NEWS


Wilko notches up best Team Raleigh Tour of Britain result with 6th in final stage
Sun, 14 Sep 2014 21:06:15

The final chapter of this year’s Tour of Britain saw the remaining 105 riders face an 8.8km time trial followed by a 10-lap circuit race along the same course.

With a bunch finish expected in the circuit race it was the time trial that would largely determine the final standings. Matthieu Boulo 10m 40s  put him in 39th place, which meant he slipped one place in the GC to 19th.

Later in the afternoon the team worked well to position Ian Wilkinson for the final sprint. Up against some of the world’s best sprinters, Marcel Kittel and Mark Cavendish, Wilko pulled a stunning result out the bag to finish in sixth place.

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Thanks to Trevor Mould for the image.

The final standings for Raleigh after the toughest Tour of Britain in recent memory are as follows:

  • 19th Mattheiu Boulo @ 2m 13
  • 35th Mark Christian @ 9m 15
  • 49th Morgan Kneisky @ 19m 33
  • 79th George Atkins @ 46m 29
  • 93rd Yanto Barker @ 1h 03m 10
  • 98th Ian Wilkinson @ 1h 11m 15

Boulo home with the GC contenders to move up to 18th overall
Sat, 13 Sep 2014 20:54:30

bouloIn the longest stage of this year’s Tour of Britain Raleigh-GAC’s Matthieu Boulo sprinted to 11th place, coming home 8th in the bunch gallop along Brighton sea front.

On the penultimate day of racing Stage 7 was the last chance many of the big favourites had to amass vital seconds before the closing Time Trial on stage 8. And with 140 miles of racing in store there were plenty of opportunities for that.

The early skirmishes saw a break of three go clear and stay away until the finish. But the action was back down the road.

The move of the day went on the climb of Beachy Head as the GC contenders broke clear. Mattheiu Boulo and Mark Christian were in the move but overnight GC leader Alex Dowsett of Movistar lost contact so from there on in it was a hell for leather race to the finish.

After the punishing Cat 1 climbs of Ditchling Beacon and Bear Road, Boulo finished in with elite names from the pro peleton, including Wiggins, Nicholas Roche, Michael Kwiatkowski and Sylvain Chavanel, proving what a class act the young Frenchman is. For the full results on Stage 8 see here.

His 11th place gives Raleigh-GAC their best finish so far in the Tour of Britain and lifts him five places overall to 18th, 1m 48s behind race leader Dylan Van Baarle.

Boulo’s position in the GC today determines his start time in tomorrow’s time trial. He will be last man out for the team, riding the 8.8km time trial at 12:29pm. Following that it’s a circuit race around the Thames embankment.

Both of these final stage disciplines Boulo has excelled in this year so we look forward to seeing another rise in the GC standings, capping off a positive Tour for Raleigh-GAC this year.


Exmoor beasting! Boulo home in 13th place
Thu, 11 Sep 2014 20:24:06

A punishing day over the worst of the Exmoor climbs faced the riders as they lined up in Exmouth this morning.

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A short walk up the coast would have brought Raleigh-GAC to the stage finish in Exeter but instead they faced 177km over the hardest climbs in this year’s Tour of Britain.

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Despite making in-roads to an early break, the Raleigh-GAC didn’t pick the one that stuck today meaning they had to bide their time in the peleton.

This time the bunch did misjudge the time gap to the break and three of its original five members finished seconds ahead of the marauding pack at the finish.

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Like yesterday Raleigh-GAC’s Matthieu Boulo again was the first rider home for the team, finishing strongly in 13th place, one ahead of former yellow jersey wearer  Edoardo Zardini.

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This result lifts Boulo one place up in the overall rankings to 22nd at 1m 26s behind race leader Michal Kwiatkowski.

Tomorrow brings the race to the east of the country with a long 205km stage from Bath to Hemel Hempstead. With a succession of climbs coming in the last 60km it’s another day for the punchy riders.


Mark Christian caught with 3km to go but Boulo battles for 12th in Tour of Britain Stage 4 – Worcester to Bristol
Wed, 10 Sep 2014 21:33:42

Raleigh-GAC’s Mark Christian was close to having the ride of his life on Stage 4 at the Tour of Britain and for a time the young Manx man was the virtual leader on the road.

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The 115 mile stage from Worcester to Bristol on Wednesday 10th September took in the rolling hills of the Cotswolds, perfect for a break to escape. And so it did with a few early flurries and then one that stuck featuring four riders including Movistar’s Alex Dowsett.

Mark Christian sensed this was a move to be part of and together with another four riders, he bridged the gap to the Dowsett group.

The break worked well together through the halfway point at Broadway, gaining over five minutes on the peleton at one stage.

As Mark was the highest placed rider in the General Classification this meant he was the virtual leader on the road. If the break maintained the gap he was guaranteed to take the lead in the race overall.

Through the rolling hills of South Gloucestershire it seemed as though the peleton were running out of road. But with the cycling city of Bristol in sight it took a concerted effort from Saxo, Sky and IAM Cycling to bring the break back with an agonizing 3km to go, just before the second category climb of Bridge Valley Road and onto the finishing straight along Clifton Downs.

With Mark Christian now back in the bunch and out of contention it was Matthieu Boulo who powered up the final climb with the second group to finish 12th, six seconds behind race winner Michal Kwiatkowski, giving Raleigh-GAC their best result in this year’s Tour of Britain.

Speaking after the race an exhausted Mark Christian said, “It was great feeling to be out front and in front of the cameras all day. As we got closer I began to think ‘what if’ but the bunch was too strong on that long straight run in.”

Despite the potential of leading the GC being snatched away Team Manager Cherie Pridham was elated with efforts: “With Mark only a minute-plus off the GC this morning I think we caused some panic amongst the bigger teams in the race. 

“Today was a special day for us and is quite possibly our best result yet in the Tour of Britain. We’ll keep chipping away though and with five stages left we’ll see how we can animate things in the second half of the race.”

Tomorrow’s stage between Exmouth and Exeter features some of the toughest climbs yet in this year’s Tour. The riders in contention for the GC will be looking to steal vital seconds off each other but with the favourites marking each other, will Stage 5 be the day when a break is allowed to escape?

 


Mark Christian 19th in Stage Three Tumble showdown 
Tue, 09 Sep 2014 20:15:56

Mark Christian was Raleigh-GAC’s top finisher on Stage 3 of the Tour of Britain, coming home in 19th place, but it was Yanto Barker’s presence in the break that got the Raleigh-GAC team in front of the cameras once again.

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The break went shortly after the start in Newtown, Mid Wales and gave Barker and his breakaway companions the chance to establish a lead of over two and half minutes.

The break held until the outskirts of Abergavenny before the fireworks on the final climb.

Rising 500m in just 6km, the Tumble is one of the most feared climbs in the UK and is so often the feature of UK road races, which gives our home grown riders the opportunity to know it back to front.

Mark Christian flanked Matthieu Boulo for the climb and both were with the lead group as the climb approached but a badly-timed puncture at the foot of the Tumble put Boulo out of contention.

It was left to Mark Christian to take up the mantle and as the lead group fragmented on the steep slopes the Manx man clawed his way into 19th place giving Raleigh-GAC a top 20 position for the first three days of the Tour.

After finishing in 19th place Mark Christian now holds 19th place in the overall leaderboard too.

Team Manager Cherie Pridham. “Another solid day today and I’m pretty happy with what we’ve achieved so far.

“The day started off well with Yanto making a 155km break. Then the boys did a solid job delivering Matt and Mark to the Tumble. Mark beat some big names home to finish 19th. It was bad luck for Matt to puncture just before the climb but he still made it home just over a minute behind the lead rider to come home in the top 25. Without the puncture I’m sure we’d be looking at another high placing for Matthieu.

“Tomorrow is more of a transition stage before some hard climbs in Exeter (Stage 5). Still, climbs like Snows Hill and Bridge Valley Road tomorrow won’t make it an easy day. We’ll be prepared for all occasions, pushing for the opportunities and riding positively as we have been so far.

“We’ve had riders active in breaks and riders consecutively finishing in the top 20 of one of the top 10 stage races in the world every single day. We’re certainly taking on the race.

“There’s a long way to go yet though with some hard stages and a time trial so there’s a lot to look forward to.”

Overall Raleigh-GAC placings after Stage 3

  • Mark Christian 19th @ 1m 02s
  • Matthieu Boulo 24th @ 1m 23s
  • George Atkins 45th @ 3m 44s
  • Morgan Kneisky 53rd @ 5m 54s
  • Ian Wilkinson 63rd @ 7m 07s
  • Yanto Barker 99th @ 12m 13s

Boulo home in 18th to maintain GC Top 20
Mon, 08 Sep 2014 21:16:10

After stage 2 of the Tour of Britain it is Raleigh-GAC’s French rider Matthieu Boulo who is the lead rider on the road. Boulo finished 18th on today’s stage between Knowsley Safari Park and Llandudno, on the same time as Tyler Farrar in 8th place and just 10 seconds off the overall lead of Mark Renshaw.

Also finishing on the same time as Boulo today were his team mates Mark Christian (38th), Morgan Kneisky (45th) and Ian Wilkinson (52nd). 

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Mark Christian on his customised Isle of Man Militis road bike

With the Queen Stage coming up tomorrow between Newtown and The Tumble there’s all to play for on the steep climbs of mid Wales.


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