Tour of Britain -- Rapha Condor
Stage 2 and the Rapha Condor team started the stage brightly but ultimately the day brought frustration for the team overall as a number of riders lost a handful of seconds on the twisty run in to the finish at Newcastle Gateshead. Kristian House was the best placed rider in the team rolling in on the coat tails of the sprinters and he is now the teams leading rider on GC.
Tom Southam again picked up points in the King of the Mountains competition giving the team plenty of options as they enter day 3 of the race. Paul Rowlands caught up with the riders on the transfer from Gateshead to Peebles to get their view on a mixed day for the team.
Chris Newton: "I attacked early on, to see if there was a move would go and eventually got away with two others, Nicolas Roche and a guy from Agritubel (Freddy Bichot we think), but Roche was absolutely caning it, doing more damage to the group than was necessary, jumping us every time he went through so you couldn’t really get his wheel instead of trying to be a bit more conservative and so we eventually got caught and I suffered a bit for that because the race was on then. It settled down after that break went and we just waited for the run in really. We talked about doing something on the run in, maybe just trying to jump away in the last three km because I knew it dipped down a bit at 65km an hour in the peloton there’s not really room for manoeuvre."
Asked about the run in: "I was saying to the guys, if you’re an out and out sprinter you can stay in the top 20, get your elbows out and that’s fair enough, you’re not gonna lose time but if you’re not like that, it’s a tricky finish. The rest of the field are not prepared to keep all the gaps together, for some it’s the end of their season, that’s when the gaps start appearing, it’s just the way it is really."
Looking forward to the rest of the race: "You’re just looking for that one move that’s gonna go and decide the GC. We’ve still got to pay attention. There was a move that went today and we had Tom in it and there was only Columbia that missed it, if Columbia had been in there, that would have been it, that would have gone and the GC would have been sorted there and then so it only takes that one little move. The whole team’s got to pay attention and make sure we stay up there."
Kristian House: "It’s not really that there was a front split as such, I couldn’t even see a split but all the guys were saying there was. I just remember last year losing a couple of seconds on the same finish, but it was different as it was wet. This year I just stayed as close as I could to the front. Even on that last hairpin they still gapped me, and when they actually started to sprint I was in the top 20 of that group, they gapped me but I got it back, as far as I knew it was one big group."
Asked if he took risks on the run in: "Not anything majorly dangerous, but anytime you get involved in a bunch gallop for someone like me (a non-sprinter) you are taking a risk, because I’m not as punchy as a sprinter is. I took a few risks to stay there but it never once got dangerous." Looking forward to the rest of the race: "We’ll see tonight when we get the results where everyone is and go from there. The goals don’t really change I don’t think. We’re here for stage wins and try to got someone up there on GC".
Tom Southam: "A pretty disappointing stage really -- we all did terribly and lost time in the finish which has just about put us on the back foot for everyone on GC except for Kristian. Once you’re on the back foot and you’ve lost one second, two seconds you have to not only be in the breakaway you, have to gain time on the breakaway which in these kind of races doesn’t really happen. It’s just a matter of being there, you don’t need good legs to be there, just a good head on your shoulders."
Asked about how the result today affects the objectives going forward: "Wait to see what John says. I’m not spending the whole race going all out for King of the Mountains because once you do that you get marked out of going for stage wins, you get marked out of everything, I’ll just try to stay there or there abouts."
Dan Craven: (who was involved in one of the crashes today): "It was around a corner, it just started drizzling, it was wet and someone must have just touched the white line and went down. Then everyone slammed on anchors and the guy in front of me did the same and went sideways, I had nowhere to go and the two of us had our separate little crash, I fell into soft grass so it wasn’t actually bad. Barloworld was chasing at the time and two of their guys went down so obviously they stopped (chasing) and just as a thing of etiquette everyone just slowed down, I got back on very quickly and once everyone was back the pace was brought back up again."
Left: Dan Craven with Chris Froome.
Asked about losing time on the run in: "I don’t know if you can really ask what went wrong. Basically it was just a split and positioning but none of us are sprinters so it’s unlikely we’re going to be really up with the first 10 or 15 (where the split happened). It’s one of those things. It’s not as if it’s such a big gap and if a 20 man group goes as it often does in this race we’ll hope to have someone there."
Simon Richardson: "We were all making the race in the first 40km, it was really hard getting off the front but we were all there in the moves and then the first move that goes is the first one that doesn’t have anyone of us in it. After that it was a pretty arduous day, it was windy and undulating. We did have a block headwind for the first 50 or 60km but once Garmin started riding and Barloworld as well, it felt like we were going at quite a lick. I still feel good, getting off the front I was ok, just really frustrated with myself in the finale, it’s quite a difficult last couple of km and I was just too far back, I’ve lost an handful of seconds so I’m kicking myself now."
John Herety: "I'll reserve judgement until I see the GC result sheet and see what the gaps are. At the moment I'm pretty annoyed with the way things panned out after such a good start to the stage. The race is by no means over but I think Tom's synopsis is spot on, it's really difficult to get even one or two seconds back. It's easy to lose time but extremely difficult to get that time back."
The race continues tomorrow with the 3rd stage from Peebles to Gretna.