WHEELBASE Altura MGD joint-captain Stuart Reid is targeting a high-ranking finish as the fast-paced Pearl Izumi Tour Series heads to Barrow on Thursday.
Britain’s unique team-based series is held over ten rounds during midweek evenings in May and June, with the second round in Barrow following opening night in Stoke-on-Trent.
The Staveley-based Wheelbase team more than held their own during the 2013 series, despite not being a full-time squad and therefore not committing to the series in its entirety
And Reid, who has competed at semi-pro level for eight years, is bullish about the chances of Wheelbase’s five-rider team once again competing with some of the biggest names in the sport.
“We’ll do our best at Barrow and get stuck into the racing, the top ten is the goal we’re looking at,” said Reid.
“There were some statistics from the Tour Series last year that showed the levels we hit.
“Out of the 11 full‐time teams and numerous guest teams, we were seventh overall by time spent at the front of the race from only four races.”
“Obviously, following on from the Tour of Britain visiting the area last year, the general buzz in the cycling fraternity is pretty good at the minute.
“This Tour Series has a fantastic reputation of being the number‐one elite‐level racing series in the country. It’s got a very good reputation, so for it to come to Barrow is a massive scoop."
As the competition unfolds, top domestic teams from across the country will bid to supersede last summer’s champions – the Nigel Mansell-owned TeamUK Youth.
And while accepting Wheelbase Altura MGD are not in a position to challenge for the ultimate honour, team manager Toby Dalton echoes the sentiments of his vice-captain, with top-ten finishes the aim.
“In terms of the series, unfortunately we don't have the depth of riders or budget to compete in the full ten rounds but we are down to race the Durham and Edinburgh rounds,” he said.
“Here we will be aiming solely to get riders in the breaks and hopefully a top ten finish. Our rider Stuart Reid was ninth in the Redditch round last year so a few repeats would be nice.
“Looking at the Barrow course it's going to be a fast and furious with nothing hugely technical. I don't think a break-away will stick as the peloton will not get held up in the corners.
“My prediction is an exciting bunch gallop to the finish with teams maybe forming lead-out trains for their sprinters.”
As with last year, all races are televised with highlights shown on ITV4 on the evening following the event.