Confidence still high despite changes as excitement builds at Verulam Reallymoving

PUBLISHED: 10:13 14 February 2019

Beth Watson and Jez Cox at the Verulam Reallymoving Racing Team launch event at The Horn. Picture: JUDITH PARRY PHOTOGRAPHY

Beth Watson and Jez Cox at the Verulam Reallymoving Racing Team launch event at The Horn. Picture: JUDITH PARRY PHOTOGRAPHY

Judith Parry

There have been plenty of changes at Verulam Reallymoving over the winter but the team are still confident that the new blood can continue their success of the previous two seasons.

Beth Watson and Jez Cox at the Verulam Reallymoving Racing Team launch event at The Horn. Picture: JUDITH PARRY PHOTOGRAPHYBeth Watson and Jez Cox at the Verulam Reallymoving Racing Team launch event at The Horn. Picture: JUDITH PARRY PHOTOGRAPHY

The squad held their 2019 launch night at the Horn on Thursday which saw Verulam Cycling Club chairman Doug Driscoll praise the lengthy roll-call of success achieved by the squad last season.

Jared Miller and Jez Cox at the Verulam Reallymoving Racing Team launch event at The Horn. Picture: JUDITH PARRY PHOTOGRAPHYJared Miller and Jez Cox at the Verulam Reallymoving Racing Team launch event at The Horn. Picture: JUDITH PARRY PHOTOGRAPHY

And even though team manager Marcel Six and a number of riders have moved to a new team, Verulam’s new man in charge Gavin Bench is still confident of another good year.

Verulam Reallymoving Racing Team held a launch event at The Horn ahead of their third season. Picture: JUDITH PARRY PHOTOGRAPHYVerulam Reallymoving Racing Team held a launch event at The Horn ahead of their third season. Picture: JUDITH PARRY PHOTOGRAPHY

He said: “I’m directeur sportif, which I was a bit last year. Marcel was doing quite a bit more but now he’s going, I’ve stepped up to cover his job.

Doug Driscoll at the Verulam Reallymoving Racing Team launch event at The Horn. Picture: JUDITH PARRY PHOTOGRAPHYDoug Driscoll at the Verulam Reallymoving Racing Team launch event at The Horn. Picture: JUDITH PARRY PHOTOGRAPHY

“Liz McKie will look after the ladies and I’ll look after the guys.

Doug Driscoll and Jez Cox at the Verulam Reallymoving Racing Team launch event at The Horn. Picture: JUDITH PARRY PHOTOGRAPHYDoug Driscoll and Jez Cox at the Verulam Reallymoving Racing Team launch event at The Horn. Picture: JUDITH PARRY PHOTOGRAPHY

“We’ve got two or three new senior guys ,who should perform really well in the British Cycling races, and we’ve got a new influx of masters, at least three or four, as well as a few more youth and junior riders.

Verulam Reallymoving Racing Team held a launch event at The Horn ahead of their third season. Picture: JUDITH PARRY PHOTOGRAPHYVerulam Reallymoving Racing Team held a launch event at The Horn ahead of their third season. Picture: JUDITH PARRY PHOTOGRAPHY

“So it’s looking really healthy.”

Verulam Reallymoving Racing Team held a launch event at The Horn ahead of their third season. Picture: JUDITH PARRY PHOTOGRAPHYVerulam Reallymoving Racing Team held a launch event at The Horn ahead of their third season. Picture: JUDITH PARRY PHOTOGRAPHY

Bench admits that it may take a few races from the new-look team to come together but the gaps at the top of the roster means there are spaces for people to shine, especially in the youth ranks.

Verulam Reallymoving Racing Team held a launch event at The Horn ahead of their third season. Picture: JUDITH PARRY PHOTOGRAPHYVerulam Reallymoving Racing Team held a launch event at The Horn ahead of their third season. Picture: JUDITH PARRY PHOTOGRAPHY

He said: “It’s a year of regrouping because of the changes but the big thing is that the youth coming through and we are still performing.

“The masters guys can almost look after themselves and do our thing but it’s the kids we are most interested in, making sure they progress properly and keeping that going.”

And as if to underline the strength of the Verulam Reallymoving youngsters, Will Smith won the U16 race at the second round of the Lee Valley Youth Series at Hog Hill, his first experience at an age group where he was up against riders who are significantly older than him.

Meanwhile, on a personal level, Bench is looking forward to the challenges ahead.

He said: “It’s already busy now and we haven’t really started.

“I’ll be trying to get them into races and trying to get them into the right races. It’s a lot of work.

“As soon as the season kicks in properly in March and April, we’ll be super-busy.”

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