Doom. Gloom. Heavy weather. Scandal. Races folding. Sponsors leaving.
Nice, then, to have some good news. Dorset-based clothing company Prendas Ciclismo, and Rocket Espresso, Italian manufacturer of espresso machines, have quietly raised £12,000 between them for the Dave Rayner Fund, supporting fledgling talent.
This is no small achievement. The Dave Rayner Fund, founded in memory of the prodigiously talented Yorkshireman, whose life was cut tragically short in 1994, has been supporting riders aspiring to the professional ranks for 20 years.
Its current crop of supported riders include Dan McLay, Molley Weaver, and Dan Pearson.
The money has been raised by sales of a clothing range, sporting the Rocket Espresso monicker, handmade in Italy by Santini, and ranging from a cotton cap at £7.50 to bib shorts at £89.95. A long-sleeve jersey (£69.95), and GORE Windstopper gilet (£75) also feature. All are available to buy online at prendas.co.uk.
Both companies have an impressive pedigree in supporting young riders, a source of some pride to Prendas founder Mick Tarrant.
“If we assembled a hypothetical team, we'd have a competitive male and female World Tour team.”
Payments have been made to the fund in five instalments since July last year.
Rocket Espresso’s machines are a common sight in the kitchens of ProTeam riders (30, at the last count), but founding partner Andrew Meo said it was nice to support riders making their way up the ladder.
He can be certain that his donations are well received. Joscelin Ryan, speaking for the DRF, puts it succinctly.
“These funds will enable more young riders to experience time spent abroad in their quest to become professional cyclists."
Good news, indeed.