First Person: Building a sustainable cycling future in Sheffield

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Sheffield and Yorkshire have a long history with cycling, and that connection has grown stronger in the last few years with the Tour de France and Tour de Yorkshire. My team, Envelopemaster Giant Sheffield, aims to build a strong Sheffield-based identity to overcome the issue cycling teams have with sustainability - my belief being that, with an identity linked to Sheffield, the city and its businesses can get behind the team and use it as a tool to promote the city and all it has to offer.

Cycling teams are solely reliant on sponsorship for funding andthis means sustaining a team requires an ongoing need to pursue new sponsors. Unlike other sports cycling has no transfer fee system. Sponsors can be part of the team’s journey and development, spending time with the team in training and at races across the UK.

We have enjoyed a stellar race season, with great success at national level, and now we are hoping to attract financial support from the business community to continue our success into 2017 and beyond.

The team’s mission is to offer 18 to 24-year-old riders the chance to develop their cycling careers by providing a professional and nurturing team environment, acting as a stepping stone en route to possible world tour level. We compete against the biggest UK teams and the likes of Team Sky and other world tour teams at some races.

One of the team’s most successful riders, Connor Swift, has secured a contract with Madison Genesis - a team which rode the TDY and Tour of Britain - for 2017, illustrating the team’s ability to develop and play a significant role in career development. We have had great results in the season-long National Race series shown on Eurosport, finishing above Team Wiggins in the first half of the season. The team have had great financial support from Envelopemaster, but that support ends this year. We are looking for a principle sponsor or several co-sponsors to achieve the required annual budget.

We have confirmed support from Burrows Mazda, Giant Sheffield, Epic Sweetpeaks and Mamnick for 2017, all Sheffield-based businesses.

With sufficient funding the team has realistic ambitions to reach the level to compete in TDY and TOB.

n Email davecoulson100@yahoo.co.uk for details.