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XX4.SEVEN/COLLECTIVERIDERBLOG – JANUARYFEBRUARYRACE RECAP

Sometimes we don’t really shout enough about what our riders are up to, and the support that we give them - this year we’re going to make sure to keep everyone better updated, because it’s nice to see everything on social media, but sometimes you have to sit down and take stock of what you’ve achieved. Here’s a quick recap on our riders first couple of months of 2024...


In January we went to the National Cyclo-cross Champs, in Scotland, with Theo - he managed to back up three top 10 Trophies with a solid result in the champs despite getting a cold at the wrong time. After that he made the decision to miss the last few league races in favour of a rest before the road season. “I’ve been in Mallorca for a week pre-season and am now getting ready for the first few races in roughly 2 months”. Theo’s heading to Pembrey at the end of the month for the National Youth Series.



Jesse. “In February I’ve stepped up the intensity in my training and also raced Portsdown Classic - it was a nice early test to see how the legs are at this time of year”. “I’ve been racking up more and more reps over the Ashdown forest which is where you’d find me on the weekends focusing on some high intensity and repeatability”. The recent wet weather has led to weekly workshop visits so we’ve been seeing plenty of Jesse and he’s also been getting used to our new Schwalbe road and gravel tyres. Later this month he’s confirmed for the Wally Gimber, before heading to Spain for 10 days of training in the sun, at our DS’s place, for a final tune-up before the real racing starts!



Pip’s been racking up the training too - After an injury late last year, “I’ve been concentrating on consistency, and on building volume and intensity. I’ve spent a bit of time running and also on the turbo, with some cross training mixed in”. “In February we went to Mallorca for a week to get some proper miles in the bank and we ended up riding all the tourist routes, but also a whole load of gravel - it was great to find a few places, literally off the beaten track!”



Henry finished his cross season in style, with a strong result in his first year as an U23, coming 3rd overall in both the London and South-East Cyclocross League, and the AEIGHTBIKECO Sussex Cyclocross League. “After that I went on what felt like a very well deserved break, skiing in the Austrian alps, while Glen serviced both the cross bikes - one will be used for wet weather training from now on and the other for some gravel racing hopefully!”


Glen. “I’ve been super busy with support for Hotchillee, the London and SE CX League, the Sussex CX League (which we sponsor), and with Saint Piran. We’ve also started selling and servicing OPEN bikes at the Service Corse, as the official UK Service Centre. And we even squeezed in a little Mallorca break for Pip’s birthday, which has made the muddy trails of Sweet Sussex even less appealing than before! But we’re not made of sugar, so I’ve been doing my fair share of riding at the weekends too. Pleasingly we’re pretty busy with servicing, building wheels and building frames.


I wrote the first in a series of blogs last week about OPEN and throughout the year we’ll have a bit more of an in depth look at how the demo bikes do, and what’s possible with them - there’s plenty of adventures planned. I’m also just putting together the first blog which follows a year in the life of a steel frame - from design, through the build, to testing, riding and racing. I hope it’ll be interesting and give a bit more insight as to what’s possible and how it all works.




Photos by The British Continental, Alex Rout and Sven Thiele



2024.RIDERS – PIPJENKINS

Pip developed from a background in Triathlon to racing national level Open TT, she specialised in endurance events and currently holds the outright club records for the 12 and 24-hour time trails, and has collected more than 30 Open TT wins along the way. This year sees her move away from Time Trailing, taking on new off-road adventures and she may even go back to her roots of Triathlon. Follow her on Instagram and Facebook.


2024.RIDERS – THEOSANDELL

Theo competes in Cyclocross and Road at National level. He races for SDW Racing, is sponsored by Raw Velo Nutrition, Hunt Wheels, and is coached by Huw Williams. He’s been racing for nearly 10 years and recently has scooped his first Regional wins and National top tens. You can follow him on Instagram


2024.RIDERS – HENRYWEAVER

Henry is a first year U23 rider, focusing on cyclocross with a little road and mountain biking on the side. Last season as a Junior he finished 4th in the London and SE CX League and has progressed to the U23 podium this season. He races for SDW Racing at a regional level and is coached by Sean Yates. You can follow him on Instagram


2024.RIDERS – JESSEYATES

Jesse started cycling in 2013, initially with TT’s and then with some local road races, while being supported by his Dad. In 2015 he got a taste for racing in Britany and this led to two seasons on a French team living abroad while on The Dave Rayner Fund. Then he joined Team Wiggins in 2018, racing across Europe. After a years break he continued road racing before making the switch to competing in off road events and Ultra races in 2022/2023 where the most notable result has been a Badlands Pairs win and a host of top ten places. Follow him on Instagram and YouTube.


2024.RIDERS - GLENWHITTINGTON

#aeightracer – Glen’s an ex-racer who still finds time to ride bikes as much as possible - follow his adventures on Instagram. He started racing in 1998, initially specialising in XCO, Marathon and Solo 24-Hour Mountain Bike. He became a mechanic in 2002, working in shops and also for professional race teams. During this time he spent more time racing ‘Cross and Road, and then also TT. In 2013 he built his first bespoke steel frame and then spent several years at Roberts learning the art. Since then he’s designed his own range of bikes, frames and wheels which he now offers to the public, alongside servicing and race support, as part of his ÆIGHT brand - you can find his business Instagram account here.




GOT WHAT IT TAKES TO RACE WITH US?


We’re always looking for riders to be part of our ÆIGHT CØLLECTIVE. The #aeightbikeco is about doing things a little differently - Rather than a jersey being the common theme, we kit our riders out with bespoke steel bikes and handbuilt wheels made in our Sussex workshops, the ÆIGHT WHEELWØRKS and the ÆIGHT MANUFACTØRY. We then support each other at events and races regionally, nationally and internationally - whether that’s for mountain bike, ‘cross, gravel, crit, road or TT - it’s what we call, the #aeightbikeco


The best part is that we’re not asking you to leave your team or club - that includes racing in your club/team kit. We’ve got certain brands that we work with, mostly so we can standardise shared equipment, but your own sponsors and clubs are almost always welcome. We have some strict qualifying criteria but don’t be put off by this – if you’re interested in being part of the #aeightbikeco then please get in touch by emailing your racing CV to eightbikeco@gmail.com



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