All six of Britain’s UCI-ranked domestic teams will ride this year’s Tour of Britain, which starts in Peebles, Scotland, on Sunday.
However, if you’re a bit confused and you don’t know your Bibbys from your Barkers, Cycling Weekly will this week be giving you a beginners’ guide to the sextet of squads. Here, Node4-Giordana rider Steve Lampier talks us through the team.
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Tour of Britain participations: 5 (2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012)
Stage wins: 0
Jersey wins: 1
Best result: Fifth overall, Russell Downing (2009)
CW: How have the preparations for the Tour of Britain gone?
Steve Lampier: “The Ipswich Grand Prix last week went well for us; we had four in the first 20-man group, and then two when it split into 10, before Mike finished second. I also raced in Belgium at the start of the week, doing two kermesses. Monday’s was quite frustrating, but on Tuesday I got in a really good chase group with Nikolas Maes (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) and some of the Landbouwkrediet team. I climbed off before the finish, as my coach told me to do 100km so I didn’t ignore the bigger picture that is the Tour of Britain.”
CW: What can you remember about your Tour appearance in 2011?
SL: “I was a bit overwhelmed by it all. Cav and [Matt] Brammeier were in the HTC squad that year, and I remember racing with them as a junior. They’ve stepped up massively since then, and I doubted myself a little bit. I feel far better prepared this year – RideLondon gave me a lot of confidence. I was in the first group on the final Leith Hill climb, and I was in the second for Box Hill, so I felt good about that. This time around, I’ve got ideas of what I want to do, but it depends on how Malcolm [Elliott, the team’s DS] calls it. Last year the team got in nearly every break and won the points jersey, which was a big result.”
CW: Can you talk us through your Tour of Britain team-mates?
SL: “Mike Northey has raced at a good level in Europe and the USA, so he knows what’s what. He likes to make the race, he’s got an attacking mind. Dan Barry is an incredibly strong rider. He finished 13th in RideLondon – the highest of any rider from the domestic teams. He’s incredibly clever; he moulded the carbon fibre race number holders for our bikes, for example. He’ll probably be working hard on stage one to set up Roman Van Uden. Roman is a really nice guy. He’s 6’5″ tall, so he may seem overpowering if you don’t know him, but when you spend time with him you find that he’s really clever too and switched on. He was up there continuously in the Tour Series, and he’s a very quick sprinter. He’s been underrated on the scene this year, and I’m confident we can set him up on the first day.
Lampier (l) and Northey (r) talk after the GP of Wales
“Shem Rodger is nicknamed ‘The Tractor’ on the team. Once he gets going, there’s no stopping him. He’s a relaxed, down-to-earth guy, and some of his rides this year – in UCI events like the Ras and the Tour du Loire et Cher – have been incredibly strong. There was one race this year he attacked solo in the final few kilometres, got caught and then sat on the front of the bunch nailing it for the team. He’s won medals on the track before, which says a lot. James Williamson will climb well in the race. He’s good to be around – like all the Kiwis on the team, there are no egos.”
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