Discover more from Joe Laverick
Project TAG | My 2023 Racing Plans
Road. Gravel. Time Trial.
To quote Jason Derulo: “I'm solo. I'm ridin' solo. I'm ridin' solo. I'm ridin solo, solo.”
As it looked less and less likely that a road contract was going to come my way, my ideas on how I would be racing in 2023 started to shift. Throughout this whole period, I maintained that I was not done with racing. I owed it to myself to carry on.
Project TAG was born.
Enjoy being nosey, and feel free to ask me any questions.
What is TAG?
TAG has two meanings: “Tarmac and Gravel”, the two surfaces that I’ll be racing on, but also me “tagging” out of the conventional race scene. See what I did there?
I’m going to be racing across three disciplines: road, time trial and gravel. Which leads me onto…
My 2023 calendar is going to be split into the three aforementioned disciplines. When I sat down to start drafting a provisional calendar, it excited the hell out of me. Note, this calendar is *very* provisional and there are some events which clash or travel wouldn’t allow me to do both.
Of course, Gravel is a part of my 2023 calendar which is ironic considering how much I’ve poked fun at it over the past 12-months. My main block of racing will focus around the UCI World Series here in Europe, as well as some of the local Klassmark races in Girona. If my budget allows, I’m also looking at racing in Northern America.
I want to build the fastest time trial bike in the world and win the National 10. That’s the target. It’s a big target, but why not shoot for the stars? There’s a project coming with a new cycling media venture - who could that be?
I’m starting my road season on the Greek island of Rhodes where I’ll be guest riding for a British composite team. The rest of the calendar largely depends on invites. There are some certainties, the Lincoln GP for example. Others like the Rás Tailteann, Cicle Classic and Road Nationals all depend on me getting accepted. I’ll be doing a few local Catalan Cups around Girona too.
Money makes the world go round, and it also sends Joe to bike races. I’m currently on the look out for sponsors and partners for Project TAG.
My “target” budget for this season is at least €20,000 + equipment. This will allow me to cover all of my expenses, pay for spares and repairs, all my travel to race on the gravel. As things stand, thanks to bringing on my first partner, I’m coming up to the halfway point of securing that budget.
This Substack is also where some funding will come from. Every cent that I make from paid subscriptions, or from my Buy Me a Coffee link will go to supporting my racing project.
I’ll be writing a blog all about the financial side of racing, and how I’ve afforded to do while being a U23, over the next couple of weeks.
I want to collaborate with the best partners to put me on the fastest package possible. I’m not racing for a jolly, I’m racing for the win.
I’m happy to announce that Velotec will be my kit sponsor for 2023. This will see me riding their kit while training and in all races. I’m pretty excited to get started with them, especially considering their background in creating super-slippy aero kits.
I’ll be designing my own custom kit as well, any suggestions there are welcome. My current ideas are either a big photo of my face, or a collage of my favourite dog photos. I’m joking, of course…or am I?
The current sticking point is the bike. I am yet to sign a bike sponsor, and it’s pretty hard to be a bike racer without a bike. In an ideal world, I will sign an exclusive deal which covers road, gravel and time trial bikes. However, I’m open to all and any conversations.
I am on the lookout for sponsors to support Project TAG. My pitch is that you’re getting “Joe the Racer”, and “Joe the Writer” too. If we sign a deal, it won’t just be as a bike racer but as someone who can bring value as a genuine partner.
I am offering the typical “logo on jersey” style sponsorship for non-cycling centric sponsors as well as “corporate” style days and everything in between.
Why not? If you’ve read a few of my other Substack posts then you’ll know that I was looking for a road contract, when that didn’t come out as expected, it was time to plan something new.
I had people offering me advice from all directions, whether that be to drop down and race in the French or Spanish amateur scene, or go full time with my writing in the media world. If I’m honest, it became a little overwhelming.
When deciding what I was going to do in 2023, I had one rule: it had to excite me. All of the other options which were suggested made some sense, if not more sense than what I’m committing to doing now, but they didn’t really excite me. I wanted to carry on racing, I wanted to carry on writing and most importantly, I wanted it to be fun.
With Project TAG, I can do it on my terms. As I’ve already laid out, there will be racing across three different disciplines. It will be messy at times organising rides in composite teams, doing my own logistics and not having a team to fall back on. But, it’s something new.
Project TAG is exactly what I need, something different.
While you’re here…
I’ve added both paid subscription and a ‘Buy Me A Coffee’ link to this post. As the year progresses, I’m planning on building this blog and putting out articles which I’ve always wanted to write but for whatever reason, haven’t wanted to pitch.
Any money that I make from either my Substack, or BMC link will go straight back into supporting my 2023 racing project. I am planning on keeping all content on here free to view though.
Joe Laverick is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.