Saint Piran's Remarkable Journey: A Year of Achievements and Growth

Saint Piran's Remarkable Journey: A Year of Achievements and Growth

As I sit back at Saint Piran Café in Bissoe (Saint Piran HQ) with the season rapidly coming to a close, I find myself compelled to stop and reflect on the whirlwind of this past month.

What a few weeks: amazing TV coverage, increased following from across the world, strong social media presence, podcast features, interviews - not to mention the biggest result in our short history.

So much has happened since we first stepped on that platform in Altrincham on Stage One - it has been an incredible and busy few weeks, both on and off the bike. As the cycling world knows, the race culminated for us with Zeb Kyffin finishing in a remarkable 6th place in the Tour of Britain, competing against the world's best riders and most well-funded teams. Saint Piran's result was marked as the standout performance by many commentators. As I reflect on what has been such an important step for our riders and the Saint Piran family, it has prompted me to assess the impact we have made during the last few weeks. This impact is testament to the collective effort of so many people and partners.

Our journey as a team has been nothing short of outstanding, and in these moments it is important to remember how we got here. Seven years ago we were a club team, and this year we finished 6th at the Tour of Britain, as well as taking a clean sweep at the 2023 Men’s British Cycling National Road Series. What’s more, we became the UK's number 1 ranked team with the top U23 riders and several international UCI victories. Seven years is an impressively short journey for a team that still doesn’t have a headline sponsor and retains its community roots.

But, despite our amazing 2023 results, success does not stop at where we place in races: 

  • We create opportunities for both riders and staff to develop and learn their craft. In the past two weeks, it has been announced our rider Jack Rootkin-Gray is stepping up to the World Tour with EF Education-EastPost. 

  • We have embedded the importance of mental wellbeing into our day-to-day culture through our partnership with EDelia, providing a support system for staff and riders throughout the Tour of Britain. 
  • We were one of the first teams ever - and the only team at the Tour of Britain - travelling with an environmental consultant, assessing how we can reduce our impact on our surroundings. This is a key component of our commitment to reduce the damage of our sport on the world as we move towards achieving net-zero status.

When I look back on this race in years to come, one of the aspects I will value most is our engagement and interaction with the fans on the roadside. We were the only team greeting fans along the course on every stage: handing out flags, giving away goodies, and engaging in brilliant conversations. Many of those we spoke to had travelled hundreds of miles just to catch a glimpse of the riders as they rode past.  As a team owner, it’s vital to honour our commitment to our sport by giving something back. I hope the way we rode as a team and the time we spent engaging with people achieved that. 

Despite the narrative in the media that UK cycling is in a bad place, the passion and the dedication of these fans have left us in no doubt that professional and elite cycling could have an incredibly bright future. But we have to entertain. 

Finishing 6th overall in the general classification after eight gruelling stages of the Tour of Britain, one of the world’s most watched cycle races, will always feel surreal to me. To watch the riders work so well together on the road was the culmination of a lot of hard work behind the scenes (and in the cars!). It also takes dedication and commitment from our partners and I would like to publicly thank them for that. They played a pivotal role in our success, not only during the Tour of Britain but throughout the whole year. 

But in the end, when I stop and look at our engagement, our 6th place, two top tens in the race, the amazing TV coverage and even the recent wins since the Tour, I have to reserve a very very special thank you for our staff. None of this could have been achieved without you; from the team on the roadside supporting our riders to the staff back home keeping our subscribers updated with progress. Everyone exemplified the Saint Piran family ethic throughout the whole Tour and I am proud of each and every member of the team. 

But we have to move forward and be bigger and better next year. 2024 is lining up to be an incredible year of growth - on the road, offroad and behind the scenes. There will be changes to the Saint Piran set-up to support our growth but one thing’s for sure, we will not lose sight of the essence of Saint Piran. We will always focus on achieving impact in racing, impact in cycling and impact in society.