Vitus Pro Cycling Team made a long drive north to take five riders to Motherwell for round two of the OVO Energy Tour Series.
Team manager and owner Cherie Pridham handed a Tour Series debut to Liam Davies and Andy Shackel in a team selection that also included new signing Bertie Newey, as well as Adam Kenway and Julio Amores.
On a cool and cloudy night, the race was as brutal as it gets, with three riders escaping on the first lap, while behind, attack after attack launched from the peloton. Riders from Vitus Pro Cycling Team stayed in the mix, with Kenway yet again prominent, courtesy of an attack made from the front of the first group.
Speaking after the race, Pridham said the team could reflect positively on many aspects of their performance.
“I am so pleased for young rider Liam Davies, who did exactly what I asked of him. He’s just lacking that little bit of power, which is normal for someone of his size and age. He certainly made me happy.
“Adam was strong again, while Julio was in the mix, and got himself in a few dangerous looking moves. On the whole, I have a lot of positives to take from the race.”
“Bertie unfortunately had a nasty crash, but thankfully he’s fine and finished the race, while the race represented a big learning curve for Andy, but that experience is what the team is about - giving young riders the chance to learn at a very competitive level. It was brutal for Andy and the riders out there, as the Tour Series always is - this year more than ever.”
Adam Kenway said he had spent the entire race trying to escape from the clutches of the peloton, but despite his best efforts, was unable to do so. Many of his attempts to ride clear of the bunch were subsumed by counterattacks.
“It was just one of those days when it didn’t go my way,” he concluded. “With four laps to go, Tobyn Horton (Madison Genesis) attacked and I went with him, and then he eased up and I went straight ‘over the top’ and gained a gap of about 50 or 60 metres, but the chasing group kept eating into it, and I was caught in the back straight on the last lap.”
Kenway said that the nature of the course – a 1.2km lap with long, fast straights on Ladywell Road and Douglas Street – meant that “the gas was always on.”
“It was fast up the drag to the finish, and then you went straight into a headwind, so there wasn’t much rest. If you were at the back, it was really hard work. After my early attack, I slipped to the back, and it took me half the race to get to back to the front!”.
The team travels next to Aberdeen for round three of the OVO Energy Tour Series this Thursday (May 17, 2018).