Raleigh Back in 2010

Another new cycling team joining an ever increasing UK circuit, as blogged last week, is the Raleigh Cycling Team.

Raleigh have recently been through a tough couple of years, once a key racing team back in the 1980s when the Tour of Britain was called the Milk Race (Joop Zoetemelk even won a Tour de France on a Raleigh), they soon capitalised and went down the cheap, commercial route, distributing thousands through Halfords. They quickly became detached from their racing pedigree, preferring cheap bikes and big profits; roadies didn't want to be associated with the commercial Halfords crowd and with no sexy sport status behind them, Raleigh soon lost vision.

Raleigh are making a return to the pro scene in 2010 with a new cycling team, riding new and improved Raleigh bikes. First impressions are good, they've signed up young talent alongside experienced riders such as Tom Barras, Dale Appleby and Liam Holohan.

I don't think the likes of Rapha Condor will be frightened by the squad, however it will be good to see the classic badge re-appear. I have a lot of fond memories of that badge from when I was younger.

I think the exposure will definitely help Raleigh improve sales of their hybrid and bottom end bikes. Raleigh is a big British brand which has been forgotten and stamped into the mud, the exposure will help Raleigh dig itself out of the ground and become an aspirational cycling brand to families and those popping into Halfords to buy a bike for the first time in 15 years who don't know about Boardman.

For us roadies, I'll give them a miss. I'm with Team Sky and Pinarello.

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