First Irish Continental Cycling Team Launched
Team Murphy & Gunn/Newlyn Group
A Massive Boost to Irish Sport
Irish cycling received a major boost today with the launch of the first-ever
domestic professional cycling team-Team Murphy and Gunn/Newlyn Group - at the
Murphy & Gunn showrooms in Milltown today.
Dublin based international property developers Newlyn Group have joined
forces with motor dealers Murphy & Gunn, to create the new Team Murphy & Gunn /
Newlyn Continental Cycling Team.
Team Murphy & Gunn / Newlyn will comprise of 14 Irish riders and will begin as a
continental or third division professional team. The squad will have a totally
Irish back up staff, main sponsors and management team.
The team is a progression of the Murphy & Gunn amateur squad of the past
three years and has attracted some of Ireland’s top young riders from all around
the country. The squad will be led by former Irish road race champion and ex-Tonnisteiner
professional Morgan Fox from Athlone, and will focus primarily on the
development of young Irish cyclists nationwide.
The aim of the team is to give young Irish riders a chance to develop through
optimising the best of what Ireland has to offer in terms resources and
expertise. The team will be the only professional cycling team based in Ireland
but as well as tackling the country’s most important races, will travel abroad
regularly to ride top international races. The squad has already received
invites for the Giro Del Capo in South Africa, the Sun Tour in Australia, the
Presidential Tour of Turkey and many more international events, with the FBD Rás
at home a top priority.
The continental professional team has a long term ambition and will also have
an amateur development team attached, an innovation that means younger riders
will form part of a club feeder squad and will also gain international
experience throughout the year.
Guest of Honour at the launch in Milltown today was Manchester United boss
Sir Alex Ferguson. He said: “It is great to see young professional sportsmen
working within a well organised, structured environment that will get the most
out of them. The Murphy and Gunn/Newlyn Group team is a great boost to Irish
cycling and to all these young riders. I would like to wish them every success
this year and going forward over the next few years.”
Ireland’s highest ranked coach, Padraig Marrey, will coach the team. The
Balinrobe man is a former national coach and also trains Irish professionals
David O’Loughlin (Navigators Insurance Team) and former U/18 world champion Mark
Scanlon. The team will be managed by Myles Gallagher with former Irish national
team director Declan Byrne as Directeur Sportif.
Morgan Fox Road Captain
Team road captain Morgan Fox, the first Irish cyclist to turn professional since
the days of Kelly and Roche, when he signed for the Belgian Tonnisteiner squad
in 2001, said: “This is an unbelievable opportunity for young Irish cyclists.
Before, if you wanted to be a professional,, you had to go and live in a foreign
country, learn a new language, maybe two new languages, and deal with a totally
Because of this, some very good young Irish cyclists never made it to the top
of the sport. Thanks to Murphy & Gunn and Newlyn Group, youngsters are getting
the chance to ride international races from a base in Ireland. They don’t have
to give up the comforts of home in the early years and that really helps a lot”.
Team with their BMW team Car and Giordana kits
Team Murphy & Gunn / Newlyn Group will ride Pinarello F4-13
bikes and will wear Giordana clothing, DMT shoes and
Rudy Project glasses, courtesy of Yello Ltd. and the Cycle Superstore in
Tallaght. Team cars will be BMW’s supplied by Murphy & Gunn.
Communications will be sponsored by Ergo while Columbia Clothing will supply the
team’s leisure wear and Lucozade will supply sports drinks to the squad.
Morgan Fox in Team Kit
road captain Morgan Fox: “This team is the best organised team I have
ever been on,” continued the former Irish champion. “The background staff are so
professional that it actually woke some of the riders up to how serious this
squad is. We have some very good young riders on this team who would probably
never have gotten the chance to ride some of the races they will be riding this
year and hopefully they will develop into future stars of world cycling.”
Principal sponsor Stephen Murphy said: “Murphy & Gunn are
delighted to be forming this team. The team is about giving young Irish guys a
chance to develop, at their own pace, in their own country and to the best of
their ability. Cycling is a tough sport and while we have some fantastic young
cyclists in Ireland, it is much easier to get a professional cycling contract if
you are Belgian, French or Italian.
“We are trying to give our young riders a chance to tip the scales in their
favour and to progress to the highest levels in the sport. This team is also
something to aim at for the younger kids. If we can encourage more young Irish
kids to put down the Playstations and video games and get out on their bike,
whether they want to race or just to get some fresh air and exercise, then that
can only be a good thing too.”
Mark Nestor out on the team Pinarello
Robert Kehoe of Newlyn Group property developers said. “Newlyn
Group is probably more used to developing commercial properties than developing
a professional cycling team but in property development, I think the best
developers get in on the ground floor of a project. This is what we are doing
with this brand new Irish cycling team.
At one stage in the 80s, Ireland had only two professional cyclists, Sean Kelly
and Stephen Roche, yet they were ranked number one and two in the world. They
had to do it the hard way, and in this day and age it is even harder to
encourage kids to take up a sport. This team is offering a stepping-stone on the
pathway to international success and Newlyn Group is delighted to be associated
with this new initiative.”
Operations manager and former track star Mark Colbert said:
“With the advent of the Murphy & Gunn / Newlyn Group team, we are hoping to
nurture our younger riders and allow them to use the resources and facilities we
have in Ireland to develop. We are offering young cyclists the opportunity to
get onto the bottom rung of the professional ladder and will be giving them
every assistance to get to the very top.”
Team spokesman Malcolm Goggin said: “We believe the timing of
this step up to the professional ranks is right, with an Irishman, Pat McQuaid,
as head of the sport’s world governing body, the UCI, and the recent launch of
the Sean Kelly team. I feel Team Murphy & Gunn / Newlyn will provide a launch
pad for Irish cycling stars of the future.”