Lothians cyclist Evan Oliphant will have fellow Scots as colleagues at Team Raleigh-GAC in 2016 after helping two of the country’s emerging talents land professional deals with the Nottingham-based team.
For 2016, the six times Scottish road race champion will be lining up alongside young Aberdonian Craig Wallace and Perthshire teenager Fraser Martin.
Oliphant’s recommendation helped the two newcomers land contracts with Raleigh, and the trio will link up for the first time at the team’s pre-season training camp in Calpe, Spain early in the new year.
The 33-year-old Oliphant, who will compete for a fifth season with Raleigh, spent the early part of this month with his family in Lanzarote and took advantage of the opportunity to train in good conditions.
Now back in Scotland, the Tranent-based rider is building up for the year ahead, when he will again be targeting several road races, including the Tour of the Reservoir, a two-day event in Northumberland where he has performed well in the past.
Oliphant will also be looking to defend the British Cycling Grand Prix Series title he won after bouncing back from an illness that delayed his start to the season.
Wallace has spent the past few seasons racing in Belgium and Spain. He posted several good wins on Scotland’s roads after returning home and will be looking to put his experience to use over the coming months.
Martin, who is a sport science student at Edinburgh University, landed a British Universities track title and had several domestic successes in road racing for Spokes Racing Team. The 19-year-old plans to focus on the roads next year, with the aim of featuring in Raleigh’s team for the Pearl Izumi Tour Series and major road races in Britain.