The final round of the Pearl Izumi Tour Series was to be disputed in the amazing surroundings of the Royal Crescent in Bath. The 1.3km long circuit - widely regarded as the toughest of the series - had a little of everything crammed in; several corners, a
The final round of the Pearl Izumi Tour Series was to be disputed in the amazing surroundings of the Royal Crescent in Bath. The 1.3km long circuit - widely regarded as the toughest of the series - had a little of everything crammed in; several corners, a long drag, a sharp climb and a stretch of cobbles worthy of a place in Paris Roubaix, ensured the final round wasn't going to be a walk in the park for any of the riders.
With red hot temperatures, clear blue skies and a fantastic back drop, the scene could not have been better for the hugely important final round of the series. With Madison Genesis and ONE Pro Cycling tied on points at the top of the leader table, whoever finished higher in the race would win the entire series.
With such a demanding circuit it was a more subdued start to the race, each rider keenly aware that the severity of the course was surely going to take its toll in the familiar one hour plus five laps format of racing.
After just five minutes of racing the first gaps in the bunch began to appear, but it was to be a mechanical failure for ONE Pro Cycling just 10 minutes later causing Yanto Barker to crash that would cause the biggest upset of the night. With the team classification being decided on the times of all five riders, any rider failing to finish receives a penalty for each lap not completed. Yanto's retirement effectively decided the outcome of the series and Madison Genesis' focus moved quickly to 'staying safe' and making sure all five riders made it round the brutal course safely, no mean feat with groups of riders spread over the entirety of the course! It was enough though to win the round and the series overall.
Roger Hammond, Team Manager:
"Wow, what a series! It has been really great to have been a part of that. Thank you to all the spectators and fans that came out to all of the venues and created the electric atmospheres that makes this series so unique. It has been a really hard few weeks both physically and emotionally for the entire team, but to see how enthusiastically we were supported by the public definitely made the sacrifices worthwhile! I'm hugely proud of the way the team rode; in times of adversity they never gave up, fighting to the bitter end, in what at times looked like fruitless tasks but their passion eventually reaped the rewards they richly deserved."
Photo credit - Larry Hickmott