Atkins wins Elite Circuit Series Round 2 in Stockton
Sun, 13 Jul 2014 14:45:38

British Cycling’s Elite Circuit Series kicked off this month and it was George Atkins who claimed the spoils in round 2 with victory at Stockton Festival of Cycling on Friday 11th July.


The Stockton round featured 1 hour + 5 laps of a tight circuit and with several 180 degree turns it was a race for an explosive sprinter like Atkins, who also won on the same course last year.


The 22-year-old from Newport edged out Scott Thwaites (NetApp-Endura) with Dean Downing (NFTO Pro Cycling) taking third. Read the British Cycling race report here.

It was Alexandre Blain of Raleigh and Pete Williams of Haribo Beacon who did much of the early pace setting along with Matt Cronshaw of Velosure Giordana.

As the field started to string out and break apart it was Raleigh who had the most options with Blain joined in the leading group by last year’s winner George Atkins, plus Matthieu Boulo and Ian Wilkinson.

The raced ebbed and flowed until the final few laps and it was Atkins who timed his move perfectly as he overhauled Richard Handley and had Scott Thwaites behind him and closing fast but he held on to take the win by half a bike length.

Thanks to www.VeloUK .net for the image.

Thanks to http://www.VeloUK .net for the image.

Speaking after the race, Atkins reflected on the move in the closing stages that set up the win: “It was more like two laps of effort so it was a bit of a drag out rather than a slow sprint, so it was a different way to win it but I’m equally happy with that. We probably had the strongest team here, so we had a bit on our side to do a strong ride but it’s nice to put it all together.”

The opening round in the series came at Otley on Wednesday 2nd June. With the Tour de France coming through just a few days later in was clear that the race would be a well-attended support race.

Over the 24 lap race it looked for some time that Matthieu Boulo would take the win until he was caught by the pack. Alex Blain then took up the charge, fighting hard for fifth place. See the full results here.

With four more rounds to go in the six round series Atkins will be looking to reclaim his title with strong placings in Colne (16th), Beverley (18th), Sheffield (23rd) and the Wales Open Criterium (30th). See the full list of all 2014 British Cycling Elite Circuit Series races here.


Second place at Beaumont Trophy for Mark Christian
Mon, 23 Jun 2014 22:03:18

In a thrilling 180km road race Team Raleigh’s Mark Christian narrowly lost out to Kristian House as the two fought out a two-up sprint in the closing metres.


With former winners such as Bradley Wiggins, Chris Newton, Russell and Dean Downing, Malcolm Elliott and Don Sanderson on the trophy, the winner would join elite company, even more so this year as the race rose to UCI 1.2 level, one of only four UCI road races in the UK in 2014.

The race is centred around the village of Stamfordham and takes in the fearsome climb of the Ryals and it was here where the decisive move happened.


Christian and House escaped from an elite group of leading riders to contest a sprint finish 20 seconds ahead of a five man group, which featured Team Raleigh’s Evan Oliphant.

For more on the race see the report from Velo UK.




Jersey haul – two Tour Series podium places for Boulo and Kniesky
Sun, 15 Jun 2014 21:19:33

The final round of 2014′s Tour Series saw the team claim another two podium places, capping off a very successful criterium series for Raleigh.

Unlike the other rounds, Round 10 not only saw riders facing an evening criterium but an earlier hill climb race and a road race on the Sunday as well.


On a sun-drenched Friday afternoon our French rider Matthieu Boulo was the fastest rider to ascend Mont de la Guerande, beating NFTO’s Adam Blythe by 1.26 seconds and claiming his second win of this season’s competition.

Speaking to the Tour Series after the race Boulo said: “Ultimately it’s a win for the team and getting the team that recognition. I’m in very good condition and very pleased.

“It’s a great Series, there’s always been good riders, good crowd and a great atmosphere, it’s a good place to race. I’m proud of my wins. Racing’s racing, it doesn’t matter if I’m in France, Spain or England, I want to win!”


Later that evening Raleigh faced off in the evening criterium. Although it was former Raleigh man Tom Stewart who stole a march on the bunch to come home first, Raleigh’s Morgan Kniesky edged fellow Olympian Ed Clancy for second spot. Kniesky and Clancy will know each other well from their track days and Kniesky will have been pleased to put one over on his old adversary.


With a day’s rest before Sunday’s International Road Race it gave Yanto Barker the time to recover from a bug and re-join the team. Within minutes of the race starting he showed a clean pair of heels to the bunch, instigating a break on the first ascent of St Catherine’s Hill, midway around the 14-kilometre loop.


After being joined by Adam Blythe, Steve Lampier, James McLaughlin and Ian Bibby the five worked well together to stay clear of a peloton for the rest of the race. It was only on the final lap that Barker’s week off took its toll as he was distanced by the bunch.

Barker finished fifth in the end, well clear of the sixth placed rider. Team mates Evan Oliphant and Matthieu Boulo were both inside the top 12, although it wasn’t enough to affect the final standings in the Tour Series team competition.

Team Raleigh finished 3rd overall but with two Team wins and two solo victories, the haul of medals is another significant achievement for team manager Cherie Pridham.“I’m very happy with the way the team performed. We have a small squad and we had to rotate some of the younger riders in to cover injuries. They excelled themselves and grabbed the opportunities we gave them.”

Team Raleigh move from Jersey onto the North East this week with two prestigious races coming up in Newcastle – Beaumont Trophy and Leazes Criterium – where Ian Wilkinson is expected to return from injury.

* All images courtesy of Larry Hickmott, Velo UK.

Jersey Boys! Team Raleigh head to Channel Islands for final Tour Series round
Fri, 13 Jun 2014 15:56:46

After nine pulsating rounds the Tour Series culminates this weekend with a triple header in the Channel Islands for Round 10.

Situated 100 miles south of mainland Britain and 14 miles from the French coastline, Jersey enjoys a mild climate and is blessed with quiet and safe roads for riding.

Although this weekend will be far from quiet on the island. The town of Gorey will be the epicentre of the action, giving race fans and sportive participants a sun-kissed dose of cycling.

This is the first time the Tour Series has travelled off the British mainland and to do so with three races over the same weekend shows how big the series has become.

Starting on Friday, the Hill Climb and the Criterium followed by Sunday’s International Road Race will settle the results of this year’s Tour Series.

King Of The Hill
Who will be king of the hill? Well we now know! Matthieu Boulo blazed a trail through pretty cottages on the Route de la Cote and up the Mont de la Guerande.

Thanks to Tour Series and Velo UK for the image.

Thanks to Tour Series and Velo UK for the image.

Evening Criterium
The main event. One hour and fifteen minutes of fast and furious racing around the Gorey criterium circuit. WIll Matthieu Boulo be able to repeat his success, or will the lads collectively win the Team prize again? Follow Team Raleigh on Twitter for up-to-the-minute action.

International Road Race
After two races on Friday and a gentle sportive spin on Saturday the riders will be severley tested on Sunday with the ten anti-clockwise laps around the island’s 14.3km circuit.

Featuring KOM points, sprint primes and a healthy prize fund, our six-man team will be battling for the honours in the final Tour Series event of 2014.

You can catch highlights of Tour Series Round 10: Jersey on ITV4 at 7pm on Monday 16th June.

Coming next
Once we’re back from Jersey you’ll catch us in Newcastle for Leazes Criterium and the Beaumont Trophy. Click here for the full race calendar.

Canary Warfare! Yanto 8th at Tour Series Round 8
Fri, 06 Jun 2014 08:38:47

Tour Series Round 8 saw Britain’s elite sprint specialists battle around London’s business district to claim glory in the team based competition.


The 5-man team on Thursday featured Tuesday’s winner Matthieu Boulo, fellow Frenchman Morgan Kneisky, plus Yanto Barker, Liam Stones and George Atkins, who appeared to do an impromptu turn on the PA system before the race


Thanks @vivasocial for the photo.

Yanto Barker was the only man in the break for Raleigh and made a brave bid for glory in the final laps. He was eventually caught by race winner and former Raleigh rider Tobyn Horton and had to settle for 8th.

Speaking after the race Cherie Pridham said: “Thanks for all the support last night at Canary Wharf. Close but no cigar. We gave it our all. See you in Woking on Tuesday.”

Next week sees The Pearl Izumi Tour Series make its annual trip to Woking, with the Surrey town hosting Round Nine on Tuesday 10th June, alongside the final event of the women’s Matrix Fitness Grand Prix Series.

Teams will then head to Jersey in the Channel Islands for a double header final round, encompassing a hill climb event and the traditional circuit race on Friday 13 June, as a part of the Jersey Festival of Cycling.

The weekend includes the Pearl Izumi Tour Ride coastal sportive on Saturday 14 June allowing amateur riders to ride the island, before the Pearl Izumi Jersey International Road Race on Sunday 15 June, which will see the professionals back in action for a 140-kilometre, ten lap road race.

Go Boulo! Matthieu takes stunning solo win at Tour Series Round 7
Wed, 04 Jun 2014 06:17:33

Matthieu Boulo lit up a damp evening in Redditch with his red hot pace taking him to a solo victory in front of a huge crowd.

Following last week’s team wins in Durham and Edinburgh Raleigh continued their excellent run of form with first place on the night, second place in the team competition and the Costa Fastest Lap award.

boulo redditch2

Raleigh had been one of the most active teams throughout Redditch’s Choose How You Move round, with Liam Stones, Yanto Barker and Boulo all enjoying time off the front on the town centre course.

Learning from his attempts in the previous rounds, Boulo timed his effort to perfection this time, going away with two laps to go and putting his head down to power to victory.

A crash in the final lap allowed a trio of riders from Rapha Condor JLT an easy route to the team victory, leaving Stones and Barker to pick up fifth and eighth respectively. Raleigh are now just three points behind Madison-Genesis in the race for second place in the Team competition.

Talking after the race Cherie Pridham said: “The lads rode brilliantly tonight. We had a plan to get men in the break and to get four in the right move gave us several options. This is certainly a major objective achieved for us. Matthieu in particular has been a real revelation. It took a few rounds to learn the ropes and get the hang of the Tour Series but he looks so strong right now. Not bad for a cyclocrosser!”

boulo redditch


You can catch the highlights of Tour Series Round 7: Redditch on ITV4 at 9pm on Wednesday.

Coming Next

Hope to see you at Canary Wharf,  London for Tour Series Round 8 on Thursday.

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