The SMP Group is supporting local cyclists Anna Christian and Lizzie Holden as they target selection for the European and World Championships in 2020 and the Commonwealth Games in 2022.
The SMP Group will be providing financial sponsorship for the two athletes to enable them to focus on their training and upcoming competitions in order to give them the greatest chance to compete in the upcoming European and World championships in 2020 and achieve medals for Team Isle of Man in the Commonwealth Games.
Both Anna and Lizzie currently ride for the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) Women’s team Drops. Anna, aged 24, has been competing internationally since 2013 and was named British Junior Road Race Champion in the same year. In 2017, she won the inaugural Women’s Under-23 British National Time Trial Championships on home soil on the Isle of Man.
Drops teammate, 22-year old Lizzie, has been competing on the international stage since 2015, having placed second at the GB National Championships Road Race in 2014.
Anna and Lizzie have recently returned to training in the Isle of Man and Spain respectively, in preparation for the beginning of the 2020 season in January in Australia. Returning to the Island following the end of the 2019 season, the two pro cyclists met up with SMP’s CEO, David Hudson, to confirm the sponsorship.
Anna said: ‘I’m really grateful to the team at SMP for the invaluable support they are providing. The funding will enable me to invest all my energy and focus into training and the upcoming season, which is vital in preparing for the Commonwealth Games in Bristol in 2022. It would be a dream to fly the flag for the Isle of Man team, so I’m grateful to SMP for its help in working towards this goal.’
Lizzie added: ‘Every athlete aspires to represent their nation at the international championships, and while the Isle of Man doesn’t have its own team, just being there as a Manx cyclist would mean the world to me. This sponsorship will allow me to put my all into training, preparing, and competing in the run-up to the championships next year, which will also really help me improve my chances for team selection for Bristol 2022.’
David commented: ‘The Isle of Man has such a fantastic name in the international cycling world and we’re proud to be supporting these two young athletes who are making their mark on the sport. The opportunity to compete at a European and international level is something that can’t be missed, so we’re delighted to help them make the most of their bid for Team GB selection.
All the team at SMP are rooting for Anna and Lizzie, and we’ll be excited to see how their careers progress over the coming years.’
The SMP Group is a keen supporter of sport across their entire international footprint, including a long-running sponsorship of the Isle of Man’s Sport Aid Academy, the Commonwealth Games Association’s Team Champions initiative, and the annual Feed Our Future Century Ride in the Cayman Islands.