The Twenty3c - Orbea Professional Cycling Team

This weekend, at the Mercedes Benz’s UK Headquarters in Milton Keynes, saw the launch of the Twenty3c – Orbea Professional Cycling Team.

In front of the team’s key sponsors, the 12-man Twenty3c-Orbea team was unveiled. From there we  spent the weekend together training and in team meetings, planning our race schedules for the 2011 season.

A heads up to the other UK teams out there. The team features a strong International line up with the addition of Rafa Rodriguez Segarra from Elche, Spain and Gunnar Gronlund from Skara, Sweden. They will join forces with the core of the 2010 Orbea team, former Premier Calendar winner Rob Sharman, National U23 Time Trial Champion Andrew Griffiths and talented young riders Mike Cuming and Dan Shand.

Team issue Orbea Orca's with Fast Forward wheels

During the launch event, along with Marcel and Rafa, we took the new Mercedes Vito Sport out for a photoshoot. The results of which you can see below.

If you want to keep up-to-date with the happenings of the team, you can find them on the following:

Rafa and Marcel and the new Mercedes Benz Vito Sport

2011 Team Palmares

Lewis Atkins
Resides: West Drayton, Middlesex, Age: 23, Elite
Former bronze medallist in the National Junior Road Race Championships and a prolific winner on both the road and the track, Lewis clocked up 8 victories in 2010 despite struggling with a persistent injury for most of the early season. Lewis excels in criterium races and will be a key rider for the team in the 2011 Tour Series.

Mike Cuming
Resides: Stoke On Trent, Staffordshire, Age: 20, Elite
The youngest member of the team, Mike is a talented young climber and time triallist with four wins in 2010, including the final round of the Rudy Project Series. Mike has been knocking on the door of a big result in the Premier Calendar races and will be a huge asset to Rafa, Marcel and Rob in their assault on the biggest races in the UK.

Kristian Downs
Resides: Basildon, Essex, Age: 23, 1st category
2010 was Kristian’s comeback year after a break from cycling to concentrate on his studies. A very talented and successful Junior, Kristian will be one of the key riders in the team’s 2011 criterium campaign.

Andrew Griffiths
Resides: Hornchurch, Essex, Age: 22, Elite
Andrew is the reigning National Under 23 Time Trial Champion, a title he won in September 2010. One of the hardest and most tenacious riders around, Andrew has spent three seasons with some of the biggest amateur teams in Belgium and returns to the UK to become a key part of the
Twenty3c-Orbea team for 2011.

Gunnar Gronlund
Resides: Chesterfield, Derbyshire, Age: 23, Elite
Gunnar represented Sweden in mountain biking before moving to the road and gaining some notable results. A natural climber, Gunnar is looking to fulfill his undoubted potential in the Premier Calendar and Continental races in 2011.

Andy Lyons
Resides: Chelmsford, Essex, Age: 41, Elite
Andy is a man with a wealth of experience. He has represented Great Britain many times in Continental single day and stage races and brings all the race craft gathered over 20 years of racing at the highest level. Andy won the Eastern Regional Road Race Championship for the fifth time in 2010 and has over 50 Victories in E/1/2 events to his name.

Rafa Rodriguez Segarra
Resides: Alicante, Spain, Age: 28, Elite
Rafa is part of the team’s three pronged attack in the Premier Calendar and Stage Races. A former UCI professional, Rafa rode in the UK for just two days in 2010 and went back to Spain with a fine solo victory and a second place to Team Sky rider Alex Dowsett. In 2010, Rafa won the first stage of the Volta a Galicia and the overall General Classification of both the Volta Ciclista del Llagosti and the Trofeo Moros y Cristianos.

Daniel Shand
Resides: Rochdale, Greater Manchester, Age: 24, Elite
A quiet guy off the bike, Dan prefers to let his legs do the talking. With three years of experience riding for strong Belgian teams such as Scott and Profel Prorace, Dan has produced some fantastic performances in high profile races. Sixth place in stage 3 of the Cinturón Ciclista Internacional a Mallorca and 5th in stage 4 of the Ringerike Tour Norway in 2010 are just an indication of the talent and potential that Dan brings to the team in 2011.

Dean Shannon
Resides: Southend, Essex, Age: 30, Elite
The epitome of a team player and a fantastic criterium rider in his own right, Dean is completely committed whether dropping back to help a team leader, leading out the team for a sprint or charging towards the line for himself. An man who has experience in the Tour Series, Dean will be one of the team’s main players in circuit races in 2011.

Rob Sharman
Resides: Derby, Derbyshire, Age: 32, Elite
2005 Premier Calendar winner Sharman needs no introduction. A former winner of the Rutland-Melton and the Girvan 3 Day, he competed in the 2005 World Road Race Championships in Madrid and the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne and brings not only a wealth of experience, but also a wealth of talent to the team. Rob will be back to his best in 2011 and is a man to watch.

Marcel Six (Team Captain)
Resides: St Albans, Hertfordshire, Age: 25, Elite
Marcel came to the team in 2009 after two years of injury sustained from a collision with a car in Spain. A confident rider, a leader and a true winner, he promised a great deal and has delivered every time. Marcel has notched up four victories in 2010 but it has been his performances in the more prestigious races that have had the more established teams in the UK Peloton reaching for their cheque books. Despite working full time, Marcel placed 4th in the National Criterium Championships, 4th in the Chas Messenger Memorial and 8th in the Smithfield Nocturne, and with the opportunity to become a full time rider again next season, the sky is the limit for Marcel in 2011.

James Whatling
Resides: Brentwood, Essex, Age: 36, 1st Category
James is a team rider through and through. A strong rouleur and time triallist, James will be riding hard to help the team leaders achieve their goals throughout the 2011 season.


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