Tour of Britain: Ian Wilkinson (Endura Racing)

To get an idea of what it was like in the peloton today, VeloUK spoke to Endura Racing’s Ian Wilkinson.

“It wasn’t bad coming out of Peebles in the dry. We knew the wind was going to be pretty tough on that first climb and to be honest, we wanted to be in the break today. You can try but unfortunately, after those two went away, and Pete Williams was chasing, the race was just shut down.”

“There was a grouping of the bigger teams at the front but that meant they had to ride on it. It is a bit of a pecking order I guess and you need to get in the move whilst its going or you’re stuck and then it’s down to ‘gentleman’s conduct’ where you won’t make many friends if you start attacking.”

Ian admitted that the roads used in the Tour of Britain on this stage, in an area not far from those used by the DoonHame and Girvan stage race, were new to him. “They weren’t too bad in places but there were some rough ones too. On the small roads, it wasn’t too bad as there was a tempo being set but the wind was hard.”

“It was whistling around and that steep descent was pretty hairy but everyone was pretty careful with no heroics. There was a section alongside the Reservoir when the wind was coming across and blowing back off the hills  and blowing guys off into the grass. It was pretty crazy just there!”

“The rain was really horrible from then on and it was pretty difficult over Devils Beef Tub.”

Asked about the big crash that saw Jens Voigt have to leave the race with what we understand was a broken finger, Ian explained “after the feed, towards Dumfries, there was a pretty ordinary left hander and there was a bit of a pot hole in the middle and I came round the corner and there was a pile of guys in the road. The crash happened right at the front so I’m not sure what happened there.

Asked about his go at getting a result on the stage, (10th), Ian says “with about 3K to go, Rene Madri did a big turn for us up the outside and I got to the front and coming up to this roundabout, I was pretty much on the front, I looked up and saw a motorbike go left round it when going right was like a straight line.”

“So I went right and got away with Bibs (Ian Bibby)  and that was about two and half k to go and it was too far out. I looked back and saw Rabobank leading a group of about 15 and there was a little split at that point and I was thinking this might be nice. But I think G (Geraint Thomas) was on the front pulling Sky back into it.”

“I’d had a good look at the race manual and knew there was a corner with 300 metres to go and made an effort up the outside  before the corner but I think I was coming from too far back. It was a strong sprint, but I set off from too far back.”

Talking about stage 2, he says the event goes over local roads for him and asked for his assessment of how it will pan out, and he says “I can see it being a bunch kick. The weather is going to be bad tomorrow so that may change things. Hopefully I can stay in the right place and be in the mix again and we’ll  see what that brings.”
See Ian’s Blog on the Endura Equipe website

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