Chris Opie: My best result in a Premier

Second in the Beaumont Trophy on Sunday was UK Youth’s Chris Opie who was happy to have got so close to the win he’s been racing for this year.

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With two laps to go of the final circuit (28 miles left to race), his team, UK Youth, had riders on the front along with Rapha Condor Sharp trying to bring it together and it was touch and go as to whether they were going to be able to bring the front groups together.

Right: Chris squeezes in between Russell Downing and Scott Thwaites (both Endura Racing) to nick second place

This they did though, giving the sprinters a chance at victory and for Opie, the second place was a much better place to be than the one he’d been in earlier in the race.

“I didn’t feel particularly good to start with for the first two hours” Chris explained.

“I did start to feel better towards the end. Once the gap started to come down to the groups in front, we were looking for it to come down to a bunch sprint where I was looking alright.”

“I was miles back for a while in the race but came back through the groups with Rob Partridge (Endura Racing) and fair play to him for riding as his team was all in front of us.”

Niklas Gustavsonn drives the third chase group on the road with two laps to go in front of the young riders in the Rapha team. Chris can be seen poking his head out of the line further back.

The Beaumont is known for the tough climb of the Ryals, a long draggy climb with a 1 in 6 section near the top. The race went over it three times and as hills often do, they hurt the legs of the sprinters as Chris explained. “The Ryals was a hard hill! I was in difficulty at one point when Endura were all on the front and I was going backwards but I was lucky to find a group that came back quite quickly.”

With so many groups spread out around the circuit, the shape of the race was hard to follow. Helping to explain what happened, Chris says “it came together with half a lap to go when Yanto and I found each other and he looked after me for the sprint which was fine for me.”

“A gap in the middle of the road opened up and I managed to get part of the way through it! The last kilometre was pretty much full on and certainly the last 300 metres was a full on sprint. Yanto was great for me as he’s always been good at positioning and people show him respect and give him space and that makes it easy for me sitting on his wheel. We were about sixth or seventh with about 250 metres to go.”

The Beaumont Trophy road race came at the end of a busy few days for Chris who had been doing some work with the Tour of Britain organisation down in the South West where he lives. He certainly covered a few miles to be there at the race. “We drove from my home at Truro to Barnstaple and then down to Dartmouth. I then drove to Bristol to take my fiancé and my son to Oxford to stay with my brother and sister and then went back to Bristol. I did 450 miles on Friday and 300 plus on Saturday. It’s been a busy few days!”

Chris on the podium with Russell Downing and Marcin Bialoblocki



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