Matt Prior launches new professional cycling team, ONE Pro Cycling

Team will race in the tier below the likes of Team Sky

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England’s Matt Prior has co-founded a new professional cycling team. The wicketkeeper is chief executive of ONE Pro Cycling, launched on Tuesday with the aim of competing at UCI Continental level, the tier below Team Sky, but one above the UK domestic teams.

The 12-rider squad is led by Yanto Barker, who is well known on the UK circuit, and features a number of riders who came through the British Cycling set-up, including Jonny Bellis, Jon Mould and George Atkins.

Prior said: “It’s all come together in the last three months. We don’t want to rush into it; there is a huge amount of work involved. The guys involved want to be racing in the big races: the Tour de France, Giro d’Italia, World Tour events.

“We know where we’re starting off and there’s a lot of things we have to get right.  We can’t kid ourselves that we will be competing against the likes of Team Sky straight away. We just have to concentrate on the job in hand.”

Prior was ridiculed by former team-mate Kevin Pietersen for taking a bike on tour to New Zealand.

Pietersen wrote in KP: The Autobiography: “You don’t need to take your bike with you. They have bikes in New Zealand. Who the hell takes a bike?”