It was Team UK Youth’s Yanto Barker who took the individual honours in Kirkcaldy, winning Round One of the 2013 Series.

“Winning feels very good” said Yanto after the podium ceremony. “It is scary how easy it feels when you are strong enough, which is not something I have been in a position to say in my whole career. Chris (Opie) said after the first stage of the Tour of Reservoir that it’s taken eight years to win a national series at senior level.

“Well, it’s taken me 15-years which is scary! I would really like to say thank you to Nigel (Mansell) because I don’t think there is any coincidence that this is my first big win under his leadership, because he is a man who knows how to win and he really does. We have the resources within the team; we have great support; we have Steve Benton who is great team coach; we have Greg (Mansell) who is a real leader on the management side and then all the riders.

“Everyone is so positive and so good to be around I cannot tell you how much a pleasure it is and I feel really pleased I have been able to make a difference myself. I couldn’t wish for a better group!”

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Asked if it was good to get the first one out of the way and see where everyone is, Yanto replied, “There is always a few nerves coming into the first and I was a bit nervous but I had a good feeling about this afternoon. I felt good on Sunday, and on Monday I was good but tired and then this morning on the training ride, I felt a good progression between Sunday, Monday and today.” 

“It is also nice to have the individual win and looking forward to getting Durham out of the way because there are a lot of factors there like it’s a little dangerous, a little bit hard and if you have a slightly off lap, you can find yourself in difficulty so hopefully we can maintain our position at the front.

“I was quite cautious and measuring my efforts and Niklas (Gustavsson) was going really well until he rolled his tub and I nearly crashed into him. When the break did go though, it was hard. I have been up the road with Mike (Northey) and Tom Scully before like at Rutland and I knew they were good enough. Felix (English) was good but suffering. He’s a trier and I think John (Herety) was telling him to sit on but he came through and did what he had to because he was going to make it harder for himself if he didn’t come through.

“When it came to the last five laps, I started to feel better and I just heard that the fastest lap was mine from start to finish and that’s pleasing to be able to do a fastest lap after an hour and bit of racing.

“I was scared though of the sprint, it’s not my strength and both Mike and Tom are clearly good bike riders and I wasn’t confident so I wanted to give it a dig and I was pleased with how I timed it right. I was breathing through my ears those last laps! It was hard work for sure. I was pressing really hard between the corners, and then taking breathes because I was I knew I was taking the corners a metre or two quicker than the others.”

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

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