Ribble Cycles has announced it is to be official bike partner for the Drops-Le Col supported by Tempur racing team.
The UK-based UCI Women’s Continental cycling team have signed an initial two-year deal with the Preston bike brand, which is already title sponsor of the men’s UCI Continental Ribble Weldtite team.
Drops-Le Col have been riding Cannondale bikes since original bike supplier and co-head sponsor Trek pulled out in 2018 to set up its own UCI Women’s WorldTeam.
Last July Drops’s April Tacey won the opening stage of the first ever virtual Tour de France, beating riders such as Chloe Dygert and Chantal Van de Broek-Blaak and underlining Drops’s ambition to move up to the top level.
However, the team faced significant funding issues until Le Col stepped up from kit supplier to title sponsor in a two-year deal in December and Tempur mattresses also confirmed support.
The final piece of the jigsaw was to find a new bike sponsor for 2021.
Tem director Bob Varney said: “Our ambition to compete at the very highest level and to become the most exciting racing team on the road was instantly recognised and matched by Ribble’s to be our bike partner for 2021 and 2022. Like the team, they are very much an international brand with a British heart, backed with a wonderful race/performance heritage at the very highest level of the sport. It’s truly an exciting chapter for both partners and we can’t wait to get into action on our new Ribbles next month at Setmana Ciclista Valenciana.”
Andy Smallwood CEO Ribble Cycles added: “Elite road racing is the epitome of rider and machine moving in perfect harmony together and this has been ingrained in Ribble Cycles’ DNA for over 120 years. This is why we are very excited to be working with Bob and Drops-Le Col supported by Tempur, giving their riders a competitive advantage through the design and technology of our world-class range of bikes as they compete on the world stage. Watching the team and the Ribble brand in the thick of the action against the best in the world in one-day Classics and major stage races is going to be amazing and perfectly aligns with the next phase in the growth of the Ribble brand.”
The team will be racing on the Ribble Endurance SL R and Ultra TT models with the frames finished in a stunning Ribble Custom Colour livery design that has been created in conjunction with the team to ensure they will stand out in the peloton.
The race calendar has yet to be finalised with Settmana Ciclista Valencia, Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, GP Samyn and the Healthy Ageing Tour providing a dynamic launch pad into what promises to be a full and exciting season.