Tour Series – Harper’s First Win


After second and thirds in rounds of the Tour Series, George Harper of One Pro Cycling got the first Tour Series victory on a hill in Aberystwyth on Friday night

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Tour Series – Harper’s First Win

Over the last few years, George Harper of One Pro Cycling has been making steady progress in the pro ranks with some podium rides in the major races. Back in 2013, George was 4th on a stage of the Tour of Reservoir to add to his numerous wins in national B crits such as the Pedal Heaven Eelmore series and a victory in the semi classic, the Wally Gimber.


George gets the Costa Coffee fastest lap award for his win on the hill at Aberystwyth

In 2014, he got a ride in a UCI team, Giordana, and more great results came along like second in the Woking round of the Pearl Izumi Tour Series and a third (Hill Climb) and fourth (Crit) in Jersey in the same series.

On Friday in Aberystwyth though, George won the Hill Climb in the first of two races there and then backed up with 5th in the evening circuit race which was nothing short of brutal.

The Crit in Aberystwyth required much more than good legs though. Plenty of balls on a slippery circuit with skills to match to guide the bike around the many corners in the wet. And then the legs to go with the many attacks which all adds up to making a seriously good bike rider to anyone who can achieve those results in such conditions.

After the hill climb, George came rolling down the road towards his team all smiles being the jolly fellow that he is, completely unaware he’d won! Hugs from teammates and celebration followed before we talked about the ride.


Little ring for the first steep section and then the big ring for the rest of the climb

I said that after the Jersey Hill Climb where he was third, this surely wasn’t a surprise result? “I’d be lying if I said I was expecting to win” George replied. “I went into it quietly confident knowing I had a good chance. It was the sort of effort where you had to make sure you didn’t go too hard from the off because there were a lot of steep sections that if you go flat out, you can really damage yourself later on.”

“I simply went as hard as I could and was then sick at the top but pleased I did a good time. The gravel section was horrible. I hit it when I was out of the saddle going as hard as I could. You’re not going that quick because it’s quite a steep kicker at that point, and your back wheel is going everywhere”.

“I started thinking I’d do the whole thing in the little ring, but after the first ramp, I put into the big ring and was then using the 25 and 23 in the big ring. Having it in the big ring helped at the top in getting going as quick as possible when it flattened off.”


“I could see I was gaining on the rider in front so that gave me some fire to go harder”.

“I didn’t know I had won after the race. I thought I had been beaten because no-one had said anything to me like well done! I felt horrible in the ride and I don’t think anyone, no matter good they are going, feels good when they doing four minute PBs. Its just the sort of effort where you are tasting acid in your lungs; it’s horrible”.

Earlier in the day I’d seen the team coach Steve Benton riding up the climb and he’d said it will be about a four minute effort which was spot on. So did George get any advice from the coach during the ride? “Steve was by the side of the road telling me I was going really well and when I sat down to take a breather, he yelled ‘don’t sit down, keep going’ so I got back out of the saddle!”


George led his team to a team win in the Hill Climb as well which put them back in the lead in the series for the crit that followed.

Asked how it feels to be part of One Pro Cycling after a few years going from one team to another, he replied “It’s incredible to be part of the team and we have all the support to be successful. I have learnt so much from the riders that surround me in this team”.

“They are all very willing to give me advice on any race we come up to, like certain techniques in riding the crits or where not to go too hard on the hill climb. All the advice is coming from experienced riders like Jon Mould, Yanto Barker and the whole team. It gives you confidence knowing you have people who really know what they are talking about.”

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