Isle of Man Steam Packet Company supported cyclist Tom Mazzone has completed his first season with the prestigious Holdsworth-Campagnolo team.
The 24-year-old, who turned professional in 2015, recovered from a broken collarbone earlier in the year to compete in an exciting road racing campaign.
As part of its support for Ramsey rider Tom, the Company covered the cost of travel to and from the UK for off-island training and competition throughout the year.
The extensive race programme included representing the Isle of Man at the Commonwealth Games in Australia (along with his brother Leon), the Tour of Qinghai Lake stage race in China and, most recently, the Desselgem Koerse in Flanders.
Tom now hopes to build on his performances next year.
He said: ‘It’s been an up and down year. After breaking my collarbone, my first race back was the 13-day, UCI Tour of Qinghai Lake and, unfortunately, I had another big crash on a descent during Stage 6. That forced me out of the race with some serious road rash and burns on the whole left of my body.
‘From there, I just focused on having a strong end to the season and, as the team had no further races scheduled for the rest of the year, I planned a self-funded trip to Belgium with my brother and a couple of teammates.
‘We were able to race against some of the best European professionals on the Belgian kermesse scene in some very difficult races and conditions.
‘My best finish was an 11th place but I’m glad to say I consistently finished strongly and was always at the front of all the races.
‘The backing of the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company makes a huge difference to my season. Support with the cost of travel to attend events in the UK and beyond has been a massive contribution to my 2018 programme, so I’d like to say a huge thank you to them.
‘I’m now looking ahead to next year with the added motivation and determination to have a successful season, this time without the injuries’
As a youngster Tom was a regular victor at local races and went on to win prestigious events, such as the British National Circuit Race Championships, the British National Road Race Championships and the North West Regional Championships, after deciding to concentrate on road racing.
Steam Packet Company Chief Executive Mark Woodward said: ‘Tom has competed at a number of major professional events during 2018 and is a fine ambassador for the Isle of Man.
‘Although he had some bad luck with injuries this year, it’s clear his career is going from strength-to-strength and he is an inspiration to young cyclists. We are delighted to continue our support and wish him all the best for the years ahead.’