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Stepping up to racing against WorldTour teams may well faze certain teams and their riders, and potentially see them shrink back into their smaller and less impressive team bus.
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But the continental outfit of Madison-Genesis have certainly made themselves known in the Tour of Britain so far, featuring in every breakaway, despite not being able to turn it into a stage win just yet.
Speaking after the Stage five time trial around Clacton-on-Sea, Madison Genesis rider Taylor Gunman admitted that mixing it with the WorldTour teams does bring a change in riding style that the team may not always be used to.
“First off I think the biggest thing is everything is faster, I wouldn’t necessarily say it’s harder, but just everything is done faster. But we have proved we are incredibly capable of getting in the moves, but you are doing it at 50kph instead of 40kph,” said the former New Zealand time trial champion.
“But there is also a lot more respect, so if you latch onto your team-mates wheel there is no argy bargy, it is just a case of getting to the finish safely and with 20km to go its a race to the finish line. Whereas you find in other races you are fighting for everything even if it’s your team-mates wheel and there is 100km to go.”
Another helpful factor that has helped Gunman and his team mates prove their worth in this race is the six-man teams that are a feature of the Tour of Britain.
“I think the size of the field has something to do with it,” Gunman admitted.
“You have Tao [Geoghegan Hart] and Robert Power on the front for 120 kilometres every stage, so when you are at the back of the race with Vasil Kiryienka, Mark Cavendish, Lars Boom and all these big names that we look up to are relaxed. If you are smart at reading the race, you realise that if they are at the back you are alright.” He continued,
“There is a time and a place to race and with six man teams, you can’t be trying to split the race with 120km to go because no one will have the legs. It is all about having every man at maximum strength for the last 20km and catching the break with 3km from the finish proves that. Everyone is keeping their matches as dry as possible until they need to.”
Gunman and his team-mates will hope that the six-man teams will play into his favour over the final three days of the race with the opportunities of breakaways still at the forefront of their minds.
“I’d like to think it will bring a bit more of an unpredictable element to it, but the way that the Worlds are and the fact that the Tour of Britain has been designed for the Worlds it might be status quo,” said the 26-year-old.
“I think yesterday’s team performance in the break put a little bit of doubt in everyone, especially in the sprint teams and I don’t think they are going to give the break over three and half minutes from now on.”