Team News – Good weekend for NFTO


A win for Tom Barras and second for Sam Harrison makes it a good weekend of training for NFTO

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Team News – Good weekend for NFTO

Sam Harrison Second at home in Wales
A fine spring morning greeted the riders for the start of the 17th Betty Pharoah Memorial road race. Teams were reduced from a full troop of 8 down to 6 riders to increase the size and quality of the field lining up for three laps of the Cowbridge circuit.

First attack of the day involved NFTO’s Sam Harrison and George Atkins (One Pro Cycling) and they were to be off the front for the rest of the day. Being good friends and former academy riders for Great Britain, they were working well together and built up a lead of around 40 seconds after the first lap.

With about half the race completed, the next strong attacked occurred, this time Eddie Dunbar (NFTO) jumping from the bunch to chase down the leaders but in doing so also dragged along One Pro Cycling’s Marcin Biablocki in the process. They were successful in catching he leaders and began to work as a foursome to keep the chasing peloton at bay.


Photo: Ian Homer

Behind the lead group, the race was very active with attack after attack sent out from all teams represented. A group of four riders headed by Rob Partridge managed to get a gap but it proved too late in the race to have effect.

The leading group of four had worked cohesively and maintained their margin on the chasing peloton. With about 15 km to go Sam Harrison dropped back to the car to discussed race tactics with DS Dave Povall. It was at this moment Biablocki seized the opportunity to attack and built up a lead of 20 seconds.

Eddie Dunbar bravely tried to bring Sam back and cut the lead to 10 secs but it wasn’t to be and the One Pro Cycling rider crossed the finish line with the same margin on the clock. Eddie’s significant contribution to the chase meant he was narrowly beaten to the final podium spot by George Atkins.

The rest of the team quickly filled in the next spots with 5 NFTO riders filling the top 8 positions.

Team DS Dave Povall: “It was a good race today despite the result not quite going our way. I was please with how the lads conducted themselves throughout the race. We were not perfect, we certainly have things we can work on but we live to fight another day”.

Barras Sprints to Victory
It what was only his third outing in NFTO colours this season, Tom Barras opened his account, winning in style from a 19 strong group after 25 laps of the Pimbo circuit at Skelmersdale. The 36-year old Yorkshire man, (son of former National Champ Sid Barras) finished strongly winning the sprint a whole length clear of Mat Cronshaw (Madison Genesis) and Dillion Byre (Chapion System VCUK RT)

The race was full of attacks, beginning from the very first lap with a group of six break away from the peloton, gaining 30 seconds. This group was to grow, doubling in size by the halfway point where the winning escapees were all assembled.

The final laps saw plenty of action, with Barras, Cronshaw and Dave McGowan (Pedal Heaven) stringing together the majority of attacks with nothing sticking. The high speed of the lead group almost saw them lap the peloton, as Barras diving across the finish line at full stretch, his rivals beaten.

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