Day 1 of the 2014 Tour of Britain and it certainly didn’t disappoint. A strong showing in the Team standings and riders well placed in the General Classification give Raleigh-GAC an excellent start.
The six riders chosen for Raleigh-GAC were introduced to the crowds in their new Tour of Britain kit before Team Manager Cherie Pridham outlined the plans for the day
With Liverpool bathed in sunshine and thousands of fans lining the street for the 8-lap circuit race, there was action from the gun in the city centre criterium.
The day’s early break allowed plenty of TV air time for the Raleigh-GAC team until a mechanical problem called the team car mechanic into action and forced the rider back to the bunch.
From thereon in the peleton allowed the break to remain clear until the final lap.
That’s when the pace picked up furiously as all 20 teams seemed to be trying to organise their lead out trains. Except no one team was able to take control so the head of the race became a rotating, disorganised mass of riders.
Into the final kilometre Ian Wilkinson was ducking and diving and placing himself well to secure a solid result until his luck ran out and he too became boxed in with nowhere to go. Instead it was Yanto Barker and Morgan Kneisky who were separated by half a wheel in 15th and 17th with Wilkinson finishing 25th.
The points for those positions gave Raleigh-GAC second place in the Team competition, one point away from leading the Team standings.
Team Manager Eddie White: “It was that fast and that hard coming into the finish that it became a dangerous place to be. So I think we produced a fantastic result to keep three guys up there challenging to the finish.
“With the way the lads are riding I’ve every confidence that we’ll be seeing plenty more of Raleigh-GAC in front of the cameras.”
Tomorrow’s stage takes the riders from Knowsley Safari Park to Llandudno, finishing on the seafront after what promises to be stunning coastal climb around the Great Orme.