Raleigh’s Alexandre Blain comes back from a fall five laps from the end of the race in Torquay to finish ninth and retain his IG Gold jersey for the leader in the sprints competition.

One of the favourite teams for The Pearl Izumi Tour Series in 2013 is Raleigh with a strengthened line-up but some bad luck after their great start in Kirkcaldy has put a dent in their hopes for the overall. As Dean Downing explained in his interview, the level has gone up in The Pearl Izumi Tour Series and it doesn’t take much to hurt a team’s hope in a round of the series.

In Torquay, Raleigh went into the event with the Series leader in the IG Sprints competition, Alex Blain with another Team Raleigh rider Tom Scully also in the hunt along with Kristian House.

Defending that lead went well with both riders working well to take more Sprint points in the three sprints with Kristian House showing his interest in the competition by pushing Alex all the way.

It was though the team win that Alex and Raleigh were after and a crash five laps out put a dent in that ambition.

“At the hairpin at the top of the circuit, I tried to stay in the front and there was a big fight. I was on Eric’s [Berthou, Team Raleigh] wheel and well placed with Node4 inside, Rapha in the middle and in the fight for the corner, som one touched my handlebar in the corner and I lost my front wheel.

“I crashed and twisted my forefinger which was hurting a lot and I broke my derailleur and I was stuck on my 12 sprocket. I chased hard and came back with three laps to go and made it to the front of the bunch. I decided to take the lead for Tom [Scully] and maybe Langy [Richard] but on the last lap, I was there at the front and on the last two turns, I launched my sprint and was in fourth position.

“I was going well and then tried to launch my sprint again with 300 metres to go but could not get the 11 so I stayed in the slipstream of the riders in front of me. I crossed fingers that Scud [Tom Scully] and Langy would pass me or maybe Moses too. But UK Youth took the team award again so it was a bad night for us.

“We know the gold jersey is important, every time on the podium is good for the team with TV and for sure we want to go for it but maybe not too much if we want to go for the red jersey [leaders] for the team GC ranking.

“Rapha is racing for the individual wins and UK Youth for the team whilst we try to do everything and that is impossible. We have to think about that and plan what we do now. It would be hard to let the gold jersey go but maybe on a harder course, it will be better for us."

Thanks to VeloUK, who you can follow for all of the latest cycling news, for the words.