Cycling: Lothians pair join Lakes team

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Lothians cyclists Alex Coutts and Gary Hand are gearing up for a new challenge after signing for the English Herbalife Leisure Lakes team.

Gorebridge-born Coutts started out with Edinburgh Road Club and has had spells with squads in Europe, as well as four seasons on the Asian circuit. His biggest success came in 2008 when he took the overall title at the Tour of Thailand.

Hand has also tasted international success during a two-year period in France when he competed in the colours of Entente Cycliste Clermont Communaute. The West Lothian-based 31-year-old, who has ridden in recent seasons for the Endura Racing Team and Pedal Power Development squad, was twice a winner of the Scottish Cycling Super Six Series.

Both are Scottish internationals and have been recruited to lend experience to a squad that will feature several promising youngsters from south of the border. The racing schedule for the team, which is based in Lancaster, will feature all of the major domestic events including the British Cycling Premier Calendar Series.