ISSUE 01 - JANUARY 2017
KEEP UP TO DATE Look ahead to the races coming up in the next three months
WELCOME SUSY! Meet our new rider already making waves in 2017
CONTENTS ISSUE 01 - JANUARY 2017
DROPS GALLERY Take a look at some of the defining images taken of the riders and team throughout the month. It includes professional photos of races, behind the scenes, training and down time.
24 DROPS DOWN UNDER Find out how the team got on halfway across the world. Our riders attempted to hit the ground running during the first action of the season in Australia.
32 HOWDY PARTNERS Read all about the businesses and brands that are backing the team this year. From new sponsors to long-term supporters, we give you the low down on this years Team Partner list.
40 INTERVIEW: MEET SUZY ZORZI We chat to new recruit Susanna Zorzi who took Australia by the scruff of the neck. From her racing history, childhood and future ambitions, we got to know her a bit better.
44 SIMPSON’S SNACKS Prepare your palettes! We’ve got a treat in-store from Drops rider and OTE Performance Nutritionist Annie Simpson who shares a delicious recipe you can try at home.
CLASS OF 2017 15 riders make up the 2017 Drops squad. Read a little bit about each of them. Be prepared to see some familiar faces as well as some new ones!
THE MIAMI GREEN PAINT STAYS IN 2017.
TRAINING RIDE IN THE ADELAIDE HILLS
INTRO TOM VARNEY - CO-TEAM DIRECTOR
elcome to The Drop, a monthly magazine that will keep you updated with all team news as well as offering exclusive interviews and features from Drops. The Drop is new to the public and we couldn’t wait to share it. It originally started out one year ago in January 2016 as a PDF that we emailed to sponsors and people we met along the way during our first season, and like many things over the last year, things have developed somewhat. Twelve months on we felt it was time to share our monthly updates with the public, so here we are, with a new refurbished design style, hosted openly on the web, available to download and take with you, shared with our fans on social media and to thousands of contacts through our email newsletter. Everything you see here in The Drop, on our social channels and our website is created in-house at Drops. From the design to the race reports and the feature interviews. The only thing we haven’t done ourselves is the photography, instead we brief our photography partners at length with how we want to portray our team and the overall image we’ve created. Over the years we’ve seen many traditional printers go bankrupt so we knew as a business we had to evolve, we’re evolving our business from one that dealt purely in traditional print to a company that offers design and marketing services, event & exhibition build, retail displays as well as the traditional print. The team is not only a passion project, but a great way for us to show existing and potential new clients these skills. To work with our sponsors and portray their brand in our way. To be able to say that during our first ten days in Adelaide, which included the Tour Down Under, we reached 45k people on Facebook, 112k impressions on Twitter and that our engagement was up 110% on the previous ten days, and to know that it’s all managed internally is something we’re proud of. This first issue of the magazine includes a review of our trip to Australia which saw us take on our first three races of the 2017 season, The Tour Down Under, The Towards Zero Race and The Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race. It was our first trip to Australia and it didn’t disappoint, we’re already looking forward to our 2018 visit! There will also be an introduction on the Class of 2017, a brief overview of our riders and sponsors, new and
old for this season. You’ll also read about our new Italian rider Susanna Zorzi, who joined us from Lotto Soudal this winter - We sat down with Susy during the trip to Australia to discuss her goals for the season – see page 40 for the full interview.
I hope you enjoy the read. Make sure you follow us on social media by searching ‘Drops Cycling’ or ‘#ColourTheRoad’. Thanks for your continued support.
Lastly, there is a feature on our new sponsor Alupro, who are utilising the team to promote their Every Can Counts campaign.
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01 FIRST SELFIE OF THE SEASON New signing Ann-Sophie Duyck takes the role of chief selfie taker during the Tour Down Under team presentation.
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02 SWELTERING HEAT DOWN UNDER Susanna Zorzi and Alice Barnes crest the final climb of Stage 1 of the Tour Down Under in the lead group.
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03 THOSE ADELAIDE CROWDS Stage 2 of the Santos Tour Down Under was held in Adelaide. The crowds were out in force to catch the action.
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04 THE BAROSSA VALLEY Stage 3 of the Santos Tour Down Under passed through the gorgeous Barossa Valley, one of the worldâ€™s great wine regions.
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05 SIGN ON New recruit, Anna Christian signs on with a smile for Stage 3 of the Santos Womenâ€™s Tour Down Under.
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06 COOL AS A CUCUMBER Alice Barnes showed her potential finishing 7th, 4th, 9th and 11th during the Santos Womenâ€™s Tour Down Under stages.
07 BREAKAWAY Ann-Sophie Duyck made her Drops debut during the Tour Down Under. On Stage 3 she featured in a breakaway with Lucy Betchel.
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08 FULL GAS Three time Belgian National TT Champion , Ann-Sophie Duyck goes full gas during the Towards Zero Race in Melbourne.
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B A R N E S
C H R I S T I A N
D U R R E L L
D U Y C K
H O L D E N
M A S S E Y
O S B O R N E
P A R K I N S O N
P A R K I N S O N
P A Y T O N
R I T T E R
S H A W
S I M P S O N
V A N
W O M E T R W S I L S E K Y
Z O R Z I
The two time Under 23 British Champion starts her second season with Drops in 2017. With numerous World Tour top ten placings, the future looks bright for Alice and we’re sure her progress will continue in the same vain.
Anna joins the team in 2017 from Wiggle-High 5 with the aim of finding the form that saw her represent Great Britain at the World Championships and the Isle of Man at the Commonwealth Games.
Having only started racing a few years ago, Rebecca’s rise through the UK domestic scene has been impressive. 2017 will be her second year racing a full UCI calendar and she’s keen to add results to last years race experience.
A three time Belgian National Time Trial Champion who is new to Drops for 2017. She enjoyed an incredible 2016 season which saw her represent Belgium at the Olympic Games and claim a top ten at the World Championships.
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The 19 year old from Isle of Man joins Drops in 2017 after finishing her school studies. Having represented Great Britain at junior level at two World Championships, weâ€™re looking forward to helping Lizzie reach her potential.
Laura is looking to build on a stunning 2016 season which saw her take a sabbatical from her job in the pharamceutical industry and make her mark on UCI racing with some great results. The season ended with Laura making her debut for Great Britain at 35 years old and her debut at the World Championships in Doha.
Rose only started racing a few years ago and has stepped into her role in the team well whilst gaining some good results. Her position as domestique in the team is an important one, where much of the work goes unnoticed by the general public.
Abby-Mae joins the team from Servetto Footon. She spent her first season in the senior ranks with the Italian team after claiming the Great Britain Junior National title in 2015. Her appearances in the Giro dâ€™Italia and the World Championships for Great Britain caught the eye of the team management.
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A professional Cyclo-Cross rider who has dabbled previously with road racing. 2016 saw Hannah take the road more seriously and had great success at UCI level. Her performances at the Tour of California and the Aviva Womenâ€™s Tour show great promise for the future.
The three time Austrian Time Trial Champion joins Drops from BTC in 2017 after a good showing in 2016. Martina represented Austria at the Olympic Games in Rio after some strong performances in stage races throughout the year.
A multiple National Champion at youth level. Lucy is heading into her second season with Drops and looking to build upon her 2016 experiences.
Annie is no stranger to elite level cycling having ridden in a number of MTB World Championships. She has an impressive record in the televised Tour Series criteriums winning the overall series in 2012.
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ABI VAN TWISK
Abi is another rider that has represented Great Britain and her road racing career continues to flourish. 2016 was her first year of fulltime racing and sheâ€™s looking to take that experience to the next level in 2017.
Up until 2017 Becky had been concentrating on her University studies. But, with her degree in the bag, she heads into 2017 as a full time rider and is set to build upon a strong start to the season in Australia.
SUSANNA ZORZI The former Under 23 European Champion joins Drops from Lotto Soudal where she spent two seasons. Her strength and intelligence in race scenarios is impressive. She also has a good history with our home race, The Womenâ€™s Tour having finished 12th and 5th overall previously.
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KOALARAMA Some furry friends and fierce racing in Australia as Drops kick off their season with a trip down under
his year, Drops Cycling Team ventured further than they ever have before. To start the season, the team made the 21-hour flight from London to Adelaide to go racing in Australia. This was a new experience for the riders and staff in every sense, new tracks and races combined with time-zone adjustments and blistering heat, meant we were truly pushing the limits of our comfort zone. When it comes to sport – the country is known for its rugby and cricket prowess. It might be easy to think that cycling isn’t particularly popular in Australia, the squad were surprised to find that this was not the case at all. “They love their cycling – especially in Adelaide,” laughed Anna Christian. “I guess with the weather and the roads here, why wouldn’t you enjoy it?!” Anna, Susanna Zorzi, Rebecca Womersley, Abi van Twisk, Ann-Sophie Duyck, Alice Barnes and the Drops support staff managed to squeeze in a little culture
“It was sweltering today, fast and a fight was on for a position”
during their downtime between training and race days. Among all of the amazing experiences, the wildlife seemed a firm favourite. “It was good to see the kangaroos and koalas, we didn’t get to hold them as when it gets to a certain temperature they can’t be handled, that was a shame,” said Becks Womersley. “But then we all got excited when we were descending on a training ride and saw a koala crossing the road! We all had to stop to take a photo!” “We got to do some traditional Aussie things. We had a few BBQ’s while we were there, they certainly know how to do a BBQ. I think it must taste nicer in a warmer climate!” But it wasn’t all bears and BBQ’s, during the 3 week trip, there was plenty of racing to get stuck into. First up, Stage 1 of the Santos Women’s Tour Down Under, for which the anticipation was high. “We didn’t expect to make the race, but we have every intention to put the team in the mix - we want to be there at the sharp end at the key points - mountain, sprints and finish,” said DS, Bob Varney. The traditional season opener started
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as arguably the most difficult stage of the four-day tour, a 106.5km stage from Hahndorf to Meadows. The riders struggled to concentrate on the stunning scenery across the Adelaide hills as they mentally prepared themselves for the long final climb up Paris Creek Road. “Adelaide’s terrain was not what I expected at all!” admitted Anna Christian. “Most the rides were up and down all day with some tough climbs.”
“They certainly know how to do a BBQ.” The unexpected landscape didn’t phase our performance though, with a strong start and great results. Becky Womersley and Abi van Twisk helped the team in the early part of the race where Susanna Zorzi claimed second place in the first sprint point of the day after 26km. Alice Barnes claimed 5th place in the QOM point over the top of Paris Creek Road and was our highest finisher with a 7th place in the sprint finish from a group sprinting for 4th – a result she was pleased with. “I was very apprehensive going into the race, it’s the first time I’ve raced this season,” she said.
“I felt pressure before the stage, however, the team worked really well together and looked after each other. I felt good going into the final climb, and it was nice to have my three teammates around me to take me to the finish. The day finished positively and we’re looking forward to the stages to come.” Stage 2 of the Santos Women’s Tour Down Under saw the peloton head to Adelaide city centre for a 32.2km criterium around East End. And Alice’s week got better as she went on to claim 4th place in stage two with the help of new Drops Road Captain, Susanna Zorzi. The penultimate stage of The Tour headed back into the Adelaide hills with a stage through the stunning Barossa Valley. The previous day’s work left both Alice and Suzy in a good position overall and more importantly in the young rider category. The team (including a particularly strong and selfless performance from Becks) kept Alice, Ann-Sophie and Susanna hydrated, fed and near the front. This work saw all three of them make the front group over the final climb with Susanna finishing 8th and Alice 9th in the final sprint. For the final stage, the team gathered in Victoria Park, Adelaide amid a staggering 40-degree heat. Unfortunately, the team were unable to position themselves to
feature in the intermediate sprints, however Alice, Abi and Susanna finished in the front half of the first group which meant the team finished as the highest team on the last stage. This meant that the team leapfrogged United Healthcare in the overall team classification, finishing as the second team overall. Post-race the riders reflected upon a successful Tour Down Under having finished 9th, 10th and 11th on the individual overall standings, 3rd and 4th in the young rider classification and 2nd overall on the team classifications. The team worked hard but it felt good. “It was sweltering today, fast and a fight was on for a position,” said Abi van Twisk post-race. “It feels really good to dust off the cobwebs out here in Adelaide, it’s a great start to the season and one we feel we can build upon.” From Adelaide, the team ventured south to Melbourne for the Towards Zero Race around Australia’s world-famous Formula 1 Grand Prix circuit. Unfortunately, despite some strong moves it wasn’t it wasn’t the result the team were looking for on the day with Alice placing 11th in the bunch sprint, but in true Drops fashion, they looked onwards to the last chapter of the journey. On Saturday the 29th of January Drops rounded off the trip at the Great Ocean Road Race.
“I’m super excited to see how the forthcoming season will unfold” A tough race meant that Susanna Zorzi was the only Drops rider inside the top ten but a 6th place finish rounded off a strong tour for the team with plenty of positives to bring back. A delighted Bob Varney said: “To finish the Australia tour with a strong performance from the team shows that they have made a step or two up from last season, and I’m super excited to see how the forthcoming season will unfold. To achieve our season goal of being in the top 20 teams in the world so early in the year is a bonus.” Anna Christian was also thrilled with way Drops started the season: “I’ve loved the whole trip out in Australia. “The Tour Down Under and the Cadels race were really good races and great to kick the season off with. I loved racing them and also being with my new teammates.” The team will next race on the 25th and 26th of February as they head to Belgium to compete in the Omloop Het Nieuwsbald and Omloop Van Het Hageland respectively.
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We supplied Zwift with Aluminium frame backdrops eighteen months ago and theyâ€™ve held the test of time over more than twenty events across multiple countries. Simple to build, simple to dismantle and simple to change the visuals using tensioned fabrics.
PARTNERS IN CLIMB
ow that the season is underway, we have already had the pleasure of working alongside our new sponsors for 2017. We rely heavily on all of our partners like any other sports team without them, none of this would be possible. This year we are excited to welcome companies of all shapes and sizes and are thrilled they can be part of the Drops family. We’d like to urge everybody reading to check out all of our partners and the fantastic work they do, we are proud to wear their names on our jersey. Every
product, every pound, every supportive message they give to us helps increase the profile of our team and the profile of women’s competitive cycling. If you haven’t been following our latest sponsor news, make sure you keep up to date on the Drops website. But in case you missed any of the announcements over the last few months, here’s a rundown of the businesses getting behind the team this year.
ALUPRO RECYCLING (EVERY CAN COUNTS) LEAD PARTNER
The team at Drops were delighted to confirm Alupro as a lead partner for this season. Alupro (the Aluminium Packaging Recycling Organisation) run campaigns to engage and encourage people to recycle the aluminium packaging they use at home, work and whilst out and about. In particular, the sponsorship will focus on the Every Can Counts programme, which encourages people to recycle aluminium drink cans used outside the home. Aluminium is used to make drink cans, foil containers, lids and bottle tops and aerosols and is endlessly recyclable. Drops are thrilled to be building a new relationship that not only benefits both parties but the environment too. “We're delighted to welcome Alupro on board, their Every Can Counts initiative and recycling in general has many synergies with cycling and we're excited to explore opportunities of how we can 32
educate people further.” says Drops Director, Tom Varney. The team will be helping to raise awareness of the ‘Every Can Counts’ programme, which is supported by drink can manufacturers, recyclers and leading brands to encourage recycling across the country. The scheme looks to encourage the recycling of drink cans in all environments including workplaces, universities and colleges, at an event or festival, or simply on the go - or when watching a cycling race! Drops will be using the profile of the team to support ‘Every Can Counts’ right through the season and urging followers to make their cans count! “The partnership with Drops gives us a great opportunity to reach a large, and growing, audience of people who, through their enthusiasm for cycling, also obviously care about the environment,” said Alupro Executive Director, Rick Hindley.
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“The partnership with Drops gives us a great opportunity to reach a large and growing audience of people”
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BROTHER UK PARTNER
We were delighted to welcome another brand new team partner this year in the form of Brother UK.
relationship with such an experienced and world-renowned business.
Brother UK Limited are the UK arm of global manufacturing and services conglomerate – Brother Industries Ltd – specialising in information, communication and technology products and services for growing businesses of all sizes. Brother UK have a history in competitive cycling, including officially partnering the Aviva Women’s Tour, the Tour of Britain and Pearl Izumi Tour Series and more recently partnering a number of UK teams at various levels. As a team going into just our second year, it’s wonderful to have a company of such stature help us grow our impact in both the UK and abroad. With the new season just around the corner, we’re thrilled to be building a
“I remember growing up and seeing the Brother logo on the jersey of Manchester City FC and now that same logo will feature on our kit. Brother is a long established, forward thinking company with a great heritage and we’re delighted to have them on board.” Team Director, Tom Varney commented. “You couldn’t fail to see the impact that Drops have had in women’s cycling in their first season,” said Managing Director of Brother UK Ltd, Phil Jones MBE. “They’ve arrived with a bang and will no doubt continue to build on their success in 2017. We’re delighted to be a part of that and also to back women’s cycling as the profile of the sport goes from strength to strength.”
BLACK MAMBA PARTNER
Fortress Distribution are the UK’s exclusive distributor of premium US brand Black Mamba Gloves, the leading disposable gloves on the market for industrial and mechanical applications. Black Mamba Gloves will be worn all year round by Drops Cycling Team mechanics – ensuring our riders are ready for each race and back on the road as quickly as possible after an incident. With Black Mamba nitrile gloves’ superior puncture, tear and chemical resistance Drops Cycling Team staff are equipped to handle delicate tasks as well as tougher ones. “Black Mamba nitrile disposable gloves are the best on the market,” said Drops Cycling Team Lead Mechanic, Mike Jenner. “They are perfect for all kinds of work - from bike cleaning and race prep to roadside repairs. The textured Grip Rite finish is great for precise contact and the superior strength means the gloves
last way beyond our expectations for a disposable. In addition, the Black Mamba Impact glove with a heavy-duty palm and finger protection is ideal for heavy duty work like loading vans and installing the pit area.” “We’re delighted to further our relationship with Drops becoming an official team partner for the 2017 season. Black Mamba Gloves are becoming increasingly popular in the cycling industry and it’s fantastic that they are becoming the number one choice for professional cycle mechanics as well as cycling enthusiasts,” said Jenny Matthews, Director Fortress Distribution. Fortress Distribution is a wholesale distribution business specialising in selling innovative personal protection equipment from US brands on an exclusive basis in the UK. It currently has Black Mamba Gloves and Yuleys reusable overshoes in its range.
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BRUBECK TECHINCAL PARTNER
Brubeck support Drops as the official Technical Partner going into 2017 – they are an exciting and modern brand and their products are used widely across competitive and non-competitive cycling. Brubeck support Drops as the official Technical Partner going into 2017 – they are an exciting and modern brand and their products are used widely across competitive and non-competitive cycling. The Polish performance wear manufacturer are known for their comfortable, breathable and stylish base layers. They are Europe’s leading designer and producer of 3D seamless knitwear for thermo-active sportswear, with such a keen focus on design and performance Brubeck are a perfect fit for Drops. Brubeck are supporting the squad with a range of products for both training and
racing. The team will race in Brubeck’s 3D Pro next to skin layer, a product offering optimum comfort and warmth by transporting moisture away from the skin. Among those confirming the accuracy of the product description were Drops riders Rebecca Womersley and Abi van Twisk, who upon trying out the 3D Pro, never wanted to take it off again! “Brubeck base layer is by the far the most comfortable I have ever worn, it’s great to wear in the heat and to keep you warm in the cooler temperatures,” said Womersley. Brubeck have a fantastic reputation in the sporting community for garments suitable for everyone and we will be using our profile in the cycling community to promote the incredible products they have to offer.
As well as making the most of the team’s platform to show off their excellent female range, Brubeck will also receive valuable feedback from the riders themselves to help them specifically with product development. “We are very proud to join Drops’ prestigious group of sponsors and product supporters this year and in following years,” said Magda Korpetta, UK Manager at Brubeck. “Together we aim and believe that we can promote women’s cycling in Europe and beyond. “Drops’ squad as well as the management team are very inspiring and professional for the fans but also the companies they’re working with.”
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MET are another big name in the cycling world that will be partnering Drops next season. The Italian business have thirty years of experience making safe, light and aerodynamic helmets with some of the best products in the MET range available to our riders in 2017. The team will be utilising both Rivale and Manta helmets during road races and the Drone Wide Body helmet for time trials. For those worried about the Drops signature colours, fear not – MET will be supplying the riders’ headgear in Miami Green. “We’re delighted to welcome MET as helmet partner for 2017. We’re looking forward to working with MET to provide product feedback to help them develop women’s specific products.” Tom Varney, Team Director commented.
MET are strongly committed to developing women’s cycling products and are keen to put the talented riders at Drops front and centre when it comes to promoting their range. The team will be the face of MET’s women’s range throughout their marketing in 2017. “We are extremely pleased to be an official partner of Drops Cycling Team. It’s very important for us as a company to work closely with them to develop and increase our product offering to women," said MET Marketing Manager, Achille Montanelli. "A partnership is also a matter of shared values. With Drops Cycling Team, they have a professionalism, keen eye for detail and passion that we love and respect. There is no better way to continue to be an active player in the women's cycling community.”
CYCLEFIT TECHNICAL PARTNER
Drops Cycling Team are delighted to announce that they’ve formalised their relationship with Cyclefit, the UK’s leading bike fitting company. Cyclefit will increase their support of the team considerably, becoming Technical Partner.
of our riders recently visited Phil and Jules, and we have another four heading down later this week. Their knowledge really is second to none, and we’re privileged to add them to our growing partner list.” Team Director, Tom Varney commented.
The riders on the team will enjoy full access to Cyclefit’s studio in Manchester, and London. Cyclefit will provide each rider with their comprehensive fitting service, for both road and TT positions, and full ongoing support through the 2017 season.
Julian Wall of Cyclefit commented “This will be our second season working with Drops Cycling, it’s great to see the girls developing and taking on a bigger race programme for 2017; as the racing gets harder it is very important to ensure their riding positions and component choices are on point to improve performance and prevent injury. We have worked with many World Tour (male) riders struggling with their positions and there are many more who are suffering in silence that have no bikefitting solution from their teams; what is so refreshing at Drops Cycling is that they are including bike fitting and component choice seriously; they are a fresh new team without antiquated opinions and mythology and this will benefit the riders now and in their future cycling careers.”
This includes an initial interview, physical lead evaluation, custom footbeds, extensive Dartfish motion analysis and gebioMized saddle pressure mapping, all to the same high level of quality provided to riders from men's World Tour Teams such as Orica-Bike Exchange, Team Sky, BMC and TrekSegafredo to name a few. “Having dealt with Cyclefit on an ad hoc basis this season, it’s great to be able to extend our partnership going into the new season. Things are already in full swing, two 36
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CONTINENTAL TYRE PARTNER
Off the back of a fantastic partnership in 2016, we were pleased to announce that Continental agreed to extend their deal and will remain as the team’s Official Tyre Partner for 2017. The rubber, supplied by Cambrian Tyres, kept Drops at the very top of their game during the course of last season and we are delighted that the relationship will continue. This year our riders will be utilising both 22mm & 25mm Pro Ltd Tubulars in addition to GP4000 clincher tyres. "We're delighted to continue our
relationship with Cambrian tyres. We truly believe that Continental tyres are the best on the market and it's extremely important for the riders to trust the rubber that we're using,” said Tom Varney, Team Director. The Drops squad were frequently riding technical races in challenging weather conditions last season and knowing they had Continental rubber to rely on meant they could take plenty of confidence into difficult corners. And by competing in these conditions, the team will be looking to boost sales of Continental bike tyres in the UK by showing their premium quality
and performance during this year’s race calendar. "We’re delighted to announce an extension of our partnership with Drops. Women’s participation in cycling and cycle racing is important for both the industry and the sport of cycling and has huge growth potential,” commented Shelley Childs, Brand Manager, Cambrian Tyres. “Drops are leading the way with their approach and attitude in inspiring women to get involved.”
FENWICK’S MECHANICAL PARTNER
Much to the delight of the Drops mechanics, we were delighted to announce Fenwick’s as Mechanical Partner for 2017. Like Drops, Fenwicks is a family business. Founded in 1995, the company supply bike fluid, lubricant and cleaning kits to teams and individuals, manufacturing their entire range here in the UK. But Fenwick’s are no strangers to
@FenwicksBike competitive cycling, the company are suppliers to both The Women’s Tour and the men’s Tour of Britain. With so much experience within competitive cycling, they are the ideal company for our support staff to rely on for bike maintenance products.
will be putting their range to the test.
As a business who pride themselves on continually researching and developing their products, Fenwick’s will benefit from feedback from the Drops mechanics who
“The impact they have already made and the riders development is there for everyone to see. I can’t wait to see what they do next.”
“Cycle racing has always been a part of Fenwick’s and being able to support such a dynamic and professional women’s team is a true honour” said Jonathan Smith, owner of Fenwicks.
Thrilled to be travelling in style, we announced that bike travel and protection specialists, Scicon, will be the official partner for the 2017 season. Since 1980, Scicon have worked with some of the biggest names in cycling to securely transport equipment all over the world. The Italian brand will provide a range of high quality, innovative travel bags and cases to Drops, ensuring all their equipment is transported from A to B as safely as possible.
“We are so pleased to be working with Scicon next season,” said Team Director Tom Varney.
history and they are excited to start a new journey next year with Drops.
“We have long been admirers of their dedication and commitment to stylish and safe cycling protection. “We always look to maintain our striking image with clothing and equipment off the road as well as on, so we’re thrilled that Scicon enabled us to apply this ethos to our team luggage too.” Scicon have supported a number of professional cyclists and teams in recent
"Our new partnership with Drops reinforces our commitment to helping women’s cycling grow alongside the men’s professional scene," said Christian Pearce, Sales and Marketing Manager at Scicon. "We followed the team’s rise last season and are pleased to be working with them for 2017. Garnering feedback from the needs of all different riders helps us to continually improve and develop our products and working with Drops will allow us to continue on this path."
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TREK LEAD PARTNER
Trek reaffirmed their partnership with the team including an elevated level of investment for the 2017 season. Trek’s lightweight Emonda and Madone race bikes were an integral part of Drops’ success in 2016 and the iconic Miami Green colour became a key part of the team’s striking image. The extra layer of support will see the manufacturer supply the team
with training, race and time trial bikes for 2017. This will not only improve performance for the riders on the road, but also improve logistic operations and preparation for the Drops support staff all season.
“We are thrilled they have decided to increase that level of support and are excited to be working with them again in 2017. “We’re confident this partnership will continue to benefit both parties and the team’s profile, as well as feedback and results from our riders will help Trek develop and sell their products all around the world.”
“Having Trek as a partner has been so important for the team both in the performance equipment they provide and the support they offer behind the scenes,” said Team Director Tom Varney.
OTE NUTRITION PARTNER
We are very pleased to announce that OTE Sports will stay official nutrition partner. The OTE Sports brand was created for both athletes and sports enthusiasts, alike. Their range of naturally flavoured energy products and recovery drinks have been developed by experienced sports nutritionists and athletes, the
professionals who know exactly what you want and what you need. OTE produce no marketing spin on making you super human. Their aim is to demystify sports nutrition and offer clarity on good nutritional practices for athletes.
team with good nutritional advice as well as high quality performance products will ensure the team are hydrated, fuelled and energized for the forth coming race season. Bob and his team have already done an incredible job and we look forward to seeing the team grow from strength to strength,” said Peter Slater, Director of OTE.
“Nutrition has a critical role to play in performance cycling, supporting the
SPORTFUL KIT PARTNER
Drops were excited to announce that Sportful were to join the party in 2017 and with it, bring the riders a stunning brand new team kit. The world-leading Italian brand was named the official Drops race clothing supplier for the 2017 season as well as distributing race and replica kit for sale to the general public globally. Established in 1972, Sportful have a rich history within the cycling industry providing innovative sportswear to individuals and teams with an emphasis on designing apparel to perform comfortably in changing conditions.
“We’re really looking forward to working side by side with Sportful next season,” said Team Director, Tom Varney. “Their experience and passion for cycling means they are the perfect partner for us and we’re excited to produce a kit that, like last season’s, gets fans excited about Drops”. Having worked with some of the biggest and best teams over the years including Mapei, Drops are thrilled to have Sportful on board. As well as helping to drive the sale of all Drops replica and race kit, the riders will also provide the company with their feedback to help evolve future racewear.
“We have been supporting women’s cycling for some time and the opportunity to increase our involvement and partner with Drops is a perfect fit, their goal to elevate the awareness of the sport is a message we can really get behind,” said Glen McKibben, Sportful Brand Manager. “We’re also looking forward to working with the athletes as we continue to refine and develop new women’s specific products. Having a women’s team that is racing at World Tour level is a great asset in addition to our two World Tour men’s teams.”
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The new Drops recruit looks to build on some of her positive early performances in OZ.
ot many professional athletes begin their careers at a new team with the same level of composure and confidence as Susanna Zorzi. As Drops kicked off the 2017 season down in Australia, the 24-year-old cemented herself as ‘one to watch’ following a string of impressive rides. In between Susanna’s blinding performances in Adelaide, we managed to get her off the bike and on to a sofa so we could find out more about her. Born in Cogollo del Cengio (a one-hour drive from Venice), the Italian grew up in a family more familiar with balls than bicycles. Her father was a football coach for the local team but while Susanna played with the other children in the village, there was no team for young women to join in the local area. “There wasn’t a side for me to join nearby and so this led me to bike racing at just nine years old,” she explains. “At that age, I was a little overweight and my best friend raced at the time - so I decided to join in. When you are a child, you always want to be with your friends and so I went to the races with her. This got me fit and even
“Needless to say we crashed because we were going way too fast - I lost so much skin on my arm and even broke my helmet!”
after the races, I would always play football sometimes before too! First bikes and first crashes are part and parcel of growing up as a keen cyclist and Susanna was certainly no different. She recalls her preteen wheels and wounds that made her the cyclist she is today. “My first bike was a Rampon bike and I
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remember my first accident on this very well,” she laughs. “We were going in to a fast part of our route and on the approach to the corner I said to my friend ‘we can’t brake here!’ “Needless to say we crashed because we were going way too fast - I lost so much skin on my arm and even broke my helmet!” Like most professional riders, Susanna began at a cycling club who raced every week covering a number of disciplines. As she worked her way through school, she moved to her last amateur club following her exams. After two years at Breganze team, she went on to bigger and better things when in 2011, she was offered her first professional contract at Gauss. “My first year as a professional was good but hard – I was feeling good and learnt a lot,” Susanna explains. “The problem was that I couldn’t race all that much due to my school and exam commitments. “My time at MCipollini–Giambenini–Gauss in 2012 was enjoyable, I won races and developed
much more because I had some great team mates to learn from. And it was in 2012 when Susanna notched her first UCI win in France on Stage 3 of the Trophee d’Or Feminin. “When we were racing Trophee d’Or Feminin, one of my teammates had the leader’s jersey. As the race was coming to an end, [Tatiana] Guderzo gave me a way to attack in the final kilometer and I just arrived alone to the finish. “I was very happy about the result and to get my second win for the year.” Before joining Drops for 2017, Susanna spent the last two years at UCI team Lotto Soudal Ladies. “My role in the first season with Lotto Soudal was to help [Elena] Cecchini to the front - in the second it was [Claudia} Lichtenberg,” she says. “I did have some great highlights of my own though which was great. I placed 9th place in Gent-Wevelgem and 11th at GP de Plouay also got a few top ten finishes in Het Nieuwsblad and 10 Giro del Trentino.
So what does Susanna bring to the Drops Cycling Team table? She explains where her strengths lie in the peloton.
Looking ahead to 2017, the domestique who will undoubtedly have the chance to lead certain races this year, shares her personal ambitions for the season as well as those for the team.
“The two years with Lotto helped me discover that the really long climbs aren’t for me. Where I am strongest is in the small hills where there is plenty of up and down, and classics rides too because my sprint can be good - when the race is hard and the bunch is smaller, then I can sprint really well. “If we win, then it gives me more confidence into the next race and I think carrying that form gives you extra each time.”
“I’m enjoying the team dynamic – it’s very relaxed and very professional, everyone knows what their job is”
“The goals for me are just to perform and place well at the Classics, the Aviva Women’s Tours and Italian National Championship. “But as a team we also want to be satisfied at the end of the season too. We want and need to work hard but we also want to have fun when we are together – and to remember the year in a positive way. “So far, I’m enjoying the team dynamic – it’s very relaxed and very professional, everyone knows what their job is which is really important. The DS knows what we have to do and gives us the freedom to do it without constantly pressuring. “Most importantly, we’ve laughed a lot! We enjoy the moment and when the race comes, we go hard!” Susy will next race with Drops at Het Nieuwsblad on 25th February.
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RECIPE ANNIE SIMPSON’S BEETROOT BROWNIES
love brownies, I really do; but when you bake them from scratch and see all the sugar that goes in, it can really put you off.
So I was in need of an alternative, something I could quickly get a sweet chocolatey hit from without feeling all the guilt of tucking into a standard brownie. So I bring you Bite-size Beetroot Brownies. These little bites are only around 80kcal and are naturally sweetened with honey. Probably not one for those who don’t like beetroot. There is still a hint of beets there but on a whole these are a great way to satisfy a sweet tooth without over indulging. Oh, and they are Gluten Free and so simple to make.
INGREDIENTS 120g Cooked Beetroot 100g Coconut Flour or Oat Flour 50g Cocoa Powder 1 tsp Baking Powder 120g Runny Honey 2 Large Eggs 3 Cubes of Chocolate
METHOD 1) Pre heat oven to 170C 2) Whisk together the eggs and honey to point where the mixture starts to increase in size, this usually takes about 5 minutes so it may be worth using an electric mixer where possible. 3) Next using a food processor blitz up the beetroot. Try get it as finely chopped as possible and don’t throw away the juice. 4) Weigh out all your dry ingredients, then slowly add these to the egg mixture followed by the beetroot, mixing all the time. 5) Spread out into a lined tin of your choice (I used a square 8 inch tin) and place in the oven for 30 minutes. 6) Leave to cool and then chop into 16 bitesize pieces, then melt the 3 cubes of chocolate and drizzle over the top.
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CALENDAR FIND OUT WHERE TO SEE THE TEAM DURING 2017
DESIGNED, PRINTED AND PUBLISHED BY DROPS CYCLING LTD. PHOTOGRAPHY Kevin Anderson, Russ Ellis, Jojo Harper, Bart Hazen, Velofocus @DROPSCYCLING ON FACBOOK, TWITTER AND INSTAGRAM #COLOURTHEROAD