Team News: UK Youth Ready for Tour of Britain


Tough choices made as Team UK Youth select six strong riders ready to take the Tour of Britain head on.

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After a lot of number crunching and deliberation, Team UK Youth have selected their six riders to represent the charity titled team in the 2013 Tour of Britain. The team for the race is:

Yanto Barker, Marcin Bialoblocki, Jon Mould, Chris Opie, Rob Partridge, Ian Wilkinson.


The second highest UCI ranked British squad behind Team Sky; Team UK Youth, have prepared for the Tour of Britain in the same way they have prepared for all their other major goals, and that is looking at every detail to maximise their potential for success in Britain’s biggest cycle race.

The team, backed by Nigel Mansell C.B.E. and family surprised many in the way they dominated Sweetspot’s Tour Series this year. That dominance was summed up in the final preparation race on the weekend where the team, led by Yanto Barker, had two riders on the podium, and 3 in the top 10, with Barker winning the race.

It showed that their professionalism in all aspects of getting their riders ready for major events works well. Their manager Dave Povall explained that in the Tour of Britain, the big aim is to maintain that level of professionalism in such a high profile event and through their performances, continue to raise awareness of the charity UK Youth.

It’s a team of proven pedigree with experience in the race that goes back to 2004 and the first Tour of Britain.

Rob Partridge was 8th overall in 2010 and was one of those on the start line way back in 2004 and has shown consistently he has the ‘engine’ to perform at this level. His third place on Sunday in Ipswich shows he has the form as well.


Marcin Bialoblocki won the Irish RAS UCI 8 day stage race earlier this year, and showed in the recent Metaltek GP his form is blistering as he rode away from the best riders in Britain to win that race solo.

Yanto Barker meanwhile has had his best season ever in Britain with two wins in the Tour Series and plenty of other great performances to back that up including his win in Ipswich on Sunday and a second place the week before in Colchester. Yanto rode the first Tour of Britain in 2004 and had two top ten places on the five stages and says he is riding the crest of a wave right now thanks to the professionalism of the team.

All of the above three riders have the ability to ride for GC as well as get in a break and compete with the very best for a stage win as could the other three riders in the team.

Ian Wilkinson already has a UCI win in Britain thanks to his victory in the CiCLE Classic which was a combination of the attention to detail in making sure the rider had everything needed to go for the win and Wilkinson’s undoubted ability to win bike races. Wilkinson came within inches of winning stage 7 of the 2011 Tour of Britain and will be a valued ally for fellow sprinter Chris Opie in a bunch kick or in going for the win from a break.

Chris Opie meanwhile, is, says his team manager, the fastest sprinter in the UK on his day. Opie has showed that twice in 2013 beating the likes of double Olympic champion Ed Clancy and whilst beating the likes of Mark Cavendish may be a tall order, the team are confident they can help deliver him in the sprint to take that challenge head on.


The final rider in the mix is former GB Academy rider Jon Mould who showed with his solo wins this year that he has moved up a level in the world of cycling thanks to the team around him and the confidence he has racing at the highest level.

Team manager Dave Povall is sure the team is made up of proven riders who can win and ride with the best, and that they will go into the race with a view to animate the racing and challenge for the wins on the road, certainly not just be there for the ride.

Preparation for the race started as long ago as the last Tour of Britain and in recent weeks has included looking at three key stages in detail so the riders will be aware of the challenges on those days. This was, says Yanto Barker, a very valuable thing to do and sums up the team’s ethos.

Yanto adds “I am riding on the crest of a great team, great teammates, great coach, structure, organisation and I have nothing to worry about other than getting on my bike and enjoying my racing. There are so many little things I don’t have to do anymore which means it’s easy. There is so much less pressure, I’m able to enjoy what we are doing.”

There is a philosophy that happy bike riders are winning bike riders and Team UK Youth will be looking to keep that winning momentum going in the Tour of Britain.


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