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.
This week, Liam Stones (MG-Maxifuel) talks about what it is like to watch yourself on the Tour Series highlights show.
I’ve just been watching back the highlights from Tuesday’s round in Torquay. I finished third, which shows that all my hard training from the winter has paid off. Saying that, it is still quite surreal to be sprinting with – and beating – a lot of the big names of the British scene. I don’t think it has quite sunk in yet.
There’s a different feeling to watching the racing back when you’re right in the action, as opposed to simply being in the peloton. It’s quite surreal. I remember the sprint quite clearly: I wasn’t in a good position coming round the dead turn at the top of the course, and I was definitely further back than (eventual winner) Ed Clancy.
But I got a good kick through the final bend, and I just continued sprinting for a long time. I was passing more and more people, which gave me the motivation to continue riding hard. It was a bit of the shock to the system, and analysing the highlights properly this morning a few times over, I’ve picked up on a couple of things I would do differently now.
I was fairly happy with my 14th-place finish in Colchester last night, which was just outside the top-10 when you take the breakaway out of the picture. There’s a little expectation now after Torquay to get up their in the podium places and get in the think of the TV coverage again, but after not feeling too good during the race, it was a decent result for me.
For MG-Maxifuel, this year’s Tour Series is about setting the groundwork from which we can improve on next year. I think we’re doing exactly that right now; we’re not too far off Metaltek in the race for sixth place, and above IG-Sigma Sport despite being one of the underdogs of the series.
There’s a really good atmosphere within the team, and we’re all motivating one another to do the best we can. I think it’s very telling that we’ve had five riders finish virtually all of the rounds to date which, allowing for crashes, mechanicals and the no laps out rule, is a good record. All being well, I can get the jersey on the TV again in Canary Wharf next week!