World Beating Cycling Team Fly the Flag For Derby
Derby-based track cycling HUUB Wattbike test team will be travelling to the latest stage of the UCI World Cup Series on Friday December 14 sporting a newly-designed Derbados flag.
The team, who train at the Derby Arena, are currently the fifth fastest track cycling teams in the world.
They are aiming for Gold in the meet at London’s Olympic velodrome having already beaten some of the world’s top teams – including Team GB - at recent world cup series competitions in Germany and Canada.
With their sights set on home turf advantage lead sponsors and Derby company HUUB have designed a special Derbados flag and T-shirts to hopefully inspire the team to podium success.
The team, already renowned as ‘mavericks’ in the track cycling world, have pledged to drape the specially-designed flag around their shoulders for their lap of honour and medal presentation – should they win.
Ahead of travelling to London – the team members have been invited to unfurl the flag for the first time from the top of the tower at Derby Cathedral on Saturday December 8.
Dean Jackson is the owner of HUUB who are now the main sponsors of the team – supported by a number of other locally-based businesses.
He said: “The name Derbados has been knocking about for years on social media particularly as an affectionate term for Derby.
“The boys have taken it a stage further – referring to their home and training base as the ‘People’s Republic of Derbados’ which has created quite a storm in the cycling world.
“We therefore decided to design the team a special flag and T-shorts for podium celebrations with references to the Silk Mill which is over the road from our offices, an aero engine to represent engineering at its finest, the Derbyshire crest and of course some palm trees!
“They have done brilliantly in the UCI World Cup Series so far – coming second in Canada and fourth in Paris and Berlin so we know that a gold medal is within their reach.
“Derby as a whole should be very proud of this team. They epitomise the city’s credentials in innovation, technology and sheer determination and are definitely one to watch.
“These guys are the ‘Cool Runnings’ of the cycling world. Having been originally ignored by the cycling establishment, they have taken the sport by storm by taking a fresh, maverick-style approach to team and individual pursuit and time trial.”
Team manager and rider Dan Bigham continued: “Although this is a bit of fun and a tongue in cheek reference to the fact that we are taking on the might of the world’s national track cycling teams, there is more serious message behind it.
“The Derbados flag represents the fantastic, warm welcome that we have received by the sporting and business community in this great city since moving here to live and train.
“Raising the profile of Derby in this way is therefore the least we can do to say thank you to everyone who has supported us so far.”
Rachel Morris, CEO of Derby Cathedral and the Diocese of Derby concluded: “I hope that raising the flag at the highest point and spiritual centre of the city will inspire HUUB Wattbike test team to reach for the stars and bring home the medals from London.
HUUB Wattbike test team is a group of cycling enthusiasts who share a passion for the engineering and science behind elite performance sport.
They started 18 months ago by pooling their money and continued their jobs or university studies to compete at national and international competitions where they were soon taking on the world’s top team and individual pursuit riders.
After a string of podium places, including gold at the national championships in Manchester – beating the British Cycling team pursuit riders, they went onto win gold in the UCI world cup in Belarus last November in 3:56 - just five seconds off the world record.
They are now in the midst of the 2018/19 international season which sees them competing against some of the world’s top national teams such as Australia, New Zealand and British Cycling as well as feeder teams who also have the Tokyo 2020 Olympics in their sights.
This season, the team have the added benefit of drag-reducing cycling kit which has been produced specifically for them by HUUB using a patented performance-enhancing design developed in partnership with computational fluid design experts, TotalSim, from Brackley, Northamptonshire.
Team members are Dan Bigham, Harry Tanfield, John Archibald, Jacob Tipper, Jonny Wale, George Peasgood and the newest signing – American Ashton Lambie who is the Individual Pursuit world record holder.
Fellow sponsors include Derby City Council with access to the velodrome, Derbyshire Institute of Sport, the University of Derby, Derby College, Bowmer & Kirkland, Century Mobile and Invictus Communications.