Ahead of this weekend’s Totnes-Vire race, One Pro Cycling leader Yanto Barker admits Sunday’s third stage will be a test for everyone in the peloton.
Barker, who won the season opening Perfs Pedal Race in Hampshire in February, will be riding on his home roads in the event organised by Mid-Devon CC, the club he rode for when he won the National Junior Road Race Championship in 1998.
The two-day, three-stage event, starting in Barker’s home town of Totnes, takes in the three-and-a-half mile climb from Bovey Tracey to Haytor on the Sunday – a climb that has featured several times in the Tour of Britain.
“That third stage really is a monster,” Barker told the Torquay Herald Express. “It doesn’t matter if it’s 30 miles shorter than a Tour of Britain stage, it’s as hard as it gets in UK road racing. Everyone is going to be smashed.
“There’s aren’t many races where you get that many 10-minute-plus climbs at racing speed – and that’s before you hit Haytor.
“I am really looking forward to the whole event – my home roads, good racing, good opposition and good organisation.
“Haytor is always spectacular, and hopefully people will come out in large numbers to watch, because they won’t be disappointed.”
Saturday features two stages, with a 55-mile road race between Totnes and South Brent followed by a 35-mile criterium race at Paignton’s Torbay Velopark.
Sunday’s 72-mile stage from Bovey Tracey takes in four laps of a 22-mile circuit through the Teign Valley, the Doccombe climb and the ascent to the Haytor finish line.