Talking Pearl Izumi Tour Series with double Olympic champion Ed Clancy, winner at Aberystwyth and Torquay.

Winner of his second straight round of The Pearl Izumi Tour Series in Torquay, Olympic Track Champion Ed Clancy is enjoying his time on the road but will be missing the next round in Colchester on Thursday due to the UCI introducing a new layer of qualifying events for the Olympics in Rio.

On a flat circuit in Torquay where it was easier for the riders to sit in the wheels, and the finish was 300 metres from the final bend, the race was decided in a bunch kick which was not unexpected explained Ed.

“With eight or nine laps to go, everyone was resigned to the fact it was probably going to be a bunch sprint. Every team probably had one rider who was prepared to lead it out and chase things down so when the inevitable bunch sprint happened, I was just trying to stay near the front out of trouble.

“I thought it was going to be a relatively fast and easy course but the hairpin does takes its toll after an hour and the last four or five laps were really hard. It is always a compromise of holding your position up front because you don’t have any leadout men to help you, so you can hold your position up front and put your nose in the wind. Stay second or third wheel but you’ll be fighting all the time moving up in the wind so I was sitting back a little bit with two or three to go hoping at one point it would slow up and I’d have a bit of a dive bomb and move up but it never happened.

“It got faster and faster and I must have come out of the final corner in seventh or eighth position and desperately moved to the right hand side to go past people and it was close with Deano!

“It is nice to get the win especially back to back wins. I feel a bit sorry for Deano because he is a top guy and he’s riding really well at the moment. It is not nice to deny a good mate a win but I am sure he’ll get one before the season is over as he’s looking good.”

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Great Britain Duty

“I am not going to be in Colchester because I’m off to Valencia to represent GB and ride the Omnium and qualify for the World Cups. The road to Rio starts this weekend really. The UCI have introduced some summer track events to qualify for the World Cup season. In an ideal world, I’d like to be focused on this [Pearl Izumi Tour Series] because as you know Larry, I enjoy the road as much, if not more than the track, especially at the moment.

“Being with Rapha Condor JLT is a great home for me and I get well looked after and have a great race programme and John [Herety] is awesome. Nonetheless, there are Olympic medals up for grabs in Rio so that all starts now.”

“I’ll be back for the rest of the series in Redditch. Colchester is not a bad circuit for me but there’s a bit of an incline and you know how I climb Larry [laughs] so it’s not the end of the world. There are not a lot of easy circuits in the series. A lot of them are quite stop start and they have a bit of a savage hill in them but it’s great for the team to win individually three out of five events [Kristian House won Durham] so we can’t hope for much more than that with a bit of a development team this year.”

“Everything is on course. I can’t deny Team UK Youth and Team Raleigh are better than us from the team point of view this year but we knew that at the start and we’ll just keep going for the individual wins I think.”

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Argy Bargy

It’s no secret The Pearl Izumi Tour Series gets more and more competitive each year with riders dive bombing each other on corners etc is commonplace, especially on the faster circuits like Torquay. Asked whether riders will ride over each other to get to where they want to be, Ed replied “Absolutely.

“We established ourselves on the front quite early, five or six laps out from the finish which isn’t ideal but we did it to stay out of trouble mainly.

“We weren’t there for more than 200 metres before the whole team of five riders had other people in and out of the train, and while riders respect each other, it’s just racing where people want to do really well. People get carried away in the heat of the moment and do things that they regret. I do it. The last two or three laps are scary.

“I was seventh or eighth at the final corner and whilst it’s good to be in the shelter and not have your nose in the wind, it’s generally too far back to sprint for the win. But you have to keep defending your line and if you’re not dive bombing, you’re being dive bombed but that is the nature of crit riding when there is a lot up for grabs.

“There is a lot of media attention at The Pearl Izumi Tour Series. It’s important for the sponsors and there was nothing ridiculous I saw but I am sure there must have been some ridiculous things going on behind me. There was a lot of shouting going on and three is argy bargy but that’s the nature of what we do…”

Thanks to VeloUK, where you can keep up-to-date with all of the latest cycling news, for the interview.