CiCLE Classic: Post race interviews


Talking to Ian Wilkinson, Ian Bibby, Eric Berthou, Yanto Barker & Tom Scully after the CiCLE Classic on Sunday plus the big photo album…

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RELATED: Exclusive race report from the CiCLE Classic & Photos


Ian Wilkinson (above) was quite sensational. The last time I saw him he was away on his own with only four or five K to go (see photo). He was caught, others attacked him, he stayed in the wheels and then won the sprint! He also recovered from a double puncture and whilst I didn’t see it, looking at the pictures, one of those was in the final third of the race and took a while to get back on.

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He did however and explained afterwards “as a team, we have the biggest amount of supporters with all those kids in the Youth clubs and I think they are all following us so I’m pleased to win for them and for Nigel who has put in an amazing investment into this team.”

Talking about the final few kilometres, Ian explained “Coming into Burton Lazars, there’s a little kicker and I saw Ian Bibby coming across and Yanto with him which was amazing and that was real good for the morale. I was like blacking out a bit but managed to get back on the wheel and Bibby attacked again. Yanto was with him so I thought that’s alright and I saw Eric Berthou and Will Bjergfelt coming across and to be fair, I got a nice ride on their wheels.”

“I knew Bibby was a fast boy and when we were on them, I knew I had to get into the last corner first and then sprinted for line full gas. Too win that race twice in nine years, I’m looking forward to a monster Duvel (beer) tonight!”

“I felt back to my old self there! We knew we couldn’t afford to wait for the sprint so I had a go and then when I was caught, I managed to pull one out in that sprint. I can’t believe I did that as I was pedalling triangles out there at the end. I just love this bike race though. I had two horrific punctures though but everyone in the group did to be honest. After my second one, that was a bit of struggle but that opened up me up a little bit.”

“It was an awesome race, I am stoked to win it again!”

The BIG Album — no TV but who needs it when you can follow the race right here!

Ian Bibby “It was a pretty long day and you could tell near the end as everyone was pretty tired. Once the break got a minute and with Wilkinson and Raleigh having two riders in it and the big teams represented, so I was thinking it was a good break for it to be in.”

“I was out numbered with two Raleigh and two UK Youth and that made it hard work. Towards the end, Wilkinson attacked and he was away on the finishing circuit and didn’t look like he was coming back so I made the choice to attack in the cross winds (approaching Melton Mowbray) and only Yanto came with us.”


“We got across to Wilkinson to make three of us, two from UK Youth and me and I wasn’t sure whether to ride with them two or try and get rid of them so I attacked again and got rid of Wilkinson and Yanto and I rode. We were caught about 600 metres to go. Wilkinson had been sat on the other three chasing and dived into the right hand bend and I couldn’t quite get round him. Wilkinson did a good ride though and Yanto was very strong today”.

Eric Berthou (3rd): Team Raleigh’s Berthou was one of two riders in the team that got in the big break of the day and was strong throughout the race finishing third in the sprint won by Wilkinson. “I tried to split the group over the last sector because in the sprint I was not the favourite to win and I was with guys who are really fast for the sprint so I tried hard to drop them but it was a following wind so it was difficult to drop the sprinters.”

“I was on his wheel for the corner so in a good position but unable to pass him. For sure, it is a good result for my first British race even though when you are so close to the win, you want to be first naturally.” Erick then said whilst it didn’t have as many sectors as Tro Bro Leon (UCI 1.1) riders still finished the race with nothing left so it is just as hard.


Pre and Post Race photos from the CiCLE Classic

Yanto Barker (UK Youth, 4th) Despite a puncture after Owston, and no convoy to use to get back, the very experienced professional fought his way back to the break. “It probably happened at one of the best times because it wasn’t really on on so it wasn’t too bad. I felt alright despite being away since 10k.”

“I was really pleased with the ride. I know what I am doing out there and love this race and when we got up the road and the lead got over 45 seconds, I knew it was going in the right direction because when a group goes there, it generally sticks as stuff starts to happen behind. The disruptions in the group behind means there are normally splits before you get caught but I was aware it was the hard way to make the move!”

“But, at the end of day, I just went with Mike Northey and knew they were good guys to be with. Everyone, Northey and Tom Scully (Team Raleigh) pulled good turns and it was hard but good. They were properly good bike riders pulling nice smooth long turns, no-one was soft tapping”.


“It was still early in the race but no-one was thinking there is still 175k to go, they committed to the move which I think is good. When I heard the group was coming across, I backed off thirty or forty watts and waited for Wilkes (Ian Wilkinson) to come across. Had something to eat and drink and started again. There was a bit of a maintenance phase, slowing the calorie burn down and saving the legs for an hour or so which we did”.

“The gap was going up quite quickly so there was no real pressure to jump through all the time.”

“Part of the UK scene is about calculating who is doing what and who is capable of what so you know what to expect and when we had two in the group of eleven that was perfect and it being Wilkes as well, I was pleased with that. Everyone is going well in the team but as a former winner, Wilkes knows this race and what to do.”

“I looked after myself then, eating and drinking because you have to do that and between Wilkes and me, I don’t think we said a single word, we just looked as if to say, that’s your one to follow, that’s mine but that said, I think we were more proactive than we were following. We stayed focused and paid attention and the win today came down to good team work”.

“Our team has extremely strong riders where as there are probably eight other riders I’d be worried about but they are all in different teams and were in the group today. We need to make that count in the races. No-one is head and shoulders above the rest and we ride as a team and know what we need to do as a team. The commitment to each other as well is there and that’s one of the best things to experience.”

Finally, it was the first big win for his own clothing brand Le Col. “That’s fantastic. I’m really pleased about that and was just thinking about it. There’s Wilkes with his hands in the air at a UCI race and it’s what we’re about, what Le Col is about and what I built it to be. It’s a real positive for me and a big step up for me to be here winning races and providing extremely good kit for the guys who love it and performing in it.”


Tom Scully (Team Raleigh): The New Zealand import (above) has been going very well in Europe, winning the Prologue in the Tour of Normandy and in his first race in Britain, made his mark being in the break all day. “After yesterday’s activities in the car (being sick), I was in two minds about how things were going to go today.”

“I was in a positive environment though so thought we’ll give it a nudge no matter how I felt yesterday and went with the first move at the start and that was soon caught and then I attacked down the left and that saw three of us away. When the eight got across, it was lot better as it was a bit hard out there for three riders.”

“I was feeling good once we got rolling but I had a double puncture on the Somerberg and it was a bit of a stress to get back. Once I finally made it, I was okay for a while but eventually the legs started to run out. It was good course though, I really enjoyed it. With it being the first time riding it, I never knew where I was going; left right, up, down and I was thinking who are these guys? When Eric came across, he was the same and didn’t know the riders.”

“I knew Mike Northey from New Zealand and knew it was going to be a good day when we got away with Yanto but it was a long day and a shame I just couldn’t quite finish it off at the end. We had strong legs out there though. Once you get a few Tours in your legs and long days, as long as you can stay reasonably fresh and healthy, your legs are going to be fresh and strong. It’s just a matter of getting to that 20k to go point and hoping your legs will come through it.”

Asked if they have any races like the CiCLE Classic in New Zealand, the ‘Scud’ replied “we do. One of them is called the Hell of the South and it has gravel sections and there’s another called the Bunty Hewitt Memorial which I won this year and comes just before the Tour of Southland. Being my home town, winning that was pretty cool.”

Do not be surprised to see any of these riders winning and I’m sure new comers like Tom Scully and Eric Berhou will have a big impact in the British races if their showing in the CiCLE Classic is anything to go by.

RELATED: Exclusive race report from the CiCLE Classic & Photos


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