Long-standing Italian-British development outfit Zappi Racing is upping its tempo for 2019, with the announcement of title sponsorship from Yorkshire-based brand Holdsworth, to form the Holdsworth-Zappi U23 and Junior teams.
Along with input from new sponsors, Kaizen Industrial Group and IP Asset Partnership, the new collaboration will allow improved resourcing of the Italian programme and the launch of an additional Northern Europe-focused U23 programme.
Flavio Zappi said: “Racing is my life, and this year I’m excited about running an expanded programme with backing from Holdsworth, some riders who have developed with me, plus some very strong and experienced newcomers who will get the best out of the Zappi programme. We are not a flashy team, but we are here to do serious business! 2019 is going to be a great year!”
Teams backed by Holdsworth and parent-company Planet X have a long history of being unflashy but doing serious business on the UK domestic racing circuit, and have recently supported an Eastern-European women’s team and 2018’s Irish-registered UCI Continental team. The return of Charlie Quarterman from Leopard Pro Cycling and arrival of Jason Saltzman from Aevolo provides some UCI race experience to the team which was once home to Quickstep’s James Knox and Team Colpack’s 2019 recruit Paul Double.
Holdsworth-Zappi 2019 lineup (Italian U23 programme)
- Charlie Beake
- Callum Johnston
- Fergus Robinson
- Nic McKibbin
- Tim James
- Mason Hollyman
- Charlie Quarterman
- Daniel Eklof
- George Kimber
- Conor Chandler
- Thomas Cornwell
- Jason Saltzman
- Karl Jonas Tronstad
The increased resources can only help the team which rode the Baby Giro with one student soigneur covering all six riders and a rider’s dad helping with wheel changes (jobs I’m told Flavio often does himself, whilst also driving the team car), so whilst it’s unlikely that the team will go toe-to-toe with Hagens Berman Axeon, this is a welcome move which can only boost the riders’ chances of success.
General Manager, Paul Quarterman says: “This is a very exciting project; Flavio and I see this expanded U23 project as filling a development gap for young British riders with international ambitions. Most importantly we’re focusing our resources on developing riders with unrealized potential and the right attitude.