Lampier hoping to shine on his home patch
AFTER a frustrating Halfords Tour Series so far, Eye professional Steve Lampier is hoping to produce the performance of his life when the popular televised event arrives in Peterborough on Tuesday.
It will be his 21st Tour Series outing and the IG Sigma Sport rider will be hoping next week goes much better for him than this week.
In Tuesday’s race in Oxford, suffering with a cold, he was lapped for the first time ever in a Tour Series event.
Then last night in Redditch he was forced to drop out after just two laps and, as a result, he will not ride tonight in Aberystwyth.
He insists he will definitely ride on Tuesday though, saying: “Hopefully after a few days rest I’’ be all right. It’s my home round and I’m going to ride to 110 per cent of my ability at the time.
“I had a sore throat all day yesterday and these races are so competitive that if you are one per cent off your best you suffer.”
Lampier’s performances this week are in stark contrast to his display in Durham last week where he made the top 10 for only the second time.
Lampier made a name for himself in last year’s Tour Series when he won the sprints title, having picked up his first win in the Peterborough race. That sparked a series of impressive sprints performances that saw him win the overall title in that section but this year is more about overall positions.
He was 23rd in the opener in Kirkcaldy and ninth at Durham two days later but his illness prevented him from building on that this week.
Lampier, who wears the number 32 on the Tour, said: “The first race at Kirkcaldy was an eye opener. It was fast and dangerous and riders were taking unnecessary risks as there are some new teams and new riders who were maybe nervous and the adrenalin was pumping.
“It went much better in Durham and it was nice to get in the top 10 again, having finished fourth at Woking last year, but I felt I deserved to finish higher than ninth.
“In criterium racing you are allowed to take two laps out, either both in one go or two separate laps, if you have a puncture or a crash. It doesn’t give you an advantage, but Durham is half climbing and half descending and it’s such a tough course that I think people were bending the rules.”
Lampier, who originally hails from Cornwall, intends to make a few attacks and get himself noticed in his home city on Tuesday.
He added: “Peterborough isn’t a course that particularly suits me, I prefer a tough and hilly course, but I’ll be looking to attack and get myself seen on television in my home city so that my mum can see me!
“It was great winning the sprints title last year but this year I want as many top 10 or top 20 positions as I can get. Hopefully I might even get some top fives and, who knows, maybe a win.”
AS much as he enjoyed riding in front of his home fans last year, Lampier was disappointed city centre coffee shops and eateries failed to join in the occasion.
He said: “I couldn’t believe all the coffee shops were closing at 6.30pm. You would think with thousands of people in the city centre watching a big sporting event they would want to stay open and make some money.
“It would also mean people more likely to hang around and watch and make it an even greater event so hopefully this year they will stay open.”
AS well as the men’s race, there will also be the second round of the Johnson Health Tech Grand Prix Series.
Annie Simpson won the opener at Oxford, leading Matrix Fitness to team victory.
King’s Cliffe Flyer Keira Mcvitty and Fenland Clarion’s Lindsay Clarke are not expected to compete on Tuesday.
The women get under way at 5pm followed by the men at 7pm.
Steve Lampier rides in his home town on Tuesday.
Charlotte Cameron (above right), Courtney Brown (below left on the right) and Jack Bristowe (below right).
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