Feature – Raleigh Fighting Back


Team Raleigh are fighting back in the Tour Series with Boulo winning individually adding to the two teams wins

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Feature – Raleigh Fighting Back

With the signings they made in the winter, Team Raleigh were expected to do something special in the Pearl Izumi but no team can know what bad luck with strike. Raleigh saw one of their main crit riders Ian Wilkinson get ill and then Alex Blain, a former winner in Southport in the Tour Series, had multiple crashes.


But fight back they have with two team victories last week and now an individual win. It should be no surprise that Matthieu Boulo has won a round as he is world class. In cyclo-cross, he can race with the best and he was in the top in UCI 1.1 early season races and climbing with the best. The Tour Series though is a very different animal and its taken him time to find his feet in the peloton.

Speaking to VeloUK afterwards with Yanto Barker translating, the Frenchman said “It is really good to win a round of the Tour Series.”

“The first one for me was in the rain (Aberystwyth) and I didn’t feel good technically on the corners and that was a difficult race. Then I was third and fourth and it has got better and better for me.”

“These are like a cyclo-cross race with lots of max efforts and they suit me very well. It was a great atmosphere in Redditch and really made me what to try hard. The Tour Series is fantastic, lots of people and a really positive series to race.”


For manager, Cherie Pridham, she too was not surprised by Matthieu’s victory. “Matthieu wasn’t sure about the Tour Series and he has had to learn the ropes of the series I’d say he has the hang of it now and he is happy with that! He’s a quiet lad, and keeps himself to himself so its special to see a big smile like that.”

“We knew once we got into the Tour Series, we could use our strength in depth and that is exactly what the boys have done. They have taken advantage of the circuits and hats off to Mathieu tonight, he certainly deserved that victory.”

“That was certainly a box ticked for us tonight after the uncharacteristic steady start that we had. After we had won two rounds, we wanted to win an individual as well and slowly peck away at the overall. Hats off to Rapha tonight, they certainly delivered in the sprint and we ended up second (team) but still happy with that.”

“We had four up there in the front groups and that was all that mattered and we then had to play the man on man game.”

Early on, with plenty of great potential on paper, the series didn’t go well for Raleigh but as the manager explained, you have to find a way of turning it around. “We just kept it positive and I need to say thanks to Yanto Barker, team captain, who with his experience and the young guys we have like Liam, Matthieu, George, Morgan, that experience from Yanto is being passed down.”

“To keep them calm and keep them focused.”


One of the young riders who has come through well and stepped up after racing in smaller teams previously is Liam Stones (5th on the night). “You need to look at the young guys and give them the opportunity and what Liam has done is grabbed that with both hands” says Cherie.

“He has recognised the injuries we have with Alex Blain (multiple crashes recently) and the illness to Ian Wilkinson and Liam has delivered for us”.

Good luck to Raleigh in Canary Wharf


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