Report & Photos – Tour of the Reservoir Day 1


Madison-Genesis were the top dogs in the first of the big races after a 1-2 in the first stage of the Tour of Reservoir with a win by Alex Peters who attacked a good 5 kilometres out 

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Report & Photos – Tour of the Reservoir Day 1
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It wasn’t that long ago that Alex Peters was winning races in the Junior National Series. Now, he’s won his first Premier Calendar race and what an epic victory it was!


Top three on stage 1 – Yanto Barker (3rd), Alex Peters (1st) and Peter Hawkins (2nd)

After a dry Women’s race in the morning, the rain clouds moved in, the wind was howling through the village of Blanchland and the temperatures dropped even further. A field of 160 riders or so assembled in Blanchland and sitting on a motorbike at the head of the race, I could see shivering riders all around me.

Ahead was a hard stage but I didn’t know how hard until we hit the exposed slopes in the Northumbrian hills. It was so windy, riders were at times finding it hard to keep their bikes on the road and it was colder than anything I felt in winter.

It was the time that finally we would see which teams were strongest and at the end of the day, a team that bought well in the winter, Madison Genesis, showed they will be a force to be reckoned with in 2014.

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Here’s a photo a report …


First attack was Ian Bibby with Graham Briggs on his wheel. The stage saw a long neutralised section on the long long climb out of Blanchland.


With a few miles, the break formed and in there were all of the big teams except NFTO. Madison Genesis had 3 riders in it, Raleigh, Rapha and Velosure Giordana, two each.  The riders were Yanto Barker, Matheiu Boulo, Steve Lampier, Marcin Bialoblocki, Alex Peters, Peter Hawkins, Mike Northey, Tom Moses, Graham Briggs.

The winning margin for the break was in excess of ten minutes we understand.


James Lowsley-Williams (Hank for short!) leads the chase but they had neither the numbers or the firepower to match the strength up front and like last year, the break was never seen again. Behind this group, the race was in pieces, little pieces at that and every rider who completed the stage is to be commended … it was horrible! I say that as some one who was on a motorbike and very very cold.


The race saw three big groups, the nine leaders, a second peloton of 20 or so and then a third peloton. From that came a three up, then two, chase by Dave Clarke and Matthew Holmes and they succeeded in bridging to the second chase group.


Start of the final lap and the attacks started to come and splits in the break opened and closed.


Bad luck for Marcin Bialoblocki who had to stop for a dropped chain and then chased to get back on.


Alex Peters leads a split on the outward leg of the final loop but it didn’t stick.


Mike Northey was the first to be dropped as the break continued to attack and counter attack.


Lots of chess on wheels on the long climb.


Tom Moses went solo for a good five miles or more but on the return leg of the lap, he was caught.


Then a good five k from the line (a guess), Alex Peters launched a move and he was never caught .. well except by his teammate Peter Hawkins in the sprint for the stage.


Tom Moses leads the chase for Peters.


A day to remember for many reasons but for Alex, his first Star Trophy event win. I say Star Trophy as the rider who wins the series will get the Star Trophy so that’s what it is then no?


Alex Peters (Madison Genesis): I put the win down to experience. Last year I was lacking experience and one year on, thinking more, calculating and I have got know what I can do a bit better. Alex explained he’d thought the attack through made on the downhill and it was 53×11 all the way in the tail-cross wind. The stage means a lot to the quiet spoken London youngster who explained how he has been targeting this race since last November.

Peter Hawkins (Madison Genesis): It is a really hard course and like last year it was really windy. We had an idea it would split like it did last year so we hit right from the start. We wanted to have numbers in the front and that worked out well.

Alex then jumped with four k to go which was ideal because if it came to a sprint, I was probably the strongest of the two of us and him being away meant I could have an easy ride. I came up on him and he came past me again and I looked around and we were clear for a 1-2 and it doesn’t get much better than that.

Yanto Barker (Raleigh): That break went before the prime on the first lap and Madison were strong from the start and I think they knew what they could do so they had three guys there, and they were all strong. Alex , fair play to him, started attacking right from the bottom of the climb and you could tell everyone was cooked.

It was bloody hard work out there today. Even when you were on the wheel you were kind of not on the wheel as you were getting buffeted by the wind. We all had a good dig in the finale. Moses was leading Briggsy out on the run in but something happened to Graham. Tom pulled Alex back to within five seconds but we were all smashed.

Bizarrely, our group was probably the easiest one to be in with us all pulling even turns at the front. There was no one missing turns, it was smooth and there was always a wheel to go on. It is all to play for tomorrow though because if the wind is like today, its going to be hard even though Madison are strong.

This is one of the hardest races because its so early and you still have form to come but there is no shelter out there. I am quite satisfied with the ride. I had good preparation at the start of the year. A difficult February but I’m glad because I feel I am on it and where I want to be.

Russell Downing (NFTO): I had a bad day. I messed my gears up at the start and the chain ended up all round the pedal and I had to fix that and I couldn’t get any gears. So I got back on and then had to change bikes and it was race over. It took me a full lap to get up to anywhere near the front and the race had gone and I was knackered. The level has moved on and everything is so professional nowadays here.


The result was not issued because as we understand, riders from group three on the road, or some of, crossed the line before the second group did which kind of messed up the photo finish.

Here is a print out of the stage 1 overall/result. Typo for Yanto Barker apparently and he was @10 secs






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