The strong individual performances spearheaded a successful night for the Men in Black, with four riders finishing in the top ten. English in particular was in aggressive form, despite having suffered food poisoning over the weekend.
“I was in the break of 5 for most of the race, but got caught with 4 laps to go. I still felt really good, so I hit the UK Youth leadout with 300m to go, but the headwind and uphill finish was too much to hang on. I’m feeling really good now, I just need to get my tactics and timing right.”
The peloton stayed together until just after halfway through the race, when the break managed to pull clear. The advantage for the escapees hovered at around 15 seconds, and eventually stretched out to half a minute, before being gradually pulled in over the 1.2km circuit.
House, who won the last round in Durham in emphatic fashion, fared slightly better than English in the final sprint but he was keen to acknowledge that his younger teammate stood a good chance of victory, adding that Rapha Condor JLT had had a good night’s racing.
“We rode really well, I think Felix probably had the legs to win, but he jumped early and it was a tough finish. I felt good, but I hesitated when Felix went a little. On the whole the team rode excellently, and second place on the night is good.”
Although the UK Youth Team provided strong opposition, going forward things look good for Rapha Condor JLT with James McCallum and Ed Clancy finishing 9th and 10th. Following House’s individual win, and the team’s third place in Stoke, the squad will be hungry to take their first team win of the series in the next round in Aberystwyth on Monday 27ththis Friday May.
Highlights of the Stoke-on-Trent stage are being shown on Wednesday 22nd May at 10pm.