Orwell sign huge deal

by Gazette Reporter
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DUNDRUM’S Orwell Wheelers head into 2016 with a major pep in their step, not least because of the announcement on Monday night that they will be supported by US bike manufacturer Scott Bicycles.
The aim is to further build the club’s commitment to youth cycling with the support invaluable in raising the standards for the club’s developing riders.
In welcoming the support, Orwell Wheelers President Denis Gleeson said: “Mel Sutcliffe [Scott Bicycles’ chief executive] approached us with the aim of providing key support for our youth development initiative and the backing from Scott Bikes is helping us to bring the sport of cycling, with all the health benefits, its rich heritage and the joys that it brings.
“Our aim is to provide an environment for young riders male and female to learn about cycling as a sport that they can carry through their life. Scott Bikes is helping us to do that.”
The company has come on board with a multi-year deal and Sutcliffe said it is the perfect club to get involved with.
“Orwell Wheelers is a vibrant, friendly and successful club which works hard to promote the sport in all its forms to all ages, particularly to young riders.
“My sponsorship of the junior tour, Orwell Wheelers and two other clubs, which we will announce later this month, should prove my commitment to the sport. I am very grateful for the people I have met through the sport and for what cycling has done for me.”
The support will aid the club’s current membership of over 500 members with the focus on attracting and developing youth talent with a series of training and racing programmes at the closed road racing circuit at Corkagh Park and on the track at the outdoor velodrome in Sundrive Road.
In addition, Orwell Wheelers enjoys the most equitable gender balance of any similarly sized club in the country with well over 100 women taking to the roads every week in a variety of racing and leisure cycling groups.
They are continuing a long tradition of cycling in the area with Orwell being the club that gave Tour de France hero Stephen Roche his start in cycling back in the 1970s.
Indeed, the long running Stephen Roche Grand Prix is, perhaps, Ireland’s most popular annual criterium circuit race, taking place each June on the roads of the Meadowmount Estate in Churchtown where the 1987 Tour de France winner learned to ride a bike.
For 2016, Orwell is planning to enter teams in both the men’s An Post Ras and the women’s An Post Ras na mBan.
The club is also very active in the burgeoning leisure cycling scene with the distinctive Scott Orwell colours prominent at numerous sportives and mass participation bike rides throughout the season.

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