Team News – Back Luck Strikes NFTO


One a brutal night in Ryde on the Isle of Wight, NFTO showed how strong they are with great team performance

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Team News – Back Luck Strikes NFTO

In front of a huge crowd, on the first visit to the Island for the Pearl Izumi Tour Series, NFTO finished the night in third place after a mixed night.


NFTO started the day with the Team Time Trial, 8th off the start out of ten teams. Thankfully it had dried out slightly but the roads were still sketchy and wet.

The tactics were just to get around and be conservative. The team did not feel, like many, that they couldn’t afford to have crashes and lose riders with such a big program coming up so there was an element of caution in their race against the watch.

They finished 11 seconds down on the winning team, so nothing special but a solid ride. Then it was back to the Team Hotel on the course for food, warmth and to prepare for the evening crit. The team say on their website “From a team perspective, we had a fairly good Crit, picking up a 2nd and 3rd with Ian Bibby and Johnny McEvoy respectively and the 3rd team in the Overall Classification”.


“Today was a pretty hard day” said second placed Ian Bibby. “I spent quite a bit of time off the front”. Manager Dace Povall went on to add “The idea was to go out and keep the pace high to make the race hard. Riders were being popped constantly. After 10 laps or so, the field was split to pieces” he recounted.

“We were sitting comfortably in the front bunch with all five riders, and only One Pro also had all five of their riders still there 25 minutes into the race. Unfortunately Steele had an issue with his bike and had to stop and fix it”.

The Aussie champion explained “I had to fix the chain and then my wheel nearly straight after, and by the time I got going again after two separate stops, I had to do a lot of hard efforts to try and get back on.”


“I did get to within 8 seconds of the bunch at one stage. I just couldn’t quite get there in the end. I started to maintain that eight seconds, and then the attacks started coming from the front of the bunch and I just couldn’t close it,” said Steele.

DS Povall added “We were considering sending Rob (Partridge) back to get Steele, but it’s a big risk, as if two riders cant get back on it can really affect the team time, and the pace of the race was so high we couldn’t guarantee the two of them swapping off would make it back”.

“It was a bit of bad luck with Steele having the mechanical, that was a really important rider for us being out of the race,” said Johnny McEvoy who was third.


That meant NFTO now had four riders left, as did Madison and One Pro had five. As they were in the leaders jersey from the Team Time Trial, tactics were still coming into it making them defend the jersey and they could be seen chasing first Tom Stewart and then Tom Scully.

“When a rider was up the road, you still had to try and bring that back as it affects the team time, so it kept the racing hard. It was still in everyone’s objectives to launch up the road and win it. The race was actually a more similar format to what you’d normally expect even though the Tour Series has a more technical set of rules,” explained Steele.

It was Steele’s first race debuting the Green and Gold Australian Criterium Jersey, “It was fantastic, with the jersey and bike done up, it was really special. I was just really frustrated with how the race ended up for me that I couldn’t contribute.”


“Second and third for NFTO meant they had two riders on the ‘podium’ (the top three don’t actually make it on the podium in the Tour Series), and 3rd in the team wasn’t too bad” says Bibby.

Finally, Steele explained “We have a lot of depth within the team, which can be seen with Bibby and McEvoy finishing on the podium, so we’ve got a lot of cards to play”. “We came into the race with a few guys a bit under the weather, so now it’s a quiet weekend for the Tour Series Team, back home, rest up and ready to do it all again in Redditch on Tuesday.


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