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.

Former British circuit race champion and 2011 Tour Series winner James McCallum is the latest person to pick their Dream Team. Although he never claimed an individual round victory, the Scot helped Endura Racing finish second overall in 2010, before going one better with the dominant Rapha Condor Sharp team 12 months later. McCallum, a Commonwealth Games bronze medallist, went on to ride for NFTO in 2014 and manage ONE Pro Cycling.

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. “There are a few obvious choices, having been team-mates with some of the most successful riders in Tour Series history over the years,” McCallum explains. “But the five riders I’ve picked are all entertainers: each of them knew or know that the Tour Series isn’t just about racing hard and that there’s an element of producing something that the crowd can connect to. A sense of sporting theatre, if you will.”


ROB HAYLES Retired; formerly of Halfords BikeHut, Endura Racing

“A member of the original Tour Series Dream Team with Halfords in 2009. When he was on, there was nobody faster than him. Put him alongside the likes of Ed Clancy in that team and it’s not hard to see why they won the first Tour Series title. He’s a figurehead, a patron of the bunch and a genuine leader. You needed him in your team: he’s got such good mannerisms, a load of experience and I could trust him with anything. But my god he was FAST on a bike: you could hear him coming before seeing him. Without doubt, he’d be the road captain of my team.”

ED CLANCY JLT Condor; formerly of Halfords BikeHut, Motorpoint-Marshalls Pasta

“I’ve got to pick him because he’s Ed. He can do anything. He’s great for morale; Ed’s somebody who you can have a laugh with at almost any time. When’s he’s racing at the Tour Series, he can do what he wants, whenever he wants. Even if he starts at the back of the pack, you’ll see him ride up to the front as he wishes. As well as his strength, he’s a great bike handler, and he also carries a great deal of authority and respect within the bunch. For sure, Ed has to go in my Dream Team.”

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

“Well, he’s won the most individual rounds, so he’s another must. Jon’s similar to Ed in many ways but, if anything, he’s a bit more versatile. Put him on any type of Tour Series course and he’ll be up there. Redditch with the hill to end the lap? Not a problem. Edinburgh on the cobbles? He won there, too. He’s simply got a great engine for one-hour races, he’s an incredibly punchy rider. He’s probably one of the most complete riders ever in the UK – it’s a shame that he’s never won the British circuit race championships or the London Nocturne, but you can’t argue about his record.”

Picture: Mould (L) and McCallum (R) lead the peloton during the Tour Series’ visit to Barrow in 2014

GRAHAM BRIGGS JLT Condor; formerly of Candi TV-Marshalls Pasta, Team Raleigh

“I’ve raced with Brigga as a team-mate and against him as an opponent. He’s a formidable dude: during races he’s always shouting. He’s a tough customer to deal with – and a tenacious bugger, too. But he’s got a good racing mindset, so when he’s on it he’s outrageous. He can do what he wants: in recent years he’s put in some fantastic rides in the Tour of Britain, proving that he’s not just a crit rider. He’s super-fast and, technically, few get close to him. He’s matured now, he’s got a family, and I think being in that bubble in his home life has left him in a good place whenever he goes racing.”

Picking rider five proved tricky for McCallum – not that he was tempted to name himself. He said: “I’m torn between Chris Opie, a consistently quick finisher; Deano [Downing], who was an integral part of the Rapha Condor-Sharp squad when we won the 2011 title and Wilko [Ian Wilkinson].”

IAN WILKINSON Retired; formerly of Halfords BikeHut, Endura Racing, Team UK Youth, Team Raleigh, Pedal Heaven

“For me, Wilko has that combination of Opie’s flat out speed and the technical awareness of Deano. I’ve known Wilko for years; I loved that his versatility meant he could win the British mountain bike championships on the Saturday and then finish in the top three at the Lincoln Grand Prix on the Sunday. During the year we spent with each other at Endura in 2010, he was a breath of fresh air within that bubble you get stuck in racing the Tour Series on Tuesday-Thursday-Tuesday-Thursday. You could just talk to him about anything – too many people get caught up in the events. He’s got a refreshing outlook on life and he’s a genuinely good person. But more than that, he was unbelievably strong. I’d want to be by his side – or him by mine – during races! He’s the ultimate Tour Series showman, too. Who else would rock up to the start line in the Superman position?”

And finally, here’s McCallum’s choice for team manager.

JOHN HERETY JLT Condor

“I’d love to pick myself but I was never a DS – I managed WNT at one Tour Series round and luckily their riders were brilliant! To be honest, most of my Tour Series experiences were with John, who ended up being incredibly pivotal in my career. Nobody can say a bad thing about him; he knows the ins and outs of bike racing as good as anybody. Let’s face it, I’d want him in the pits, even when he’s doing his super secretive signals that nobody understands! You want a good, realistic plan on how to win a race? John’s got it. He’ll get the riders buying into it, too. I’d be his assistant, if that’s OK?”

Picture: John Herety “doing his super secretive signals” in 2012.

Click here for Dave Povall’s OVO Energy Tour Series Dream Team.