Stories about British bike racing, teams and riders.
2022 Tour of Britain Diaries | Stage 0 (ft. Tim Elverson, Steve Lampier, Jake Scott, Colin Sturgess and Oscar Onley)
Welcome back to The British Continental podcast!
We are absolutely delighted to be reviving our humble podcast this week to bring you another Tour of Britain diaries series.
Throughout the duration of the AJ Bell Tour of Britain, we’ll be taking you inside the race from the perspective of the domestic teams and riders with audio dispatches and interviews with managers, riders and staff.
For the domestic teams, the Tour of Britain is akin to the Tour de France. By far the biggest event in their racing calendars, a chance to showcase their sponsors, attract new investment and prove themselves against higher-tier opposition, and it’s a shop window too for the riders, keen to put on an eye-catching performance that might bag them a pro contract.
This year’s Tour is a bit like a British version of the Race to the Sun – or Paris-Nice as it’s more formally known – in that it starts in the north of the country and then heads south to warmer climes. The 2022 edition starts where the 2021 version finished - in the Scottish coastal city of Aberdeen. It finishes eight days later overlooking The Needles on the Isle of Wight.
It promises to be another tough edition. There is no team time trial – or any time trial for that matter – this year, meaning hilltop finishes, crosswinds, time bonuses and aggressive racing are likely to be the influential factors deciding the race’s overall winner. Any winner will certainly need good climbing legs. Every stage bar one - Stage 5 - has over 2000 metres of climbing and the race is bookended with hilltop finishes at the Glenshee Ski Centre in Aberdeenshire and The Needles on the Isle of Wight.
Ahead of that first summit finish, we hear from 19-year-old Scotsman Oscar Onley, a stage winner of the Giro Valle d’Aosta earlier this year, who is being given a GC shot by Team DSM at this year’s race.
Saint Piran’s team manager Steve Lampier talks us through his team, including their head-turning new signings, and fires a riposte to social media commentators who have questioned the team’s transfer policy this year.
WiV SunGod’s Jake Scott won two jerseys in last year’s Tour of Britain and was a feature of almost every break. He tells whether jersey-bagging will be another aim of his this year.
And his team manager, Tim Elverson, looks back on a successful year for the team and tells us what success would look like for the team at the race.
And, stop the press, we also have a late entry from Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling DS Colin Sturgess, who we’re delighted to say will be sending us dispatches throughout the race again this year.
Each of our guests also looks forward to the stage 1 ski centre summit finish. The consensus seems to be that the climb is hard enough to break the peloton up, but not so hard that it will be decisive for GC. They all agree too that the weather could up the ante and make the finish much harder than it looks on paper.
We want a say a big thanks to HUNT bike wheels who are supporting this Tour of Britain podcast diary series. HUNT have been long-time supporters of The British Continental website – and the domestic scene more generally – so we’re chuffed that they are also backing the podcast this week. Their man Ollie Gray is embedded in the race this week, so he'll be helping to bring us interviews with riders and staff as the week progresses.
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2022 Tour of Britain Diaries | Stage 1 (ft. Colin Sturgess, Oscar Onley, Matthew Teggart and Steve Lampier)
In today's episode we bring you audio dispatches from Colin Sturgess, Oscar Onley, Matthew Teggart and Steve Lampier as they reflect on how stage 1 at the 2022 Tour of Britain went, and what stage 2 holds in store.
Stage 1 went from Aberdeen to Glenshee Ski Centre covering 181.3 kilometres and taking in 2,516 metres of elevation. The weather was grim, so grim in fact that the conditions delayed the live TV coverage for 90 minutes.
While we were waiting for pictures to appear, a five-rider break formed of Uno-X Pro Cycling rider Martin Urianstad, WiV SunGod duo Jake Scott and Matt Teggart, and Human Powered Health pairing of Matt Gibson and Stephen Bassett. Gibson, of course, was a teammate of Scott and Teggart earlier this year until his mid-season switch to Human Powered Health.
The quintet were out front for much of the day, enjoying a lead of up to five minutes at one point.
Bassett took the ŠKODA King of the Mountains jersey while Teggart picked up the Sportsbreaks.com Sprints jersey, while Gibson won the Adyen Combativity Award.
The five made it until the higher slopes of the climb up to the Glenshee Ski Centre. TRINITY Racing’s Thomas Gloag then made a jump, catching the break and briefly threatening to go away before the bunch reeled everyone in with 1.6 kilometres to go.
As the peloton closed in on the finish, INEOS Grenadiers’ Omar Fraile struck out first but Israel-Premier Tech’s Corbin Strong timed his sprint to perfection to take his first pro win and with it, the leader’s jersey.
Tom Pidcock was the highest-placed Brit in 5th, while our diarist Oscar Onley, just 19, finished an impressive 8th in the reduced bunch finish. WiV SunGod’s Irish road race champion Rory Townsend was the best-placed domestic team rider in 13th.
Stage 2 starts in Hawich and finishes in Duns. It covers just over 175 kilometres and features three punchy climbs in the final 30 kilometres which should make for some aggressive racing in the closing stages.
Show supported by HUNT Bike Wheels.
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2022 Tour of Britain Diaries | Stage 2 (ft. Colin Sturgess, Oscar Onley, Steve Lampier and Jim Brown)
In this edition, we welcome back our now-regular trio Colin Sturgess, Oscar Onley and Steve Lampier, who are joined by WiV SunGod’s young sprinter Jim Brown.
Stage 2 began in Hawich and ended in Duns. The early part of the stage was marked by a six-man break which featured brothers Harry and Charlie Tanfield from Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling, Saint Piran’s Adam Lewis, Travis Stedman of Team Qhubeka, Ukko Peltonen of Global 6 Cycling, and Sportsbreaks.com sprints competition leader Matthew Teggart (WiV SunGod).
Teggart dominated the three intermediate sprints to extend his lead in the competition to 12 points. The peloton then sparked into action in the final 30 kilometres as the race took on a trio of late ŠKODA King of the Mountains climbs. Teggart was the last of the break to survive as they hit the first climb of Wanside Rigg, and was briefly joined by Human Powered Health’s Stephen Bassett, who struck out for more KOM points, but the pair were caught just after the summit.
INEOS Grenadiers then controlled the race on the narrow roads across the open moorland onto the second climb, with Jacob Scott (Wiv SunGod) jumping away near the top of Mainslaughter Law to secure enough points to move into the lead of the ŠKODA King of the Mountains competition.
Davide Gabburo (Bardiani CSF Faizanè) went clear on the descent, building a 30-second lead. The Italian was caught approaching the top of the final climb of Hardens Hill, with German champion Nils Politt (BORA – hansgrohe) driving over the top and briefly going clear before Dylan Teuns (Israel – Premier Tech) countered.
The Belgian was caught by Magnus Sheffield (INEOS Grenadiers), and then a Team DSM-led peloton mopped them up as they raced toward the finish in Duns.
DSM put their sprinter Cees Bol into a good position but an inspired late charge from the Great Britain team looked as if it was going to deliver Jake Stewart to victory, only for the Coventry rider to be pipped by millimetres by a late-charging Bol. Race leader Corbin Strong ((Israel-Premier Tech) finished third to take more bonus seconds on the line.
TRINITY Racing's Luke Lamperti was the best rider from the domestic teams in a very solid 5th, while WiV SunGod's Jim Brown and Saint Piran's Harry Birchill were 9th and 11th respectively.
Strong still leads the race, extending his lead to 8 seconds, while Jake Stewart is second overall now.
This year’s race ventures onto English soil for the first time on stage three, which takes place between Durham and Sunderland. It covers a distance of 163.6 kilometres and takes in 2,478 metres of elevation, including the first category Chapel Fell climb, which begins just 40 kilometres into the stage.
Show sponsored by HUNT Bike Wheels.
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2022 Tour of Britain Diaries | Stage 3 (ft. Ben Perry, Steve Lampier, Colin Sturgess and Oscar Onley)
In today’s episode, we review what was a truly fascinating stage 3 of the Tour of Britain with the help of Saint Piran team manager Steve Lampier, new race leader Ben Perry, Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling sports director Colin Sturgess and Team DSM’s young gun Oscar Onley.
On paper at least, this stage was one for the sprinters. The stage route featured a lumpy start, including the first category Chapel Fell, which then gave way to slightly less fierce, rolling terrain on relatively wide roads. However, the stage was anything but formulaic, as we’ve often come to expect at the Tour of Britain.
In contrast to stages 1 and 2, there was a fierce battle to get into the day’s break. And when it did eventually form, it was a strong quartet that got away. The domestic team duo of Saint Piran’s Alex Richardson and WiV SunGod’s Ben Perry were joined by Belgian pairing of Kamiel Bonneu of Sport Vlaanderen – Baloise and Mathijs Paasschens (Bingoal Pauwels Sauce WB).
With the break still young, some lively and very visible discussions ensued between the leading quartet, the four riders debating how they would work together for the remainder of the stage. More on this later from our audio diarists Steve Lampier and Ben Perry.
Perry and Paasschens mopped up most of the bonus seconds on offer at the intermediate sprints – important given their GC proximity – while Bonneu took maximum points atop each of the KOM climbs. None of the escapees picked up enough points, however, to trouble the incumbent competition leaders, meaning WiV SunGod’s Matt Teggart and Jake Scott retained their respective leads in the Sportsbreaks.com sprints and ŠKODA King of the Mountains competitions.
As torrential rain hit the race in the closing 50 kilometres, it became apparent that the leading four had a fighting chance of making it to the end. With 30 kilometres left the gap was three and half minutes, and despite the best efforts of the peloton – and the gap slowly dwindling – the advantage continued to stay with the break.
For much of the final kilometres, Richardson declined to cooperate with his fellow escapees – for reasons Steve Lampier explains in his dispatch – but even this didn’t overly hinder the break’s position.
In the closing stages, Richardson tried multiple attacks but all were quickly closed down. The break then slowed considerably, so much so it looked like they might be caught. Bonneu then put in a strong attack just a few hundred metres out which his rivals were too slow to react to.
It enabled Bonneu to surge to the biggest victory of his professional career, with a visibly disappointed Perry in second. Richardson rolled in third with Paasschens fourth. The speeding peloton arrived at the line just seconds later.
Initially, the commissaires awarded the race lead to overnight leader Corbin Strong (Israel – Premier Tech), with Perry in second on the same time. After reviewing the race footage, however, the jury decided that Perry finished seven seconds ahead of the peloton which, together with the time bonuses he earned on the road, means he is now the new race leader.
As far as we can work out, it’s the first time a domestic team has ever held the race lead of the modern-day Tour of Britain.
WiV SunGod will certainly have their work cut out defending Perry’s lead as stage 4 looks brutal. Running from Redcar to Duncombe Park, it’s a short stage at 149.5 kilometres. But it features some punishing climbs and the final 30 kilometres, in particular, are unforgiving, and include the climbs of Carlton Bank (2km long, 9.8% average gradient) and Newgate Bank (2km long, 6% average gradient).
Another exciting day’s racing awaits.
Show sponsored by HUNT Bike Wheels.
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2022 Tour of Britain diaries | Stage 4 (ft. Colin Sturgess, Ben Perry, Oscar Onley, Josh Charlton and Ben Perry)
In today's episode we review stage 4 of the Tour of Britain, a stage every bit as full-on as us fans had been hoping for.
The short punchy stage from Redcar to Duncombe Park was full gas from start to finish, with barely a pause for breath for riders or spectators. Colin Sturgess, Josh Charlton, Ben Perry, Oscar Onley and Steve Lampier all give us their views of how it went in a fascinating set of diary entries.
As expected, it took a long time for any kind of break to form, with seemingly every team in the race keen to be represented. WiV SunGod performed admirably in defending Ben Perry’s lead in these opening 40 to 50 kilometres, closing down as many moves as they could while every man and his dog tried to get up the road.
Eventually, Magnus Sheffield of Ineos Grenadiers and Harry Birchill of Saint Piran punched clear, stretching out a lead of up to a minute. As the peloton hit the first major climb of the day at Robin Hood’s Bay, however, Tom Pidcock put in a stinging attack, taking a select group of riders with him. The race reformed on the false flat over the top, but it was a sign of things to come.
Ahead of the next categorised climb of Egton Bank, the Uno-X team swarmed to the front of the bunch and set a searing pace that blew the race to pieces as they hit the climb. Around 18 riders survived over the top, including race leader Ben Perry and our audio diarist Oscar Onley (Team DSM), and for a while, it looked like this group might go all the way to the finish line.
The group wasn’t cohesive enough, however, and were eventually joined by a chasing group to swell the front of the race to around 40 riders.
As this lead group hit Carlton Bank – the hardest climb of the day under 30 kilometres from the finish – Pidcock once again attacked. Only Dylan Teuns (Israel – Premier Tech) and Onley could stay with him, and they quickly set about putting time into their chasers.
It took a while for the chase to organise itself, but efforts from the Movistar team, Ollie Rees of TRINITY Racing and Jake Stewart (Great Britain), amongst others, eventually reeled the trio back.
The final climb of the day with 8.4 kilometres remaining was Newgate Bank, and this proved decisive. Pidcock was once again a protagonist, moving clear with his teammate Omar Fraille, Teuns again, and Movistar’s Gonzalo Serrano. They stayed clear as they hit the finish in Duncombe Park, with Serrano edging Pidcock in the sprint.
Serrano’s win moved him into the AJ Bell leader’s jersey, with Pidcock, Fraile and Perry trailing by seven seconds.
WiV SunGod’s Matthew Teggart retained the Sportsbreaks.com sprints jersey, while Mathijs Paasschen’s (Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB) is the new leader of the ŠKODA King of the Mountains jersey, level on points with erstwhile leader Jacob Scott (WiV SunGod).
Stage 5 is the only stage of the race with under 2000 metres of climbing, so is probably the peloton’s best bet for a blanket finish. Running from West Bridgford to Mansfield the stage is 186.8 kilometres long.
Show sponsored by HUNT Bike Wheels.
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Drops - Le Col Special | Marjolein Van't Geloof and Alice Towers
Welcome to the first episode of series 3 of The British Continental podcast! The juggle of homeschooling and childcare over the last few weeks has delayed our return to podcasting here at British Conti HQ but we are back at last.
In our first episode, we’re going to take you back in time a little to two interviews we recorded just before Christmas. A double bill, if you like, with Marjolein Van’t Geloof and Alice Towers who both ride for Bob Varney's newly titled Drops – Le Col supported by Tempur team.
24-year-old Marjolein – also known as 'Mayo' or 'Marge' to her teammates - is a Dutch rider probably most at home in the crosswinds and cobbles of her native Netherlands and neighbouring Belgium. She tells us about her pathway into cycling, her family’s ice skating expertise, how she juggles her work as a physio with being a top-level cyclist, her time on the Lotto Soudal and Alé Cipollini teams and why she feels so at home at Drops.
Alice, meanwhile, is a first-year senior rider, still only 18. She steps up from the Cero wheels – Cycle Division team but is already no stranger to UCI racing, having rubbed shoulders with some of the world's best riders last season at the La Périgord Ladies race when she was a stagiaire for the Spanish Eneicat -RBH Global team. She finished 32nd in that race. A very fine start to her UCI racing career. She tells us about her cycling career so far, her winter training in South Africa, and how her Dad snagged her the stagiaire contract using Google translate!
Finally, we've teamed up with luxury skincare brand Veloskin to offer you 10% off all orders made through their website. All you need to do is head to veloskin.cc and use the code TBC-10, which will give you a 10% discount on your first and future orders. And better still, every order made using the code will support The British Continental too.
Show sponsored by Continental Tyres
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A great podcast on domestic cycling
Denny does a great job of keeping us updated on the latest riders. Fab podcast, highly recommended!
There are lots of cycling podcasts out there but very few relate to British domestic riding and racing so this is much needed (and excellent to boot!).
Loved the long interview with Jake Scott. Its really nice to listen to some coverage of the domestic scene, subscribed and look forward to more episodes. Keep up the good work!