Cycling Weekly will have a rider blogging from every round of this year’s Tour Series, offering insight, comment and humour from the fast-paced proceedings.
18-year-old CyclePremier-Kovert rider George Tansley (aka ‘Big George’) is over in the UK from his native Australia, and here he talks us through his Tour Series experience in Peterborough.
We know the Tour Series is going to be difficult when you’re up against six UCI teams, but that doesn’t stop up trying to get as many riders as we can up there. We’re trying to pick off as many UCI teams as possible, and so far we’ve not done too badly at that!
[Team manager] Rod [Freeman] has worked hard to improve on the team’s results from last year, and we took our second fifth-place in Peterborough last night. Our team is pretty young, but now we’re getting more experience and getting used to riding with each other, the performances are improving.
Crits in the UK are very different to what they are like in Australia. Over there, it’s very much four bends on square or rectangle circuits. The Tour Series courses are a lot more technical, and even last night – which was one of the more simple courses to date – you were still riding across bricks and then on to tarmac and back again.
This is my first time oversees, so it’s a big step for me. I’m on the SASI (South Australian Sports Institute) programme back home, which is really good for rider development. At this time of the year, the Australian calendar drops off a bit, and a lot of the bigger races come later on in the season. I was looking for an opportunity to race elsewhere, and my coach used to work with Zak Dempster (Endura Racing), who told me a lot about the Tour Series.
I wanted to do something in the meantime, and a few people were telling me I should go to Belgium. But crits are my strength, and I wanted to go somewhere that I could fit in and speak the language.
Canary Wharf tomorrow sounds like the type of crit race I’m used to, so I’m looking forward to going racing there. A top 10 finish would be fantastic!