Birmingham car maker MG UK is taking to two wheels – by launching a professional cycling team. The newly-branded MG Maxifuel Pro Cycling Team will compete in nearly 100 of the UK’s top events this year.
Its riders will include Hannah Barnes, a 21-time national champion at various events and Sweden’s Magnus Backstedt, a Tour de France stage winner. The team will be officially launched next Tuesday at an event at the MG Sales Centre at the MG Birmingham site at Longbridge.
MG spokesman Doug Wallace said: “This is a great opportunity to do some further marketing for MG, to spread the name of the brand. It is initially for a year to see how things go, and then we will see what the future holds.”
Backstedt said: “I’m really happy to be racing with MG Maxifuel, it’s a real feel good factor to support a UK team.”
The MG6 diesel, and upcoming MG3 will both reportedly act as team vehicles for the cyclists as part of the link-up. Longbridge-based MG is better known for its cars. The brand was bought by Chinese carmaker NAC when the MG Rover group went into administration in 2005.
Almost three years later, NAC merged with China’s biggest car producer, SAIC, and in 2011 the MG6, the first all-new MG in 16 years, was launched in Britain.
Next week’s bike team launch will also feature a seven-mile cycle into Birmingham in aid of Comic Relief. The team will later be at several venues in the city centre raising money for Red Nose Day, including riding against MG Benji – the MG Car Club’s mascot.