Ribble Rebellion: The new British team aiming to shake up criterium racing

In a positive step for the struggling British domestic racing scene, Ribble has announced a new team with some big riders on its roster

There’s a growing opinion in cycling that criterium racing could be a beacon of hope for the sport’s future on a domestic level. With closed circuits that allow excellent fan engagement and short, understandable race formats in city centres, the discipline has long taken the United States by storm, and trailblazing British bike brand, Ribble Cycles, is hoping to capitalise on the hype. With its new racing team, Ribble Rebellion, the Preston-based company boldly claims that it wants to ‘disrupt the global crit circuit.’

In order to do that, Ribble has brought together a team of criterium racers from all over the globe to build an impressive roster of talent. The team’s captain is Joe Laverick, a former rider for Axel Merckx’s well-known development squad, Hagens Berman Axeon. Laverick commented in Ribble’s press release: “Being part of the team that has put Ribble Rebellion together has been a tremendous opportunity. We have a set of talented individuals and on the road we’ll be racing as one – wanting to do things very differently. That’s what this team is all about. Our goals are quite simple – ride to compete, to podium, to win.”

Joining Laverick on the team is Jim Brown, who finished in second place at the inaugural CRIT Championship in Florida last year (an event founded by pioneering criterium racer, Justin Williams of L39ION of LA.) Brown isn’t the only rider on Ribble Rebellion who has an impressive history in criterium racing already, either, with former British National Criterium Champion, Matt Bostock, also forming part of the squad’s roster.

Although the team has been founded by a British brand, it features riders from a range of countries, including Ruben Apers of Belgium, a former professional for Pro Continental team, Team Flanders-Baloise. The Canadian duo of Cam Fitzmaurice and Al Murison, Cole Davis of the USA, plus Max Rushby and Tom Couzens from the UK, complete the team’s impressive line-up for 2024. Ribble Rebellion plans to race a mix of events in the USA, Canada and the UK this season, with the aim of winning some of the biggest criteriums in the world.

“Ribble Rebellion is the next exciting chapter in our long history of cycle racing. Crit racing is fast, furious and exhilarating, where every performance advantage counts. When you have the fastest riders in the world on the world’s most aerodynamically optimised bike you have something very special,” Andy Smallwood, Ribble’s CEO, commented in a press release.

The team will race on Ribble’s eye-catching, aerodynamic race bike, the Ultra SL R for the season ahead, custom painted with a bold, bright design which Ribble says aims to reflect the dynamic personalities and confidence of the team. Each member of Ribble Rebellion has their own unique rider colour on the Ultra aero bars and forks to ensure they are distinguishable in the peloton. As well as Ribble bikes, the team will use kit from partners HUUB, Mavic and Smith.

“This is an exciting opportunity to see our bikes race in the world’s biggest crit races, getting our brand in front of millions of cyclists – we saw that with the crowds watching as the Ultra SL R won the UK National Crit Series last year,” Smallwood commented. “The team has been created around exceptional riders with the ambition and desire to succeed. It’s going to be an amazing year and I can’t wait to see the team fly”.

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