Post-race in Ipswich we caught up with Team UK Youth owner Nigel Mansell and double-round winner Yanto Barker, for their thoughts on winning the Series.

For one member of the team, it had been quite emotional. First watching son Greg come so close to winning the Suffolk – Most Active County – Sprint Challenge and then watching as his team were crowned Pearl Izumi Tour Series champions – boss, Nigel Mansell. Afterwards he joined his team on the podium and it was like the days of old, albeit on four-wheels, when Nigel would regularly be on the podium spraying the champagne around.

After everyone had drowned each other and been received by the huge crowd watching the celebration, Nigel explained how magnificent it was to win The Pearl Izumi Tour Series. “Everybody who is in this game knows how tough it is and we have been on the road a long time.”

“Teams like Rapha Condor JLT and Raleigh; and people like Ed Clancy who is an Olympic Gold medallist and Kristian House; and Tom Scully – what a ride he rode tonight – there is just an enormous amount of talent and great teams out there so to be able to win the series is just a tremendous success for the team and the boys.”

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Above – Yanto Barker on the podium at Round Three in Stoke-on-Trent

One of the most experienced pros in cycling is Team UK Youth’s Yanto Barker who works closely with Nigel and manager Dave Povall and for him, the win was a very proud moment. Asked what it felt like being on the podium where like everyone, he was drowned in champagne, he replied with a big smile “warm and wet with all the champagne that has been flowing!”

“It feels amazing. Words that sum up our Series are discipline and commitment to each other as well as leadership because Nigel is such a leader, such an inspiration.

“We have all been inspired to achieve beyond what we’ve done before, each and everyone of us and I’m including management in that as well. What you see in the team is true professionalism. Everyone riding their bike should be aspiring to be and do what we have done. Like the values that Nigel applies to the team and his philosophy on how to succeed. It is achievable to anyone who is dedicated to working hard and the team is phenomenal.

 “It is nice to see that true hard work does pay off”.

Talking about the race, Yanto explained how his went saying “I have only missed one round and it caught up with me a bit tonight. I really had to stretch myself to get to the move when I went across with Ed [Clancy]. I was taking big deep breathes into the corners and giving it everything.

“When we got there, the front group was going a bit slower than we had in the chase so we had a chance take a breath and while we knew we had the team win overall, we wanted to go out and apply ourselves in the same way we have in every single round and we won again tonight.

“I don’t want to just keep doing this for the rest of the season; I want to keep doing this for next year and the year after… it’s a real privilege to be part of.”

When asked how felt to be part of a line-up that has dominated the series in a way no other team has in the history of the Series, Yanto replied “Extremely proud and that is something I personally will take with me. I don’t know how many years I have left as a full time bike rider but I am riding better than ever with the support of the team and the infra-structure we have.”

Below – Team UK Youth's lead out set up Barker for the individual win in Stoke-on-Trent

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Finally, asked for a personal memory of the series, Yanto picked his win in Stoke-on-Trent. “I’d put myself into a good position by winning in Kirkcaldy by being in the break and being the strongest on the night. Stoke however was a bit of a surprise because I’m not a bunch sprinter but the way the boys rode, the win was more of a group effort and I finished it off.”

“It was more of surprise to me as well. To beat Dean [Downing] who is someone I respect and seen win rounds and was second, it was phenomenal. When you look at the faces on the finish straight, I am so proud to have won that one!”