Duncan Bannatyne's ex invests in bringing celebrity cycling craze to North East

CrossFit entrepreneurs Joanne Bannatyne and Lee How will bring Wattbikes to their Hartlepool CrossFit operation

Joanne Bannatyne and her business partner Lee Howe

Joanne Bannatyne and her business partner Lee Howe have invested £50,000 in bringing an indoor cycling concept to the North East.

The ex-wife of Dragons’ Den entrepreneur Duncan Bannatyne and her business partner, former Royal Marines commando Lee Howe, have brought the largest single order of Wattbikes outside of London to the North East, at their Hartlepool CrossFit operation.

Three jobs have been created in the move which will launch ‘WattCycle’ - a brand devised to capitalise on a cycling fitness interest in the US which has notched up celebrity association with the likes of Victoria Beckham and Tana Ramsay, the wife of restaurateur Gordon Ramsay.

Wattbike was developed in 2008 and is the only indoor cycle to be endorsed by the British Cycling Association.

Trading as JoLee Cross Fit Ltd, the pair have bought 15 Wattbikes equipped with technology feeds extensive performance data back to the user.

The first batch of bikes will be installed at the pair’s Hartlepoool CrossFit Telic gym, or “box” as affiliated facilities are called. There are also plans in place to open a standalone WattCycle facility in Teesside later in the year.

Lee, Joanne and their team have developed three new classes around the Wattbike equipment, including ‘PerformanceCycle’, ‘CrossCycle’ and ‘JustCycle’.

Hartlepool’s Adam Brooks, a top cyclist with the Manilla Cycling club, will be on hand to work with members, other cycling clubs and triathletes to deliver classes.

Speaking about the investment Mrs Bannatyne said: “This is an exciting time for WattCycle as we move closer to our official launch in October. The day has finally arrived when accountability is going to enter what was previously known as a spinning studio.

“Ahead of opening we have been running taster sessions with local cycling club Manilla and received fantastic feedback. “

Mrs Howe added: “In the professional cycling world Wattbikes are regarded as the best on the market however, WattCycle also appeals to people of all fitness levels and, thanks to our business model and ethos, we work to create a community and it is that which gives our WattCycle spaces a real buzz.”


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