Post race chat: CiCLE Classic


Talking to Steele Von Hoff, Harry Tanfield, Karol Domagalski and Ian Bibby after the CiCLE Classic on Sunday

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Post race chat: CiCLE Classic

Steele Von Hoff: The victory is fantastic. The boys did a fantastic job today. Ian Bibby was absolutely incredible. He did so much work and then ended up getting up the road in a group. I got a little bit lost after one of the sectors and was fighting my way back up and saw Bibby and one other coming back and I assumed that after all the hard work he’d done all race, he’d just ran out of legs.”


“But no, he was the last two standing out front and I didn’t realise it at the time but we were fighting for the win. One Pro had three guys in the finish and did a lead out, quite a good one, for Chris Opie. I left it quite late to come round him in the last 100 metres and get the victory.”

“I had no idea where I was out there! It’s a bit hard to know without doing a recce of the whole course. But the whole team rode really well today and I’m really proud of the NFTO boys and hopefully we can continue the good form and try and get some results in the Tour of Yorkshire.”

Even though Steele thought he was sprinting for fifth, he admits that he still wanted to win the bunchie. “I thought fifth was up for grabs and top 10 here is still very good because it’s a 1.2 UCI race and there were still points. I was running a bit low on steam and hurting a bit but Bibby had fought his way back after getting caught and he came up and said to me, I’ll close everything”.

“He just sat there for a few K, closing moves and then One started their lead-out and Dale (Appleby) was just in front of me holding me out of the wind and helped me get Chris Opie’s wheel. Coming into the final few hundred meters, I knew it was a good position to be in with Opie being their sprinter. My job was just to come round him which I managed to do.”

Early Doors
“I did a bit too much too early. I was attacking a lot in the first few laps and then decided to settle down for a while because everything was being closed down. It really did zap my energy. There was one moment, after the two laps, I came into a sector and had a mechanical and ended up being at the back of the bunch at this important meeting point before the first sector where it normally splits to pieces.”

“There were probably six groups I had to jump through to get to the front and when I got there, I was spent, and thought that was my race over. I’d had to do a lot of work to get back but luckily when I got there, the other boys were feeling strong and were able to cover enough moves until I managed to get my legs back”.

“This is like a classic this event. It was really good fun and I really enjoyed it. I knew I would because I have history doing mountain biking and it’s a fantastic race.”


Karol Domagalski (Raleigh GAC) “It was a crazy race! Not so good luck for me as I get three flat tyres. I did everything possible today and was really tired in the last 10k in all the cars and lose lots of energy. For the last one K, I was with Wilko (Ian Wilkinson) and do the first 500 metres for him and put him on the wheel of Von Hoff”.

“I do TroBro Leon which is similar but not the same. Today was really nice though, something new and a good experience and a crazy atmosphere with lots of people. I hope I can do it again next year”!

Harry Tanfield: “That was certainly a good standard sprint to be part of” the youngster from the North east explained. Harry has been racing for a long time and is still well under 23. He explained “One Pro had their lead out with three riders for Opie and Steele had a guy in front of him and Raleigh were trying to set something up for Wilko as well.”


“Coming into the final bend, I did my best to move up as best I could. I think I was 8th or 10th out of the last corner and as they came out, everyone just hesitated and I thought it’s now or never, I’m going to go for a long one because if these guys kick, I probably ain’t going to get round them. So I gunned it with 250 or 300 to go and I was like leading it out! Then Steele and Chris came round on the right and I got in the slipstream.”

“I pretty much parked up by then on the hoods trying to get aero and go as hard as I could to the line. I could see a wheel on the left catching me and thankfully he bollarded so he didn’t get round me. I didn’t know we were riding for the win. I was just trying to get the best result I could. Tom and Rich (Handley) were hitting out and there were a lot of moves in that last 10k.”

“Kristian had a good ride coming back after an unlucky day with crashes and punctures and he was there covering the moves. I picked up Steele’s wheel about three k to go and I thought if I can hang on in at the front here, with these boys, I ain’t going to go far wrong. It was carnage at the bottom with everyone diving in, so I made a big effort into the last corner, and used energy doing it, but if you don’t commit into that last corner, you come out of it no-where so I had to do it.”

“I have had a really good race programme. I have ridden Normandy and Reservoir and it gives me the opportunity to do these stages race like the four day in Ireland and we have another this weekend coming. I think I am reserve for Yorkshire if Briggsy or Felix isn’t well yet. I only found out I was riding this on Thursday because Briggsy wasn’t well. This is my favourite race of the year and so I was over the moon John gave me the call.”

Ian Bibby – “I felt awful today! I have been ill since Reservoir so I think this was like blowing the cob webs off. I think I was going alright though. I didn’t feel good, especially the first half. I think a few hard efforts chasing stuff, blew the cobwebs off and it worked out perfectly.”

“Around 50k to go there was a group away and we thought this could be race over unless it was pulled back so Dale (Appleby) and (Tom) Barras got on the front and brought the gap down and then we thought the best thing to do instead of just riding and having everyone sit on, Dale and Tom rode to the Somerberg where I was third wheel and I just battered it as hard as I could all the way through it.”


Above: Ian Bibby battering it!

“The gap was down to twenty seconds then. I carried on the effort and closed the gap and from then on, we were back in the race. With 40k to go, I attacked and jumped across to Raleigh’s Kneisky and there was soon four of us away. That was perfect because although I didn’t think it would stay away, I knew Steele could sit in, and One Pro would have to ride as they didn’t have a rider in the move.”

“So we made it really hard for them and they caught us with 5k to go, and from then on, it was a fast five k making sure nothing jumped away. I think because Madison don’t have a pure sprinter who can beat Steele or Opie but they are all extremely strong, the last five k they were jumping around and it was pretty hard!”

Note: I did talk to Chris Opie (2nd) but was told I could not use it by his team.

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