Partnership with Team OnForm produces fantastic cycling wins

The partnership between Writtle University College and Team OnForm has produced fantastic results in its first six months with a stack of high-profile wins.

The cycling academy - the first of its kind in the UK - was officially launched in March and enables Cycling Performance degree students to participate in organised cycling races and events, whilst receiving the support and guidance of industry experts as they continue their educational journey.

Team OnForm riders, some of whom are students at the University College, have reached five national championships, won more than 65 races and have stepped up to the podiums more than 85 times.

The team were first overall team in the National Women’s Team Series, third overall team in the British Cycling Women’s Road Series team standings, and fifth team overall in the Tour Series Matrix Grand Prix Series team standings. OnForm won the first team overall in the three days of Bedford and was first team in the UCI Tour of Cambridge/Gran Fondo Chrono Team Time Trial.

Mark Walker, Course Leader for the Foundation Degree in Cycling Performance, said: “This partnership has already proved to be an incredibly successful journey. Such has been the success of Team OnForm that riders were winning races from the very start of the season, but, to our surprise, those early wins have been followed by bigger and more prestigious performances.

“Needless to say, there is even more of this journey to come with some further big announcements about races and additional sponsors to follow. Our progress so far has well exceeded expectations!”

OnForm male and female junior riders have been winning locally while Charles Page went to Belgium and won in Harelbeke and then placed 5th in the classic Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne road race, this time guesting for the prestigious Culture Velo team. These two performances alone put him on the radar of some of the bigger British and continental development teams.

Back home, Ollie Jones, riding in the U23 squad, had his winter training thwarted by illness, but when he came good it was with devastating effect. He is known as a time trial rider and placed second in the North Road Hard Riders early season event, a hard event beset by horrid conditions. He went on to smash numerous club records and his own personal bests over 10 miles (18m50s for an average speed of 31.8 miles per hour) and 25 miles (48min 43s for an average speed of 30.8 miles per hour).

Ollie went on to win a number of road races including the Northants Cycling Racing Association stage race and then the National U23 TT Circuit championships. He achieved 3rd U23 at the British National 10 mile TT Championships. He also rode the Tour of Martinique which raised his profile and interest with French teams.

Oli Smee, a student at Writtle and Team OnForm rider, has spent a big chunk of the year racing in France too and came back to the UK in great condition and won the Harvey Haddon Circuit Race.

The women’s team raced in the Tour Series and at one point they were laying 4th overall with only national squad riders or professional teams ahead of them. The team’s dreams came true when Julie Erskine won the Women’s National Series Curlew Cup Road Race.

Simon Howes, Team Principal, said: “Our results show that our partnership with Writtle University College has been a huge success. There are many stories of our riders improving week after week – and growing in confidence over this season; something everybody in the team is very proud of.

“Oli Smee is the perfect example. Through Writtle and Team OnForm he was able to experience racing in France. To see him then come back to the UK and win a race encompasses the Team OnForm ethos – helping riders progress and develop.

“We are all very much looking forward to our continued partnership next year and many more years after that. The partnership is a great fit for both the team and University College.”

Meanwhile, Simon Carr, a student at Writtle who races with another team, won three stages at Martinique, a UCI category 2.2. race.

· As well as giving students the opportunity to pursue their racing ambitions, the course is specially-designed to enable them to gain experience in a raft of cycling-related careers, including event management and coaching.

To find out more about the Cycling Performance Foundation Degree at Writtle University College, please visit:

Oli Smee winning the Harvey Haddon Circuit Race.

Official launch of Team OnForm six months ago.

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