Two press releases for you to chew on, one from IMBA about the creation of a UK branch of the US-based trails defender/builder; t'other from British Cycling relating to 'Project China', a "far-reaching review of cycling's competition structure in the UK." The releases could be chopped down, but they both contain a wealth of information that is best left in the raw...

Bike orgs get proactive



British Cycling is to undertake a far-reaching review of cycling’s

competition structure in the UK. Christened "Project China", the review

embraces the whole of competition cycling from elite level racing

through to mass participation and grass-roots events.

Project China is so named because it aims to ensure that the competition

structure of cycling in the UK is able to create a base of competition

by the Beijing (China) Olympics of 2008, which will guarantee that Great

Britain is the number one cycling nation in the world by 2012, a

consistent long-term goal of the organisation. The revised structure

will be expected to make cycling Britain’s fastest growing competitive

sport by 2006.

A team of British Cycling staff will be driving the project forward

under the chairmanship of Stuart Hallam, of the organisation’s Executive


Project China: Scope

The project will consider all aspects of competition, including but not

limited to, Road Racing, Circuit Racing, Track Racing, UCI-style Time

Trialling, MTB, Cyclo-Cross, BMX And Cycle Speedway. The competition

structure of all age and ability groups will be reviewed and every

attempt will be made to dovetail them into the activities of Start and

Great Britain Cycling Team.

Project China: Phasing

The project will have two distinct phases: Phase 1 will run from 12th

November 2002 to 31st March 2003). During this time, the project team

will analyse the strengths and weaknesses in the current structure using

a programme of consultation with competitive cyclists (both BC members

and non-members), BC divisions, Organisers and other cycling bodies.

Former national track manager, Heiko Salzwedel will be working with the

project team and will lead analysis of best practice in other countries,

in particular France, Germany, Belgium and Australia.

The Team will then create a blueprint of an alternative structure for

presentation to Divisions and organisers by 29th February 2003. Finally,

they will plan to pilot a defined set of new competitions during the

2003 season and plan the roll-out for the 2004 season.

Phase 2 will run from 1st April 2003 to 30th September 2003. During this

phase, the aim will be to review and amend the Phase 1 plan in the light

of the pilot scheme experience and complete the implementation of the

project outcome for the 2004 calendar in consultation with all parties.

Stuart Hallam said: "I’m particularly excited to be working with a man

of Heiko’s calibre. His experience of working at the top of the sport in

Germany and Australia will be of enormous benefit to the project, which

should map out the future of the sport of cycling in the UK."


Momentum Builds Up for IMBA UK

The kick-off meeting for IMBA UK took place this weekend, November 8-10 in Kendal, Cumbria. Mountain bike enthusiasts and industry gurus from throughout the UK braved the weather and the traffic to attend the meeting, along with IMBA Executive Director Tim Blumenthal and IMBA Board members Steve Anderson and Jay Franklin who flew in from the US especially to attend.

The meeting was a turning point for the fledgling organisation following years of discussion, and the American guests were careful to emphasise how important IMBA UK was in forming a truly international organisation (as if flying 12,000 miles for three days wasn’t emphasis enough!).

However, it is also important to stress that the IMBA UK, while closely embracing the US ethos will operate its management, objectives and finances independently from the US. Membership fees and fundraising within the UK will be dedicated 100% to UK initiatives and representing the interests of UK mountain bikers.

The US will, of course, be on hand for guidance and support.

Several key points came from the meeting and these are outlined below, along with the newly-appointed Interim Board of Directors and their areas of responsibility. The next IMBA UK meeting involving the Board and Regional Representatives has been set for the weekend of 18/19 January, at which stage a clear direction for IMBA UK will be set, including organisational policy and key objectives for 2003. Needless to say, the setting up of a national organisation is a complex process, and the group will use the time over Christmas to develop the necessary groundwork. An official launch for the organisation is tentatively planned for spring / summer 2003, and a date for this will be set following the January meeting.

As well as the UK interim board and IMBA US, the meeting was attended in part by several prospective regional reps – Gary Galpin, Phil Swan, Tony Raven, Stuart Tite, Julian Winstanley, Mark Graylish, Pete Laing, Howard Peel, John Ireland (FE) and Shad Sadat. Thanks to all of these people for giving their time and supporting IMBA UK.

IMBA UK – Initial Priorities

• Establish the infrastructure of the organisation

 Develop membership proposals

• Develop draft policy for IMBA UK.

• Identify, develop and promote achievable trail development initiatives.

• Promote IMBA UK through the media and website

• Identify potential funding opportunities and budgets


IMBA UK Interim Board of Directors

An Interim Board of Directors has been agreed which utilises the skills and resources available to the organisation.

Name Area of Responsibility

Colin Palmer Acting President and Access Advocate

Phil Lee Vice President and Trails Co-ordinator

Paddy Harrop Treasurer

Keiran Foster Membership Secretary

Dafydd Davis UK Trail Development Adviser

Karl Bartlett Scottish Representative

Adrian Carter Industry Liaison

Guy Kesteven Media Liaison

Jen O’Connor Communications Co-ordinator

Colin and Phil are the designated spokespeople for the group at this stage, and all questions regarding IMBA UK should be directed to them.

Colin Palmer: 01531 633500

Phil Lee: 07968 325291

In other news...

Leatt appoints Bastian Dietz and Dain Zaffke to focus on MTB market

Leatt, the head-to-toe protective gear brand, has announced that it is reinforcing its team with …