Team UK Youth scored their first team win of the 2013 Pearl Izumi Tour Series in Stoke-on-Trent on Tuesday, taking the Series lead for the first time ever.

The team, promoting the UK’s leading youth charity, took both an individual and team win during the 2012 Series, but Round Three was the first time they have taken the overall lead of The Pearl Izumi Tour Series.

It was an emotional team owner and 1992 Formula One World Champion Nigel Mansell, who watched his team’s riders go up on the podium time and time again on the night and never has there been a prouder team owner than Nigel.

Asked what that victory meat to him, Nigel replied, “Everything, the whole world. We represent 46,000 volunteers, over a million children in the country and it is incredibly emotional how the team fought back in this race to win and be leading the overall.

“The team is fantastic but still have a lot of hard work to do as it’s very early [in the Series]. I am so proud of them on behalf of the charity [UK Youth] and it is just a fantastic, incredibly professional Series, so hard and gruelling, anyone who rides a bike knows there is no place to hide.

“You have to put the effort in and this is what our team is all about; demonstrating to young people that if you work hard, you can get some great results and empower others to be inspirational and be mentors to others. Our team is all about that.

“They have all made themselves, myself and the whole UK Youth organization incredibly privileged and proud tonight to be part of The Pearl Izumi Tour Series”.

 

Capturing the individual win on the night, his second from three races was Welshman Yanto Barker.

“Can’t believe it – that’s it!” he said smiling after the podium ceremony.

Talking about teammate Tobyn Horton being in the break and the team having faith in him, Yanto explained “Absolute trust. When I saw the group go and ‘Tubs’ was the last one to get across, I was very pleased with that and would have been quiet happy if it had stayed away.

“We needed to apply some pressure to Raleigh to close that gap and I think they had some misfortune in crashes but that is the way it goes unfortunately and the law of averages says it will all pan out the same for everyone”.

“After the third sprint, the pace in the chase group really was on and Rapha were doing the same as us and really on it. I think they may be a little weakened having a team in the RAS but were still on it. We had three or four really hard laps and that put everyone in the red and brought the break back.

“Then it was game on.”

Talking about the leadout, Yanto praised all the riders for the speed they managed to hold at the front over the closing laps and had special praise for Chris Opie saying “I have never seen a turn like it. I was literally at threshold on the wheel going so fast for two laps.

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“I was confident for the race as I know I am going well but it wasn’t the plan for them to lead me out but there was a point when I either went through or I pushed Wilks [Ian Wilkinson] through to do another turn. I thought one of us needs to make sure we get this and I was aware that no-one was dive bombing me which was a good sign that we were going quick enough.”

“If we weren’t and riders had been dive bombing, then I would have probably gone through but as it was, I made a decision that these boys can do this to a lap to go and then I’ll take it up.

“I think it was Felix English who hit out early from the left hander on the rise before the feed and he gapped me a bit but I knew I’d get him as it’s a bit hard coming up this rise here and we went into the last left hander and I just kicked to get on to his wheel”.

“Once we hit the exit and I’d had a bit of time to take a deep breath, I then I kicked again.

“I was pleased to hold on as I was really grinding that gear at the end and knew it was Dean Downing on my wheel as he’d been there for the last few laps. I thought, if I can stay in front of him, we’re doing alright!”

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Yanto has now won solo, in Kirkcaldy (above), and in a bunch kick although he explained that it wasn’t really a bunch kick because they were doing three laps at threshold and then it was a 40 second sprint which isn’t a sprint.

“That suits me a lot because I don’t have a massive kick and we know this because we’re working on power this year and I know everyone’s numbers and how to make the most of what I have got in my ‘toolbox’ which is the terminology we use with the coach and I know if I am going to win a bunch kick, I need to go early so it’s more of an endurance sprint”.

Having taken the red Pearl Izumi Tour Series leader’s jerseys off Raleigh, Yanto says “I think it’s easier to defend than to attack. At the end of the day, if you’re riding as a unit and we demonstrated what we are capable of tonight, the most important thing whether we have the red jerseys or not, is that we ride like that as it’s the way to win this Series."

Thanks to VeloUK, where you can find all of the latest cycling news, for the interviews.