You may remember the name Jamie Burrow?
Ranked number one U23 rider in the world; a US Postal man, Pro for seven seasons and the record holder for the fearsome Plateau de Beille climb.
Now he’s back as the link man between Danish Continental team Christina Watches and their British equipment and clothing supplier, Planet X; he’ll be speaking to VeloVeritas regularly throughout the season.
This time last year I was traveling the world, sourcing suppliers for a new Planet X clothing range.
One year on and we have made some giant steps forward. Not only has all the hard work paid off, with the new Planet X 365X clothing range now available both in store and online, we are also proudly supporting the Danish Professional cycling team Christina Watches – as official technical sponsor.
There have actually been quite a few new developments over the past few months, and many a tale to tell!
Not only are we supporting a Pro team for the first time, with our new range of technical clothing, base layers and accessories, we are also supplying our brand new Planet X pro road helmets – and it doesn’t stop there! We have gone the whole hog and also supplied the main ingredient: bikes!
And that brings us to another of our recent developments, and new projects; Viner bikes. During the latter part of last year we acquired this prestigious Italian bicycle brand.
Founded in 1947 in the hills of Tuscany, Viner quickly established itself as one of the highest quality, and highly respected, hand-made bike brands in Italy.
Viner have enjoyed many successes in a period covering more than half a century, including World Championship titles and Grand Tour stage wins, and were used by Pro teams as recently as 2008.
We have been working around the clock to bring this fantastic brand back where it belongs whilst retaining its “Made in Italy ” heritage, having recently developed a new version of Viner’s flagship, thoroughbred race machine, the Maxima RS 3.0.
What better way to shout about it and let everyone know we are here, we are back and we mean business – sponsor a pro cycling team!
This is a whole new chapter for us, here at Planet X bikes. We have designed and developed world class products from the ground up; clothing, accessories, wheels and bikes, and now we are showing them off at the highest level.
The past few weeks have been crazy busy, supplying a Pro team with everything they need is a pretty big task.
But never afraid of hard work and some elbow grease, not only did we accept the challenge we took it to the next level in typical Planet X style! We wanted to stand out and show how we always meet goals and often exceed expectations, by supplying our new Maxima RS 3.0 with custom geometry, and the coolest paint job in the peloton.
Each team frame is hand-finished with the individual riders name and national flag painted on the front fork and top tube.
This week has seen me back in a place I never imagined I would find myself again – a Pro team training camp. But for the first time ever, not as a bike rider. I’ll admit its been great being back in the mix with old friends and colleagues from days gone by.
The guys here in the team can count themselves lucky to be in such experienced hands, with sports directors Alberto Elli, Bo Hamburger and Eddy Serry, all fine Pros themselves back in the day, and still full of enthusiasm and the desire to pass their knowledge on to the next generation.
Here at Planet X, we really hope this experience rubs off on our own “team favourites”, the British riders Jonny Bellis and Jake Tanner.
Many of you will know Jonny. A bronze medalist in the U23 Road Worlds, a first Pro contract with top team CSC as team mate of Alberto Contador, and then a dreadful, life threatening accident which put his career on hold. Jonny is now fully recovered and is highly motivated for the new season and this new opportunity with Christina watches.
Jake, on the other hand, has come into the team as the unknown quantity. He’s the son of two-times British Champion and general all-round hardman John Tanner, who himself gave Planet X many satisfactions in its early years.
We are only three days into camp but Jake is already turning heads and making tongues wag… never afraid to do his turn on the front, or “put a loop in” as our Wayne Randle would say. It’s actually been hard to get Jake off the front, and he impressed everyone with his pace setting on an 8km climb with a 12% average gradient and peaks of 17%. Shredding the 16 man group, down to only five by the top.
This was also followed by a now “famous” episode of through and off, where none other than team Captain Stefan Schumacher, kept pulling our lad back by the saddle to slow him down!
We all wish our guys Jonny and Jake the best of luck, and hope they can make the most of this chance, and do us all proud!
The team has great mix of up-and-coming young talent, and more seasoned Pros. The atmosphere is great, everyone is motivated, and team sprinter Mattia Gavazzi makes sure dinnertime banter is highly amusing, and keeps us all entertained!
I’ve spent the three days liaising with all the riders one by one to make sure everyone was happy with their new bikes and clothing, and today I suddenly found myself behind the wheel of the team car, with Planet X Chief operations officer, Barry Dunn as my wingman.
Even if this was only a temporary stint in the Sports Directors seat, it sure did feel good!
Jamie Burrow is Planet X’s new Design Executive and is a former US Postal Pro and three-time winner of the GF Dolomites.