Yanto Barker: Hardest day on a bike

The UK Youth rider says “That has to go down as the hardest day on a bike I have had – today was an epic epic day”

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CiCLE Classic Race Report and Results

One of the most experienced riders in the peloton is Yanto Barker (UK Youth) and post CiCLE Classic, he could be found well wrapped up in his team van trying to get warm. Yanto had just finished fifth in the race and showed that push come to shove, he still is one of the best riders in the country. Yanto has finished on the podium at the British Road Race Championships and raced abroad but these days runs his own company as well as racing for the team of Magnus Backstedt and Nigel Mansell.

The talking point after the race was the weather to which Yanto told me, “there is a difference between wind, rain and cold and a combination of serious rain, serious wind and serious cold. It was nuts and there wasn’t really anything you could do about it.”

“The cold played such a big part in the result I’m sure. You burn a lot more calories in the cold and everything doesn’t quite work the same as it should do. My back was really sore and stuff which is unusually okay. If we weren’t going through at the front hard enough, you’d be getting the shakes; literally shivering like crazy on the bike.”

Yanto explained how the CiCLE Classic was on from the gun. “After about 15k, there was a group of 30 away after Zak Dempster attacked and set it all off in the cross winds”. It was race on after that and with a strict time limit, riders either abandoned to get warm or were pulled from the race and so what was the break soon became the only group in the race but that was going to explode as well as Yanto explained.
“We went up one of the prime hills and I just thought I need to press on just to stay warm and Blain (Endura Racing) came with me as did Jamie Sparling (Raleigh GAC) and they were both going really well. We kind of off then really. “

Through the rain, Yanto was part of the first selection to be made on the roads around Rutland Water.

“First time up the Somerberg, the three of us were leading the chasers and Blain punctured on the descent and when he came back up, he came with Jimmy Mac from Rapha and Iker Camano (Endura Racing) and suddenly there were two from Endura Racing.”

“Iker though was sitting on and not going that well and actually got dropped the next time up the Somerberg and I was surprised as I thought he was going to chip off and get first and second with Blain. Quite thankfully he didn’t!”

Blain though was going well all day and you could see that straight away. He was also keen and when we made the splits, he was forcing it and making sure he did double turns at the point when we made the gap.”

“When he attacked, it was at the hardest point and he really put the hammer down and everyone just thought they were going to pop themselves chasing… everyone went into the red and we were in ones and twos. We regrouped a little at the top and did ride for the next 30k or so but he just kept it going.”

“On the run in, to be honest, I hadn’t eaten enough and suffered for it. I sort of knew I wasn’t eating enough but literally couldn’t get my hands in my pockets and get them to work properly. It is one those things where you just think to yourself, I’ll just try and get to the finish and we were all in ones and twos by then.”

“Jimmy Mac punctured with five k to go and when he caught me, dropped me straight away. That was that. If you’re not on the podium it doesn’t make a massive difference, I was at the sharp end, and the team did a good job. We were five guys in the group of 30 at one point.”

“The conditions today sorted the men from the boys and it was nice to be in the top group.”

Alex Blain leads Jamie Sparling and Yanto up the climb on Somberberg.


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