Interview – Tour Series winner Felix English


Winner of a brutal round of the Pearl Izumi Tour Series in Aberystwyth was Felix English with his first individual victory in the series

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Interview – Tour Series winner Felix English

There is nothing quite so brutal as a circuit race on a twisty, up and down wet course and the one in Aberystwyth was just that. By the time I had walked to my first photo spot, the race had split wide open and there was a very select group at the front.

In there were four from Madison-Genesis and three from Rapha Condor JLT so plenty of reasons for them to ride. Faces pictured in the move included Yanto Barker (Raleigh), Jon Mould & James Lowsley-Williams (NFTO), Mike Northey, Tom Scully, Tobyn Horton & Tom Stewart (all Madison Genesis), Felix English, Ed Clancy and Graham Briggs (Rapha Condor JLT), and Matt Gibson (GB) who was later dropped after snapping a spoke halfway through and never seeing the front again.


Behind, it was a who’s who of British racing but nothing they could to prevent being lapped by the break. From the lead group in the second half of the race, Felix English, who has been out injured for a while, was keen to show he had some form and he attacked through the finish and was chased down by Mike Northey. The two led the race by a dozen seconds or so as the rest of the break continued to attack each other.

Only one rider managed to get across to them, Jon Mould in the last few laps, and he very nearly took the race win but a fast finishing English timed his sprint to perfection and clinched his first Tour Series victory by inches from the winner at Stoke.

Afterwards, post podium presentation, Felix spoke to VeloUK. Asked how he knew he’d won in a photo finish, Felix replied “I knew I’d got it just because I was coming at him at speed towards the end but it was very very marginal.”

Asked to describe the race, Felix replied, “it was brutal” Even being in fifth place in the line was hard so being at the front of the race was a really big advantage. I kept trying to get away as I was feeling good in the corners and felt good early on but both Northey and Scully are good aerobically and when they go away, you have to go with them as they’re not coming back.”

“Fortunately I was able to stay with Northey even though he attacked me quite a few times up the climb.”

Asked what it was like in the group of eleven riders that went away very early, Felix replied “it was the front four or five riders attacking so I never went back further than fifth so I didn’t really see the back five. I knew we had Ed (Clancy) there as I’d heard his name on the PA but didn’t really know what was going on.”


“It was mainly Briggsy, me, Northey and Scully just going for it. Madison Genesis had an extra rider (in the move) so we had to try and work it in our favour to get away with one of them.”

Talking about coming back to form after injury quite quickly, Felix said “that’s a surprise. I got a kicking at Stoke but am really happy with the form now.”

The round winner, both individually and team, also said the circuit wasn’t as slippery as many thought it might be. Earlier in the day there were quite a few crashes on the off camber corner leading into the finish straight but Felix, riding Continental tubs, said “it was surprisingly grippy”.

“I was able to take the corners quick and prefer the longer circuit we had this year than the one we had last year. It was hard but I think it suited me quite well.”

Looking ahead, Felix isn’t sure if he’ll do all the rounds coming up. “There is doubt on me doing the one in Edinburgh because of the nature of the course (hilly) but I am hoping I can prove in Durham that I am climbing okay.”

Finally, asked how competitive it felt in the series in 2014, Felix replied “it’s flat out this year as there is so much strength in depth and it’s hard. There are maybe 20 riders who can win rounds now where as previously there were five to ten tops.” An example of that strength is in the RCJ team where Felix was able to concentrate on going for the individual win once he got away knowing he had the likes of Ed Clancy and Graham Briggs to back him up.

“They very rarely lose so I had a pretty good idea they would pull it off”. And so they did with Clancy fourth in an event he has won twice and Briggs in 8th giving the RCJ team a narrow win over Madison Genesis.

Next stop, Durham.

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