Marcin Bialoblocki leads the British Cycling Elite Road Series ahead of Circuit of the Fens on 27 July and the Velosure Giordana RT rider will be hoping for repeat of his 2013 win to stretch his slender series advantage over Team Raleigh’s Yanto Barker.
Bialoblocki won the 2013 edition of the race riding for the dominant Team UK Youth outfit, battling it out with teammates Niklas Gustavsson and Joshua Hunt for the top step of the podium.
With Team UK Youth folding at the end of 2013, Bialoblocki joined Velosure Giordana RT and didn’t take long to open his Elite Road Series account.
Polish-born Bialoblocki won round two of the series, the Cycle Wiltshire Grand Prix in April and has since kept himself in contention with consistent finishing in the following rounds.
But a win for Barker in May’s Lincoln Grand Prix displaced Bialoblocki from the head of the table before the 31-year-old retook the series lead following the Ryedale Grand Prix on 20 July.
There Bialoblocki placed 12th to Barker’s 16th, leaving the table tantalisingly poised as the Elite Series enters its concluding stages.
Bialoblocki now has 113 points to Barker’s 111 while behind them, Alex Peters, winner of the Tour of the Reservoir in April, is a lonely third on 101 points with a big gap to Graham Briggs in fourth place on 69.
A win in Ryedale last weekend for Briggs’ teammate Richard Handley has seen him leap up the table to ninth, with 54 points, Handley taking a fine victory aided by teammates Mike Cuming and Hugh Carthy.
But it is Madison Genesis that currently lead the team standings after five rounds, level on points with NFTO Pro Cycling, with both teams on 41 points, while Team Raleigh trail in third on 39.
The Circuit of the Fens is a complete contrast to last week’s hilly Ryedale Grand Prix, swapping the hills of North Yorkshire with the wide open fenland of Cambridgeshire. But the longest one-day event on the Elite Road Series calendar poses a different set of challenges.
The race starts and finishes in the town of Whittlesey, Cambridgeshire, using a series of long and short circuits to create a challenging 134 mile route.
While there are no climbs to contend with, the fens are renowned for their winds, which can cause race-defining splits, forcing the peloton into echelons in an effort to gain shelter.
Racing begins at 12 noon at the Sir Harry Smith Community College, Whittlesey with reports, results, images and video on the British Cycling website.