Clancy: We are lucky to be leading the series
OLYMPIC gold medallist Ed Clancy arrives in the city today admitting his Motorpoint - Marshalls Pasta team are lucky to be leading the televised Halfords Tour Series.
The seventh of 10 races takes place in the city centre tonight (7pm) and Motorpoint - Marshalls Pasta currently lead Rapha Condor Sharp by two points.
And Clancy, a member of the British team that smashed the world record en route to gold in the team pursuit in Beijing two years ago, feels Rapha will be the ones to beat.
He said: “We’ve had a bit of luck and the misfortune of other teams has been a big factor in why we’re in the lead. In reality, we’ve probably only been the second or third best team so far but we’ve had a bit more luck than some teams.
“Take the third race at Portsmouth for example. Rapha had three lads up there with one lap to go but then one crashed and two punctured.
“You start off with five guys and the first three count so once that happened they were out of it and they finished second last that night.”
Clancy’s team took advantage to win that night and he’d love to add another win tonight but he admitted: “We’re up against it. We’ve got some good riders but we’re not a big team and we’re suffering with fatigue.”
The Barnsley rider, who was rested last week, finished third at Peterborough 12 months ago, then riding for Team Halfords Bike Hut who supplied the winner in Ian Wilkinson.
He added: “It was a good race last year and Ian managed to win it and I was third so we won on the day.
“The course should suit our team and it would be nice for us to get another win tonight but we’re feeling a bit tired and Rapha are very strong.
“I think the course will suit someone like Tony Gibb (the nine-time British champion who has world and Commonwealth medals to his name) and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him win.”
Clancy has already won the Omnimium and took silver in the team pursuit at the World Championships this year and admits: “The pressure is off in a way because I’ve had a successful season already.”
Tonight’s race will see the 10 teams of five race around the 1.1k circuit for an hour and then the event begins in earnest with five more laps.
Although several breaks are sure to be made throughout, it is likely to come down to a last-lap burn-up.
There is also a Boardman Bike Sprints competition with sprints after 15, 30 and 45 minutes. A klaxon will indicate one lap to go on each occasion.
Two local cyclists will be in action tonight, former British junior international Steve Lampier - who is based in Eye - riding for Pendragon Le Col Colnago and Ben Price, who lives near the city centre, in action for the CyclePremier.com - Metaltek team.