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Race report | The Tour Series (Stevenage)

Race report | The Tour Series (Stevenage)

Cherie Pridham’s young Vitus Pro Cycling Team gave a further glimpse of its ultimate potential with strong performances in both events at the seventh and eighth rounds of the 2018 OVO Tour Series in Stevenage.

The young men in red - Andy Shackel, Grant Martin, Liam Davies, Harrison Jones, and Julio Amores – acquitted themselves well, both in the team time-trial and the circuit race that followed.

Pridham, the team’s owner and manager, and a former rider who raced in professional cycling’s top tier during a pioneering age for the women’s sport, was pleased with her young team’s performance.

“The whole Stevenage event was a positive one for us because we had five rookies at the team time-trial, and they rode a very positive race,” she said.

“We had the option of finishing with four of the five riders in the team time-trial, as only the times of the first four finishers counted towards the team’s result, but we decided to finish with five, just in case. They rode a very tight formation and looked great. Importantly, they were happy with their ride, too.”

The team time-trial is arguably the sport’s most beautiful discipline, driven by a smooth interchange of positions among the riders, but a truly synchronised performance cannot be achieved overnight. A coordinated display by Vitus Pro Cycling Team in the team's first competitive team time-trial offered a window on how much they had learned during a pre-season training camp in Spain.

Confidence was high among the same quintet as the started the ‘crit’ race later the same evening. Racing on a deliciously warm evening that delivered almost perfect conditions the team rode with without fear against its more experienced rivals.

“We went into the Stevenage crit feeling really positive and we saw Harrison, Liam and Julio in the main group,” Pridham said. “It was only being taken out by a lapped rider that prevented Harrison from finishing off a good ride with a great result. 

Jones’ misfortune echoed that suffered by team-mate Adam Kenway in the previous round. Kenway, a breakaway specialist with a huge ‘engine’, and a useful time-trialist to boot, would have been a significant asset in Stevenage, but was left with a broken jaw and scaphoid after being brought by a back marker in Aberystwyth.

In Stevenage, Vitus Pro Cycling Team gave further signs of a young squad growing accustomed to the demands of the Tour Series, justifiably regarded as the world’s most competitive circuit racing series. 

“It was a very positive start to the two days of racing and in the circuit race that followed, the riders again acquitted themselves well, with three of the five in the main group until a lapped rider took out Harrison Jones who crashed.”

Vitus Pro Cycling Team will race again at the Wembley Park round of the Tour Series on Tuesday May 29, where Jones is expected to return to action.  

News | The Tour Series commences

News | The Tour Series commences

Having previously welcomed world and Olympic champions such as Laura Trott and Joanna Rowsell Shand, the tenth edition of the Tour Series will feature 2018 Commonwealth Games heroes aplenty when it returns to Britain's streets on Thursday (May 10).

Long established as the leading televised series of city centre criterium races, the 2018 Tour Series campaign, sponsored by eco-friendly power company OVO Energy, begins in Redditch, and will feature a host of Gold Coast medalists, including Charlie Tanfield (Canyon Eisberg) and Jon Mould (JLT Condor). 

While no Vitus Pro Cycling Team's riders were called for international duty at the recent 'Commies', many suffered the gruelling demands of last week's Tour de Yorkshire, the fourth edition of the legacy race spawned by the 2014 Grand Départ of the Tour de France.

However, Cherie Pridham, the team's owner and manager, has revitalised her squad by calling up riders rested for last week's four-stage epic in the White Rose county, and the men in red will travel to Worcestershire with fresh legs among their number.

“I am aiming to bring in a couple of the squad to freshen things up from our time in Yorkshire," Pridham said. "After such a fantastic event, and a full-on Monday decamping all of our kit, it will be good to get our legs spinning again. We are aiming to build on our growing performances as a team, so it should be an interesting first round.”

Full squad lists for the eight men’s and ten women’s teams competing at every round of the 2018 OVO Energy Tour Series are available from www.tourseries.co.uk.

OVO Energy Tour Series 2018 schedule
Thursday 10 May - Redditch, Worcestershire
Tuesday 15 May - Motherwell, North Lanarkshire
Thursday 17 May - Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire
Tuesday 22 May - Durham, County Durham
Saturday 26 May - Aberystwyth, Ceredigion
Monday 28 May - Stevenage, Hertfordshire
Tuesday 29 May - Wembley Park, London
Thursday 31 May - Salisbury, Wiltshire

OVO Energy Tour Series 2018 teams
Men’s Teams
Canyon Eisberg
Holdsworth Pro Racing
JLT Condor
Madison Genesis 
Morvélo Basso
ONE Pro Cycling
Team WIGGINS
Vitus Pro Cycling

Women’s Teams
Admiral Liv AWOL
Boompods EDCO NRG
Jadan-Weldtite Vive Le Velo
NJC-Biemme-Echelon
Storey Racing
Team Breeze
Team OnForm
Torelli-Brother
Trek-Drops
YRDP Cycling Team

About The OVO Energy Tour Series
The OVO Energy Tour Series celebrates its tenth season of televised town and city centre racing in May 2018. Organised by SweetSpot Group, the company behind the organisation and promotion of the OVO Energy Tour of Britain and the OVO Energy Women’s Tour, the OVO Energy Tour Series brings together the very best in British professional teams and male and female riders, competing in a unique, team-based format, on town and city centre circuits in front of packed crowds, as part of a full day of cycling activities.

Follow The OVO Energy Tour Series LIVE on Twitter commentary @TourSeries with highlights on TV. #OVOTourSeries or Facebook or via the official website at www.tourseries.co.uk

News | Vitus Pro Cycling Team line up for the OVO Energy Tour Series

News | Vitus Pro Cycling Team line up for the OVO Energy Tour Series

DS and team owner Cherie Pridham and her men in red will line up against defending champions JLT Condor and six other teams at the OVO Energy Tour Series, which gets underway in Worcestershire in less than three weeks’ time.

Seven UCI Continental teams will race in the Series and Vitus Pro Cycling make their Tour Series debut and this will be a first Tour Series experience for the majority of the team.

The OVO Energy Tour Series celebrates its 10th season of televised town and city centre racing in May 2018. Organised by SweetSpot Group, the company behind the organisation and promotion of the OVO Energy Tour of Britain and the OVO Energy Women’s Tour, the OVO Energy Tour Series brings together the very best in British professional teams and male and female riders, competing in a unique team based format on town and city-centre circuits in front of packed crowds as a part of a full day of cycling activities.

OVO Energy Tour Series 2018

  • Thursday 10 May - Redditch, Worcestershire
  • Tuesday 15 May - Motherwell, North Lanarkshire
  • Thursday 17 May - Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire
  • Tuesday 22 May - Durham, County Durham
  • Saturday 26 May - Aberystwyth, Ceredigion
  • Monday 28 May - Stevenage, Hertfordshire
  • Tuesday 29 May - Wembley Park, London
  • Thursday 31 May - To be announced

List of teams

Men’s Teams

  • Canyon Eisberg
  • Holdsworth Pro Racing
  • JLT Condor
  • Madison Genesis
  • Morvélo Basso
  • ONE Pro Cycling
  • Team WIGGINS
  • Vitus Pro Cycling
Women’s Teams
  • Admiral Liv AWOL
  • Boompods EDCO NRG
  • Jadan-Weldtite Vive Le Velo
  • NJC-Biemme-Echelon
  • Storey Racing
  • Team Breeze
  • Team OnForm
  • Torelli-Brother
  • Trek-Drops
  • YRDP Cycling Team

 

Follow The OVO Energy Tour Series on Twitter @TourSeries #OVOTourSeries or Facebook or via the official website at www.tourseries.co.uk