Node4-Giordana rider Steve Lampier believes that the UCI’s decision not to upgrade the Tour of Britain to hors catégorie status will allow the domestic squads to continue to prosper.
The 29-year-old was the fifth best Brit in this year’s race, finishing 17th in the general classification, 3-30 behind eventual winner Sir Bradley Wiggins.
>> Save up to 31% with a magazine subscription. Enjoy the luxury of home delivery and never miss an issue <<
The UCI announced yesterday that the race will be run as a 2.1 event once again in 2014 – the third best status available – and Lampier believes that will help the domestic squads continue to perform well in the event.
“I don’t think they should change the Tour ranking,” he said.
“With where it is in the calendar and being so close to the Worlds, for guys not doing the Vuelta it’s ideal preparation so you’re always going to get good riders.
“If they make it a 2.HC race then they will limit the number of UK-based teams riding and I think it’s something for those guys to aim for over the season.
“All six UK-based teams in the race this year did something and I think they should leave it how it is.
“It’s a formula that works and they get some of the best riders in the world.”
Despite losing almost a minute on the second stage and further time on the time trial, Lampier enjoyed a prosperous second Tour of Britain, particularly in the climbing stages of Haytor and Caerphilly.
The Cornish rider was looking to impress last week after admitting to nerves in his first outing two years ago.
“I was overwhelmed by it all in 2011. I was riding next to Thor Hushovd
thinking ‘wow, this is a guy I’ve watched racing for years’, I couldn’t
quite get it,” he said.
“I was more than determined to put on a bit of a show this year and
targeted the Haytor day, originally being from Cornwall myself.
“Top 20 is what I aimed for before the race. I kept it quite quiet but I’m quite happy with that.”
Lampier, who is hopeful of a new contract offer for next season, also noted a big change in the crowd support for the race and was overawed at the sheer number of fans lining the streets over the week.
“It was something to be a part of – they were like scenes from football at times,” he added.
“You’d come to a corner and you couldn’t see the exit because there were too many people.
Tour of Britain 2013: Coverage index