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Monday, 28 July 2014

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Team’s tactics will keep them ahead of the pack in Barrow

A LAKE District team with experience competing in the prestigious cycling event coming to Barrow have been preparing hard abroad and devising their tactics ahead of the big night.

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training hard From left: Riders Stuart Reid, from Kendal and team leader Toby Dalton from the Wheelbase Altura MGD team and Jack Sadler from Arrad Foot, who hopes to be selected to ride in the race for the Rapha Condor JLT team LINDSEY DICKINGS REF: 50061911B005

Wheelbase Altura MGD, based at Wheelbase cycle superstore in Staveley, will be a guest team at the Pearl Izumi Tour Series BAE Systems Barrow Stage on May 15.

Though they are a semi-pro team taking on professional riders, the Wheelbase team is one of only four UK elite teams and boast a strong, 14-man squad with a range of specialisms.

Team manager Toby Dalton expects the Barrow course to be won and lost on the corners – situated at Barrow Town Hall, Lawson Street, Cornwallis Street, Hindpool Road, Custom House roundabout and Ramsden Square roundabout.

He said: “Looking at the circuit in Barrow, the key parts are all going to be in the corners. If you’re at the back, you get that shockwave effect. It’s like cars on a motorway – if one guy brakes at the front, the effect 20-30 cars further back is quite significant, whereas the guy at the front just dabs his brakes.

“So you’re going to have that shockwave effect on every corner and you’ve got to be in that first 20. If you’re not, you’re just going to get further and further back. The action is going to be hot from the start, so I think it’s very likely that a break will have been established in the first 10 or 15 minutes, based on what happens in the first corners.

“So we’re going to be briefing our lads to make sure we’ve got representation in that break. Ideally we’ll have three riders in it, at worst one rider. That will be the tactic. Once you’re in the break and you’ve got an eight-man, 10-man break, the race is a lot easier than the crowd at the back of 60-odd riders trying to get round the corner.”

Wheelbase will be able to enter five riders and Mr Dalton said four of those are nailed on. They will be new man Tom Murray, an ex-national crit champion and a new rider to the team this year; team captains Tom Barras, who has ridden for eight UCI continental teams, and Kendal-based Stuart Reid, the world firefighter road race champion. The fourth will be Adam Duggleby, national scratch champion and part of the current national team pursuit champions.

The team has been competing in Belgium to get up to race speed. Mr Dalton said: “With Rapha Condor, they’ve been training in Australia over the winter, so you’ve got to be wary of the effort those teams are putting in and you’ve got to be able to match them. The race the guys did a few weeks ago had 300 riders, over three hours, at an average speed of 27.5mph, so that’s rapid and that’s what you’re getting in spring time in Belgium. You can’t replicate that in the UK.”

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