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Race Report | Tour of the Reservoir 2019

Race Report | Tour of the Reservoir 2019

Ali Slater produced back-to-back performances at the Tour of the Reservoir that affirmed his status as the professional’s professional, and which sealed fifth place overall for Vitus Pro Cycling Team, powered by Brother UK after two savage days of racing in Northumberland.

Adam Kenway’s overall victory in the King of the Mountains competition, and aggressive displays from Chris Latham, Mikey Mottram and Chris McGlinchey added to a weekend in which the red jerseys of Cherie Pridham’s squad were seemingly everywhere during a brutal eighth round of the HSBC National Road Series.

Latham’s presence in a ten-man breakaway and Kenway’s early statement of intent on the climbs capped a satisfying opening day for the team that concluded with two riders in the top ten: Slater, who finished sixth, and eighth-placed Kenway.

It was on the savage second stage that the men in red showed their mettle, however, and none more so than Slater. Pridham’s road captain crossed the line eighth after fighting for position in a group that contested victory until less than 2km of the 177km stage remained.

“Right from the gun, the race kicked off,” Slater told VeloUK. “It just felt that the race was on, pretty much constantly. It split [for the first time] and then came back together during the smaller lap around the reservoir, but then seemed to split every lap in the crosswinds over the big Blanchland climb, and kept coming back together.”

Motram and McGlinchey seemed intent on reprising their performances at the Tour de Yorkshire, where both had fought like tigers to ride clear of the biggest teams in the sport. Mottram was a constant attacking force on stage two of the Tour of the Reservoir, while McGlinchey drove a pivotal three-man move late in the race that pegged back Pete Williams (SwiftCarbon Pro Cycling) and then combined to build a lead of more than a minute with just 32km remaining.

Racing cyclists, image blurred to connote speed

McGlinchey’s quartet was caught, however, setting the scene for a climactic final climb on which the strongest riders in the race went wheel-to-wheel. Slater was part of a courageous quintet that chased down the three riders who would ultimately decide the outcome of stage two - winner James Shaw (SwiftCarbon Pro Cycling), runner-up Matt Holmes (Madison-Genesis) and third-placed Mark Christian (Wiggins-Le Col) .

“It just went full gas up that last climb. There were a few guys up front, including Matt Holmes, and they drilled it up there. I think it was only Matt, James Shaw (SwiftCarbon Pro Cycling) and Mark Christian (Team Wiggins-Le Col) who went over the top together,” Slater told VeloUK.

“They caught two guys up the road, the remainder of the break, and formed the front group. Behind, there was five of us - a couple of guys from Canyon-dhb p/b Bloor Homes, and a couple of the St Prian lads - and we just got on with about a kilometre and a half to go, and that was the end for me. I just couldn’t go again.”

Vitus Pro Cycling Team, powered by Brother UK is now fifth in the race for four qualification places for the Tour of Britain, but with six qualifying rounds remaining, including the upcoming National Championships, Pridham’s squad has several opportunities to secure a place in Britain’s biggest race.

Team leader Scott Thwites, who was called up by Team GB for duty at the European Games in Minsk and so was absent from the Tour of the Reservoir, will start the men’s road race among those most fancied to claim the prestigious national champion’s jersey in Norfolk next weekend.

Tour of the Reservoir 2019 - final general classification

1) James Shaw (SwiftCarbon Pro Cycling)
2) Matt Holmes (Madison Genesis)
3) Mark Christian (Wiggins-Le Col)
4) Max Stedman (Canyon dhb p/b Bloor Homes)
5) Ali Slater (Vitus Pro Cycling Team, powered by Brother UK)
6) Ed Laverack (SwiftCarbon Pro Cycling)
7) Dan Pearson (Canyon dhb p/b Bloor Homes)
8) Ben Healy (Wiggins-Le Col)
9) Jacob Scott (SwiftCarbon Pro Cycling)
10) Scott Auld (Ribble Pro Cycling)

Stage two

1) James Shaw (SwiftCarbon Pro Cycling)
2) Matt Holmes (Madison Genesis)
3) Steve Lampier (St Piran)
4) William Harper (St Piran)
5) Mark Christian (Team Wiggins-Le Col)
6) Max Stedman (Canyon dhb p/b Bloor Homes)
7) Ed Laverack (SwiftCarbon Pro Cycling)
8) Ali Slater (Vitus Pro Cycling Team, powered by Brother UK)
9) Ben Healy (Wiggins-Le Col)
10) Dan Pearson (Canyon dhb p/b Bloor Homes)

Stage one

1) Ollie Wood Canyon dhb p/b Bloor Homes)
2) Jacob Scott (SwiftCarbon Pro Cycling)
3) Tom Moses (Madison-Genesis)
4) Matt Holmes (Madison-Genesis)
5) James Shaw (SwiftCarbon Pro Cycling)
6) Ali Slater (Vitus Pro Cycling Team, powered by Brother UK)
7) Scott Auld (Ribble Pro Cycling)
8) Adam Kenway (Vitus Pro Cycling Team, powered by Brother UK)
9) Mark Christian (Team Wiggins-Le Col)
10) Max Stedman (Canyon dhb p/b Bloor Homes)

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