From next season Team Raleigh metamorphoses into the Diamondback team as Raleigh recognise that the R-word is a turn off for the target market (ie enthusiasts who do not aspire to riding a Raleigh).
Raleigh has now finally bitten the bullet and accepted that a team is an
extravagance for a non-aspirational brand.
Raleigh's heartland is bikes for young children and older consumers. Brand-conscious teens and twentysomethings who are turned on by brands like Trek, Marin, Scott, Orange and the rest are not persuaded to switch their allegiances to Raleigh by a team of athletes riding Raleigh bikes.
Team manager Gary Coltman (who changed from a Team Raleigh top to a Diamondback t-shirt for the BikeBiz photoshoot) was surprised when told he was going to be managing a newly named team next season but he's reflective:
"It makes sense," he told BikeBiz. "Diamondback is a harder edged brand
with mountain bikers."
There are no exceptions, all of Team Raleigh's riders will be riding Diamondbacks next year, even Barrie Clarke, Raleigh's flagship racer.