To celebrate the 10th edition of the OVO Energy Tour Series in May, the TourSeries.co.uk will be asking riders, team managers, cycling experts and even race staff to pick their Dream Team from the hundreds of riders who have competed in Britain’s leading criterium series.

Few people are better qualified to name their Dream Team than Dave Povall, the mastermind behind Team UK Youth’s 2013 victory. After finishing third overall in 2012, Povall’s team won an impressive nine out of the 12 rounds the following year, dropping only seven points throughout.

The rules are simple: our subject can name any five riders who have ridden at least one round since the thrilling series opener in Milton Keynes in 2009. However, there was one thing Povall asked about his Dream Team: “They don’t have to ride in Durham, do they?!”


YANTO BARKER Retired; formerly of Pendragon Le Col Colnago, Team UK Youth, Team Raleigh, ONE Pro Cycling

“Yanto was UK Youth’s road captain during 2013 – I think he only sat out one round of that year’s Tour Series and took the individual win in Kirkcaldy. Back then, each team’s highest three riders counted towards the round result, and the competition within the team to be one of those was incredible – the bragging rights and teasing would be incessant within the team until the next round! When the racing was on that team just clicked – it’s hard to put into words, I’ve been told before to ‘let it go’ but the 2013 Tour Series group know what I mean. Yanto was a keystone in us delivering team wins and the overall title.”

CHRIS OPIE Canyon Eisberg; formerly of Pendragon Le Col Colnago, Team UK Youth, Rapha Condor JLT, ONE Pro Cycling

“Chris is a very classy rider, somebody whom I feel will still progress – I’m surprised he isn’t racing on a World Tour or Pro Continental team. He should’ve taken his first individual win in Aberystwyth in 2012 but he was outwitted approaching the final corner by Kristian House. The following year he triumphed in the Blue Riband round at Canary Wharf and backed it up in Aylsham a week later on a very different circuit. Chris brings consistency; a cool, calm demeanour; and one hell of a sprint to the table. He’s also one of the nicest blokes you’ll meet at a bike race anywhere in the world!”

ED CLANCY JLT Condor; formerly of Halfords BikeHut, Motorpoint-Marshall’s Pasta

GRAHAM BRIGGS JLT Condor; formerly of Candi TV-Marshall’s Pasta, Team Raleigh

“I’ve never worked with either of these riders, but always admired the way they go about their business. They strike me as quite different characters: Briggs is often barking at other riders in the bunch throughout the course of a round and regularly vocalising communication with John Herety [JLT Condor team manager]. Meanwhile, Clancy has the deepest rims any sponsor can provide, a can of Coke in his bidon and never gets out of the saddle – ever! He’s so cool and calm, never seems flustered, and when he opens the taps it’s usually carnage in his wake. They’re both incredible, consistent Tour Series racers – and winners.”

JON MOULD JLT Condor; formerly of Team UK Youth, NFTO Pro Cycling, ONE Pro Cycling

“To think he was seriously thinking of packing it all in after a difficult 2012 season! I’ve ridden and raced with Mouldy in and around South Wales for many years – I can recall him in Cardiff Ajax colours and that God-awful Agisko-Viner kit. I remember that the UK Youth line-up for 2013 was already finalised when one of Jon’s brothers asked if I could help him find a team. Somehow I convinced Nigel [Mansell, 1992 Formula One world champion and team owner] that he could do a job for us. A few months later he took an individual round win, solo from the break in Colchester, and he’s never looked back. The most Tour Series individual wins EVER [11 to date – Ed], he’s probably up there in total team wins, too, and his social media is pretty funny.”

In summary, Povall admits it wasn’t easy picking just five riders. “There are so many classy riders I could have picked,” he explains. “Proven race winners, good team players and those who are still yet to reach their potential.

“I could have easily put people like Big Maggy [Magnus Backstedt], Niklas Gustavsson, Steele von Hoff, Demmers [Zak Dempster], Scott Thwaites and Ian Wilkinson into my line-up. They’d make a strong team, without doubt.

“I feel incredibly privileged to have worked with some of the riders in my Dream Team, as well as devising strategies to beat those who were racing against us!”

Stay tuned to the TourSeries.co.uk in the coming weeks for more Dream Teams and full 2018 event details.