting 2017 planned already with Elinor and will keep you posted on that over the coming weeks.

Our new direction will put us into a unique space in the cycling arena and we look forward to an exciting start to the 2017 season

Isla Rush: A brilliant season with Matrix

So, it was announced a few days ago that I’ll be riding for Isorex Ladies Team when I race in Belgium in 2017. After a brilliant season with Matrix Fitness, I have a huge list of people to thank for this whirlwind year on the bike.

So, it was announced a few days ago that I’ll be riding for Isorex Ladies Team when I race in Belgium in 2017. After a brilliant season with Matrix Fitness, I have a huge list of people to thank for this whirlwind year on the bike.

Firstly, Stef. Thank you so much for inviting me onto the team and giving me the opportunity to race with you. This year has been truly unforgettable and has given me so many opportunities for next season. I could not have asked for a better team around me and feel so incredibly lucky to have had the chance to be part of this family of cyclists.

Secondly, my incredible teammates. We’ve developed friendships to last a lifetime and supported one another throughout the year. I had the best time with them in Limoux and couldn’t have wished for greater company at races.

12512250_1707092036247246_2269006664069196763_n

Our amazing mechanic Caroline has played an enormous role this year. Being at nearly all of my races, you’ve been an absolute star. I was so well looked-after and had everything I could’ve possibly asked for. Additionally, thank you for being such a good friend through it all. It’s been a roller coaster of a year and you’ve been brilliant for the whole thing.

Thank you to everyone who looked after us whilst we were abroad: Chris Georgas, our host in Limoux; James Spragg and Margriet Kloppenburg who hosted me and Baz in Belgium; the Languedoc Roussillon team that we trained with in France. The list of people we met and helped us really is endless, but thanks to them we’ve had a brilliant season racing overseas.

Our sponsors this year have been brilliant- we loved our Trek bikes and our Milltag kit that made us look really smart. Furthermore, thanks to USN for our fantastic nutrition and to Bailey for our team motorhome- it was great! Cyclefit Manchester was a perfect location for our team launch and they tweaked our positions to make sure that we were both comfy and fast. Additionally, Corley Cycles were amazing in turning around our bikes so fast after they were delivered so that they could come to Limoux with us.

matrix-15

There are so many more people that deserve recognition for everything that they’ve done for us. Without them, our season wouldn’t have been anywhere near as successful as it was!

I am happy to announce that I’ll be racing for Isorex Ladies Team in Belgium next year. I’m excited to race abroad even more and gain more experience, as well as a few results along the way! I’ll be sad to leave such a wonderful team, but I am incredibly grateful for everything they’ve done for me this year. And as far as a UK team is concerned, well, watch this space.

Warmup

Alice goes Pro with Lares

So you’ll have seen the news that for 2017 I’ll be riding with Lares-Waowdeals. It’s with a heavy heart that I made the switch from Matrix Fitness after just one season however when the opportunity to ride for a European UCI team arose I felt I had to take the next step in my career.

So you’ll have seen the news that for 2017 I’ll be riding with Lares-Waowdeals. It’s with a heavy heart that I made the switch from Matrix Fitness after just one season however when the opportunity to ride for a European UCI team arose I felt I had to take the next step in my career.

Lares are based in Belgium and run by Marc Bracke. They were a new team in 2016, but Marc has a long history in the sport. I’m excited to race for Marc, and alongside established stars such as Thalita de Jong. With the potential for races in 2017 like Fleche Wallonne, Liege Bastogne Liege and Amstel Gold, it seems the ideal year for me to racing for a Belgian team and learning my trade in hilly classics.

Essex Giro (3).jpg

2016 was always set to be a challenging year for me; I hoped to combine finishing my Economics degrees alongside achieving some good results in UCI races. Deep down I thought I couldn’t achieve both and I definitely never envisaged exceeding my expectations but I did.

The support and opportunities offered by the Matrix Fitness team has enabled me to learn and develop as a rider and ultimately perform at a level I thought was a long way off. Despite that investment into my development, it was actually the team that initiated my move to a UCI team as they felt it was the obvious step and the right time for me. I cannot express enough gratitude for the vast amount of support I’ve received from everyone involved with the team from sponsors to Stef. I’ve had the backing of some great people who have been integral in my successes this year.

I’d like to wish the team and riders well for 2017 as they continue to provide the chance for riders to grow and achieve their potential.

CtS_-SdWAAADugG.jpg-large.jpeg

Harriet Owen moving on after 4 years

I remember joining Matrix for the first time, it was 2013 and I was pretty excited to join a well known and professionally run domestic team.   With previous riders like Dani King and Jo Rowsell I knew I was going to be well looked after. It was somewhat of a transition for me as before this I’d been in the British Cycling system. I’d got a silver medal in the World Junior track championships, but wasn’t kept on the program, so I really wanted to try to find my feet with Matrix.

I guess for the team it was also a transitions, as they’d supported the Olympic riders up to the games, but they both left for another team, so the 2013 season was going to be a rebuilding process, I liked being a part of that. I had to change my focus fully road and life outside the BC system. It was hard at first but I quickly realised how stress-free racing was, being in such a well organised team, which is probably why I’ve ended up staying with the team for 4 years.

2013 was a good year, I won some smaller events, and had some very solid results in the bigger national criteriums, like 6th in the Ride London GP. The step up to UCI stage races was tough though, but the experience was great. 2014 was a great year for me. The experience from the previous year set me up for a solid Tour of Britain, which was pretty amazing. The first ever women’s event and we held our own.   I also rode the Tour of Brittany, an event I didn’t finish in my first season with the team, but again the experience from that stood me in good stead and I worked well for the team there.

Last year was a tough one though. I got ill, and it wasn’t a good time. The team had just stepped up to UCI level and I was excited to get stuck into the classics. The team had always supported and encouraged me to be focused on the classics, and to be ill when the chance came up was really hard. The illness lasted for 12 months really, and wiped out both me, and my season, but the team stuck by me and opened a new door for me this season.

With a little less structured training and base in the tank due to time off, they offered me the chance to race criteriums in the USA. I didn’t know this chance would come up, but when offered it, I jumped at it. I love crits, and love the atmosphere at these events, but it was a big difference! You can’t compare Europe to America. America has a better atmosphere, and the prize money is huge. Whereas Europe is more the local people watch the races as a social thing and drinking beer (mainly in Belgium). Both are just as competitive as each other though so it’s personal opinion on which is better.

I knew I had a good criterium season in me, they really are my kind of race. I’d of had to of added 3 months of base training during the season while racing to get back to proper road racing form and that just impossible. Not wanting to miss a chunk of season, this offer from the team was just what I needed. I had some good finishes in the UK in the Tour Series and Nocturne, but my experience with the VeloClassic Stans No Tubes team in the USA really made me think it could be a good pathway for me.

For the coming years I see my focus on crit weeks and one day crits as well as a good mix of road races when possible. I have unfinished business with the classics in Europe but I’d like to be able to tackle them again when I’m in a chance of contending with the big guns. So for next few seasons, I’ll be looking to race in the USA, I mean what’s not to love about £6000 primes.

Thanks to everyone at the team for their support over the past 4 years, especially Matrix Fitness for the continued support of women’s cycling in the UK. They’ve changed the game for women riders and deserve recognition.

 

Amira to NEXT Wyman

We brought Amira to the team to see if we could help her step forward. To pin down how we can increase race day performance and training effectiveness for her cyclocross career.

Thanks to the support of our sponsors we feel we’ve done that, and when Helen stepped in to offer Amira a one-to-one partnership under for NEXT Wyman team, it wasn’t something to hesitate about.

Good luck to Amira when she starts with NEXT Wyman, from next week in the USA.

It’s been a pleasure.