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.
National Circuit Race champion Graham Briggs (Raleigh-GAC) runs through last Friday’s festivities in Aberystwyth.
We finished third in Aberystywth, which we were quite pleased with. It was another quick race – like all the rounds have been to date – and it never really bunched up at all.
I traveled with the team to Thursday night’s race in Redditch, but I didn’t ride as I’ve been ill. Thankfully I’m feeling better now. After that round, we headed straight over to Aberystwyth, so we got to the hotel about midnight. A lot of the teams came over on Friday – we did it the otherway so we could have a lie-in and take our time over breakfast.
There’s a good amount of banter within the team. We’ve got a lot of new riders, but they’ve settled in, and the results have improved. You always need the big personalities, especially if you need picking up after a bad race or you have a lot of traveling to do.
Friday started nicely; we went out for a steady hour and had a quick cafe stop. We never tend to do more than that on a race day. Sometimes – on a Wednesday, for example – I may go out for a couple of hours and then press on towards the end of the ride.
I tried to stay near the front during Friday’s race. Having the national champion’s jersey gives you a really good feeling. I remember this year’s round Durham – a circuit people didn’t think I’d go well on – yet I finished fourth. It helps you when you’re racing.
It’s pretty cool to be able to wear that.
We managed to get Tobyn in the break, but UK Youth had two guys in it and Kristian [House] and Dean [Downing] were also high up for Rapha-Condor-Sharp. On a different night, it could have been a different story.
The standings this year are quite tight, and the overall victory is still open. All it takes is for Endura to have another bad round and that will make things interesting. Everybody at Raleigh-GAC is eager to do well, and hopefully we’ll be able to win a round before the series ends. We’ve been finishing high-up the standings, and I hope we can go even better in the next races.
I know the Peterborough and Canary Wharf circuits pretty well, so I’ll be trying to win there if I can.