Rob Partridge knows the pressure is on to deliver BIKE Channel Canyon a debut victory at the Perfs Pedal on Sunday (11am).
But the powerful six-man squad will not come under the pump from sponsors or spectators lining the Portsmouth roadside.
Instead, they will be feeling the heat from their new team-mates – who will demand nothing less than a maiden win.
Reigning champion Rory Townsend, 2012 winner Chris Opie, James Lowsley-Williams, Mitchell Webber and Alex Richardson will roll out with Partridge in the curtain-raiser for the domestic road racing season.
But there will be nine other riders checking their social media accounts during the day to find out the latest news from the south coast.
Partridge, 31, said: ‘It’s that time of the season where the boys who aren’t racing are just sat at home refreshing Twitter and Facebook to find out what is happening. We can’t let them down!
‘It should be a nice start for us, though. It is an opportunity to shake off the winter cobwebs but that’s not to say we won’t have to switch on for those couple of hours.
‘While Perfs is one of the smaller races we will do, it doesn’t mean it is going to be the easiest. And we want to win it.
‘It is all very exciting at the moment but we train hard to race and hopefully we can mark the start of this new team with a win.
‘In my eyes, that’s it. We want to make a kicking start to the season and then off we go from there. It’s great for morale in the whole team.
The boys who aren’t racing are just sat at home refreshing Twitter and Facebook to find out what is happening. We can’t let them down!Rob Partridge
Partridge finished second behind Marcin Bialoblocki in 2013 as UK Youth filled the first six positions. However, his first experience of the Perfs Pedal came in 2004.
The Pontypridd rider added: ‘Perfs was actually my first race as a senior. That was some time ago now, maybe 13 years!
‘Memories of that are very hazy. I can’t even remember why I did it because it is obviously quite a way for me to come at that time of year.
‘It was just before we went away on a Welsh training camp and I was totally out of my depth thinking what the hell is going on here. I didn’t have a clue.’