Back-in-the-black Planet X is to resurrect the Holdsworth Racing team. This was one of the iconic professional squads of the 1970s. Planet X owns the rights to the Holdsworth marque, and is making steel-framed bikes with the famous name.
"We have risen from our slumber," says a Planet X statement, "and it’s a definite for 2018 that we are back in the game and you’ll be seeing the famous Holdsworth jersey back on the UK race scene."
According to the statement from the Yorkshire company the team will be led by "one of the countries [sic] most established and recognisable riders."
Holdsworth has a chequered history. W.F. "Sandy" Holdsworth took over a London bike shop – Ashlone Cycle Works – in 1927 and started making road bikes for the booming "lightweight" market.
This shop closed in 2013. The Holdsworth brand was one of the leading specialist marques of the 1950s through to the 1970s, famous for its "Aids to Happy Cycling" catalogue and its race team.
The team was co-sponsored by Italy’s Campagnolo – Holdsworth was also one of the brand’s distributors.
The Holdsworth name was sold to Elswick Hopper in the mid-1980s and then transferred to Falcon Cycles via the Tandem Group. Planet X acquired rights to the name in 2014.
Earlier this year BikeBiz reported that Planet X had boosted its annual profits by £900,000 reporting a £1.01m profit for the financial year to 29th March. This follows a restructuring of the company, including making almost half of its staff redundant in November last year.
The Rotherham-based company employed 118 staff, and is run by founder Dave Loughran. In the precious financial year Planet X made a profit of £109,689. Prior to that the company made a loss of £86,594 on a turnover of £20 million.
The annual financial report for the business said "signiﬁcant changes [have been] made over the last 18 months, which saw the business return to proﬁtability last year, has now resulted in signiﬁcant proﬁts in this year.
"The main elements of the reorganisation within the business have now been completed and the coming year will beneﬁt from the full impact of these changes.
The report added: "The only adverse factor in the year was the impact of Brexit upon exchange rates, which increased the prices of many imported components.
"This has reduced the gross margin achieved in the year."
Spotter: Chris Sidwells