NFTO's start to 2016 'couldn't have gone any better'

NFTO have dominated the Motorpoint Spring Cup rounds, elating team manager Tom Barras

NFTO's domineering performances on the UK scene so far in 2016 has surprised even team manager Tom Barras.

The UCI Continental team have won three of the four rounds of the Motorpoint Spring Cup and go into Sunday's final round at the Lincoln GP leading the team classification and individual standings with Johnny McEvoy.

Ian Bibby, the reigning national circuit champion, has been the team's most prolific rider with wins in the Manx International and last weekend's Wiltshire GP. His team-mate Edmund Bradbury was the winner of round one in Chorley, while McEvoy finished second behind Joe Fry (Pedal Heaven) at the Tour of Reservoir.

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"I came in as manager this year, this is the first team I’ve managed and I don’t really know what I expected, but it couldn’t have gone any better. I keep pinching myself, " Barras, who retired from riding at the end of 2015, switching the NFTO jersey for the team's car, told Cycling Weekly.

"We’ve won three races and came second in the other Spring Cup. They were the races we targeted and the lads have all risen to the occasion so I couldn’t be happier.

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"The lads have done the graft and pulled together to get the results. It's the morale in the team that’s driving the wins."

The son of Sid Barras, the web designer by trade believes knowing the riders on a personal basis has been crucial in the team's triumphs thus far.

He added: "I have gone from their mate to someone who tells them what to do. The lads have all seen me suffer and go well at times, they know I have been through the struggles and I can relate to them.

"There hasn’t been any resistance from the team to me being DS and I think because I am so recently a bike rider myself, I appreciate what the riders need in order to get the best out of them and that’s been just one of many key things in our success this year."

The Pearl Izumi Tour Series begins on Thursday in Ramsey, Isle of Man, before rounds in Scotland, England and Wales.

Chris Marshall-Bell

Chris first started writing for Cycling Weekly in 2013 on work experience and has since become a regular name in the magazine and on the website. Reporting from races, long interviews with riders from the peloton and riding features drive his love of writing about all things two wheels.


Probably a bit too obsessed with mountains, he was previously found playing and guiding in the Canadian Rockies, and now mostly lives in the Val d’Aran in the Spanish Pyrenees where he’s a ski instructor in the winter and cycling guide in the summer. He almost certainly holds the record for the most number of interviews conducted from snowy mountains.