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Saturday, 23 May 2015

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Elite contenders eager to rise to challenge of Barrow tour

ELITE riders in one of the top teams competing in the major cycling event coming to Barrow have been speaking of their excitement ahead of the race next month.

in the frame Jack Sadler from Arrad Foot, who hopes to ride for the Rapha Condor JLT team LINDSEY DICKINGS REF: 50061911B015

Rapha Condor JLT will be among the professional teams taking part in the Pearl Izumi Tour Series BAE Systems Barrow Stage on the evening of Thursday, May 15.

The event, the first ever in Barrow, will be only the second in this year’s 10-race programme, so the competitors will be out to make an early impression on the leaderboard.

Rapha Condor JLT is a British Union Cycliste Internationale continental cycling team boasting some of the top names in the sport. And they believe Barrow could be one of the fastest rounds in the series.

Chris Opie was one of the standout riders on the UK racing scene in 2013, taking two individual wins at the Tour Series, as well as his first Premier Calendar victory, in the first stage Tour of Reservoir.

He said: “The Tour Series has become the biggest race series in the UK and it is really important to our team. The series takes us all over the country and it is an amazing experience to be a part of it. I won two rounds last year and I’ll be trying to repeat that success where I can this year.”

Graham Briggs is expected to team up with fellow Rapha fast men Ed Clancy and Chris Opie to create what looks to be one of the strongest squads in the country.

He said: “It’s great that the Tour Series has a new venue in Barrow. I am sure that the course will throw up a decent challenge for us, and we’ll be giving our best on the night to try and win it.”

Irishman Felix English has shown rapid development in the past two seasons. He was a force to be reckoned with in the 2013 series, before he took the biggest win of his career at the prestigious Otley Crit, in June.

Mr English said: “The circuit at Barrow looks like it will be quite quick. It has long straights and the corners aren’t too technical. That should really suit a team of sprinters like ours, if we can control it.”

Kristian House has carved out a career as one of the country’s top cyclists of the past decade. Originally from Kent, he grew up and started his racing career in Austin, Texas.

Mr House said: “Barrow is the second round of the series so I imagine that the competition will be really high there, as everything will still be to play for. I think it could be one of the fastest rounds of the series.”

Ulverston cyclist Jack Sadler, a development rider for Rapha Condor, is vying to make the team for the Barrow race, but faces stiff competition from the others in the high-calibre squad.


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