Newly-crowned Sportsbreaks.com Tour Series champions Pro-Noctis – Rotor – Redchilli Bikes p/b Heidi Kjelsden credited team spirit and dedication as the reasons behind their maiden title.

Although the team wrapped up the women’s championship in Saturday’s penultimate round in Barking, they took second place on the night in Manchester on Tuesday behind Team Boompods to ensure that they never finished outside of the top two in any round.

After seven rounds of racing they finished 17 points ahead of their nearest challengers, Team Spectra Wiggle p/b Vitus and Teams Boompods.

Bexy Dew, who rode the final three rounds of the series, said: “Morale has been really high throughout, we worked really well together. We have analysed and talked about each round afterwards and how we can improve as a team. I think that’s what’s made us stronger and we definitely finished on a high today. I think it added to the enjoyment and the excitement of the whole thing [having the leaders jerseys all series].”

Team director Phil Kelly also spoke of his pride in the riders’ performances over recent weeks, adding: “As the overall sponsor for the team, you see what work everybody has put into the series. It’s not just about the races, but everything else around it. The commitment the girls have, not just to racing, but to the training, that’s what has created those results tonight and their willingness to bond together as a team, and perform as a team. I think that was their best performance as a team tonight, and what a way to go out. It was a really proud moment.”

With the title already sealed, team manager Rick Lister admitted that he could relax and enjoy the final owing to the lessened pressure.

He said: “I had an idea we’d got the team [championship] early on [in the series] – we knew we were heading that way, so it was just a case of not having a major problem. It’s been really good, I really enjoyed tonight.”

Despite missing out on the team and individual victories on the night, British circuit race champion Jo Tindley wrapped up the Freewheel.co.uk sprints competition. Having led since the series opener in Guisborough, she only conceded one point to nearest rival Sammie Stuart (Team Brother UK – LDN) to win the blue jersey by eight points.

Tindley said: “We came into this round having pretty much zoned out from the team event, so it was all hands on deck to secure the points jersey. I knew that Sammie was probably going to go for it and she could have won it tonight if it hadn’t have gone to plan. The girls just rode a blinder and the lead-outs were incredible, so it was just a great night all round.

“As a youth I spent a lot of time in Manchester so it was a really good Grand Final. I enjoyed the circuit; it raced really well, the corners flowed and there was probably only one corner that you had to punch out of. It was a lot easier than Clacton!”

For full results of the Sportsbreaks.com Tour Series 2022, please click here.

Highlights of the Grand Final from Manchester will be broadcast on ITV4 at 7pm on Wednesday 25 May and available on demand via the ITV Hub for 30 days.

[Words: Sarah Abbott]