After an enthralling opening round, the 2015 British Cycling Elite Road Series action continues on 11-12 April with the two-stage Tour of the Reservoir in Northumberland.
Lancastrian Ian Bibby struck first at Saturday’s Chorley Grand Prix with a fine solo victory to give the 2011 Premier Calendar winner an early lead in the standings.
While the 28-year-old NFTO rider leads the individual competition, Team Raleigh GAC took the initiative in the team standings ahead of the second race of three in the Spring Cup, with May’s Cycle Wiltshire Grand Prix rounding off the first block of Elite Road Series racing.
How it stands
Team Raleigh GAC may not have triumphed in Lancashire but second, third and fourth-place finishes from Steve Lampier, Morgan Kneisky and Karol Domagalski respectively proved the squad’s strength in depth.
Madison world champion Kneisky, Lampier and Domagalski will start for Raleigh as will 2013 Reservoir and Premier Calendar winner Evan Oliphant, as the squad aim to enhance their lead.
Bibby returns to the scene of his victory in 2011 - part of a run that ended in Premier Calendar glory - albeit when the race was contested over one day.
Bibby put his triumph in Chorley down to the selfless work of Eddie Dunbar, who “killed himself and sacrificed it for me” and the Irishman will be present for NTFO, sitting in fifth.
Adria Moreno delivered a tremendous ride for British Cycling Elite National Team Velosure Starley Primal, the 24-year-old Spaniard taking sixth, the squad’s only rider in the top 20.
Defending Elite Road Series champion Yanto Barker was One Pro Cycling’s highest finisher on Saturday in 10th, while Mark McNally (Madison Genesis) and Richard Handley (JLT Condor) also recorded top-ten finishes.
Team Wiggins missed out on a top-20 spot and will be out to redeem themselves with a squad that includes Steven Burke, Mark Christian, Iain Paton, Daniel Patten, Andrew Tennant and Michael Thompson as they aim to lift themselves off the bottom of the team standings.
Great Britain mountain bike rider Grant Ferguson is also listed to start for Betch.NL-Superior-Brentjens MTB Racing Team. The Scot performed more than capably when he swapped the trails for the road in the Jayco Herald Sun Tour earlier this year.
Eight laps of the reservoir loop make up the first stage, totalling 104 miles of racing on a demanding circuit around the Derwent Reservoir which should benefit climbers.
A final ascent to Derwent Bridge and the grounds of Derwent Reservoir should see the race fragment.
A 112-mile course takes in two loops – four circuits of the reservoir loop of stage one plus three laps of the Blanchland loop which crosses Bale Hill and Meadows Edge.
Another climb awaits riders at the culmination, as in previous editions coming in the grounds of Northumbrian Water.
How to follow the race
- Racing starts at 1pm on Saturday and 1.30pm on Sunday, on both occasions at Blanchland Village Hall - Blanchland, Hexham, Northumberland, DH8 9SR.
- You can follow the racing with live updates in our blog at www.britishcycling.org.uk/eliteserieslive
- Follow race day on Twitter @BritishCycling.
- A full race report, images and video highlights will appear on the British Cycling website.