Talkingshop: Yanto Barker on Tour


Riding a lot of the route for the 2013 Tour of Britain last week was Yanto Barker and Team UK Youth and we spoke to Yanto about his experiences of the Tour of Britain which started way back in 2004

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Yanto is one of a few riders in this year’s race that competed in the first Tour of Britain back in 2004, riding for Wales at the time. Catching up with Yanto at the Metaltek GP (Aug 26) and asking what his memories were of that first Tour of Britain, he replies “I remember it being quite hard!”


“It was one of my first big big pro races and one of the most memorable days for me was getting in the break (above) when the race was in Wales (Celtic Manor) with Jeremy Hunt, Russell Downing and a few other guys. The reason it stands out was because it was one of the hardest days I have ever had on a bike! I think I took probably ‘50’ ‘last turns’ where each time I was thinking I can’t go any harder, couldn’t go any faster or do another turn.”

Yanto rode two editions of the race, 2004 and 2005 before he had a break from the sport and the next time we saw him was on a motorbike with a microphone. “That was really good! It was interesting for me to have that experience and something I’ll take a lot from.”


Yanto talking to camera about the break in front of him. It was 2011 and two years later, Yanto is expected to be part of the UK Youth line up in the 2013 Tour of Britain.

“It was a lot different to being in the press car. What we were trying to do with the commentary was convey some energy through the commentary and that was difficult to do in the car which is very sterile and you can’t really get a feel for the race. Whereas on the motorbike, as you know, you are much more able to move up and down the race and get into the break and see who is going well and it was much easier to convey how fast and how hard the riders were going.”

“The spectators were amazing as well and the numbers of them have been getting bigger and bigger every year. They would like me to do it again and whilst I prefer to race it, if I had the opportunity to do that, I would.”

Yanto then got into a UCI team and so was back in the race in 2012 on a pedal cycle instead of the motorised one.


Yanto back in form and starting the Tour Series with a victory.

Asked to compare how the race is for him now to what it was ten years ago he says “I had a good second Tour in 2005 where I think I was eighth and felt good that year. Back then, I was under pressure from myself mostly to use the race as a stepping stone to bigger things whereas now I can enjoy it more. I have a more varied role now. Sometimes I’ll be riding for the other guys, sometimes they’ll ride for me. Last year for example I was leading Chris (Opie) out…”

The big thing about the Tour of Britain for British teams is the preparation for it. Many this and last week are out in Belgium riding pro kermesses to get the racing in the legs. Asked if it was a difficult race to prepare for, he replies “I don’t think so. The times of the season are something you need to get your head around to prepare properly. At this time of the year, it is easy to be slightly tired, over trained or even slightly fresh after a break and those things need to be in the calculation so your form cycle is in a good place when you get to the start”.

“We are lucky in that we have a team coach who as far as I am concerned is one of the best coaches in the world and everyone in Team UK Youth benefits from that expertise and all the guys who will take the start for our team, I believe, will be in excellent condition.”


2012, Yanto’s first Tour of Britain back after a break and in 2013 riding in the form of his life.

“The Tour of Britain is an exciting opportunity for us to show we are not just a crit team and can perform at the highest level in an international race like the Tour of Britain. To be able to cap a great season off with a solid performance would be the icing on what has been an amazing season for Team UK Youth, Nigel (Mansell), me and everybody involved including our sponsors.”

“If you look at how many of the classification leaders (Sprints, KoM, Yellow) last year were held by British based teams, that to me was a really positive thing for UK cycling and showed the health and depth of the country’s racing.”

“I don’t think there is the same gap between the UK and Europe that there has been. It’s the law of averages, guys at Team Sky will out perform guys at UK Youth but on our day, we can have a really good go which is the exciting part. We need to take those opportunities with both hands and make the most of it and get a result.”

“I think everybody selected in British teams will be of the same mind set”.

Good luck to UK Youth in the 2013 Tour of Britain. We’ll bring you their line up when its been selected.


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