Feature – Winners and Winners in 2015


With the road season almost over and the Tour of Britain to come, we look at who the big winners were in 2015 in road racing

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Feature – Winners and Winners in 2015

I can’t believe the road season is almost over, at least for the British based pros. It’s August 11 and we have one 50 mile crit (okay, Kermesse) as a prem and then two weeks of no major races before the biggest race of the year, the Aviva Tour of Britain which looks like being a cracking race.

During 2015, there have been eight events in the race for the Star Trophy, two of them pretty short kermesses both under 100k and in August a distinct lack of long races. Whether that’s a good or bad thing is up to the riders and teams because many may prefer that so they can have their Tour of Britain training camps.


It is what it is though and the road season is nearing an end. So, time to look at who the winners for 2015 were when it comes to the major road races of the year.

Back in early April, the ‘Prem’ season had a great start with the Chorley Grand Prix won by Ian Bibby of NFTO with Steve Lampier (Raleigh GAC) 2nd and his teammate Morgan Kniesky third. It was a fantastic race organised by Carl Lawrenson and Carole Leigh and if only we could have two or three more of them, the season would be so much better for it.

The next round at Reservoir (Northumberland) was held in freezing conditions and Erick Rowsell and a dominant Madison Genesis team controlled the race to win stage 1 and then the overall whilst Marcin Bialoblocki presented new team on the block, One Pro Cycling, with a win on stage 2.

The next big road race was the CiCLE Classic and that saw a win for Aussie Steele Von Hoff of NFTO even though he didn’t know it when he crossed the line LoL. He beat Chris Opie (One Pro Cycling) who would have his day later in the season with a youngster with a fast finish, Harry Tanfield (JLT Condor) in third.

With the crit season looming in May and the Tour of Yorkshire kicking that month off with some tough racing that resulted in a lot of damaged legs, Andy Tennant gave Team Wiggins a big win in Wiltshire when he outsprinted Yanto Barker of One Pro Cycling who topped and tailed his season with second places (I know, one race to go yet but Yanto’s getting married this weekend!) Mike Northey of Madison Genesis was third.


It was then the turn of the crits to take over as the Pearl Izumi Tour Series saw the riders and teams on the road for six weeks and in the closest season yet, Madison Genesis had their day in the sun with a team win over close rival One Pro Cycling in Bath.

A UCI race in Wales (June) didn’t have the same level of excitement or organisation as the Tour of Yorkshire or the Sweetspot UCI events, and was won by Martin Mortensen with his British teammate Russell Downing fourth. First rider from a domestic team being Marcin Bialoblocki (One Pro Cycling) (5th) with Morgan Kniesky (Raleigh GAC) one place behind.

The Beaumont Trophy was next and in that UCI event, an under 23 GB Academy rider Chris Latham won from Tom Stewart (Madison Genesis) and Yanto Barker (One Pro Cycling). The British Road Race championships that followed the week after was again dominated by World Tour riders with Peter Kennaugh (Sky) winning from Mark Cavendish (Etixx Quickstep) and Ian Stannard (Sky) 3rd.


First of the ‘domestic’ riders was Owain Doull of Team Wiggins who was 7th with Yanto Barker (One Pro Cycling) 8th just ahead of Steve Lampier (Raleigh GAC) and Jon Mould (One Pro Cycling).

The first of two kermesses (cross between a road race and crit) in the National Road Race Series, was at Stafford and won by Gabriel Cullaigh from the GB Academy with Morgan Kniesky (Raleigh GAC) second and Jon Mould (One Pro Cycling), third.

The next major clash in a proper road race was the Stockton Grand Prix and in a big bunch kick, Chris Opie of One Pro Cycling had his moment on the top step after beating Jonny McEvoy of NFTO and the up and coming Sam Lowe of Raleigh GAC.


Then, from one of the fastest races to one of the toughest, if not ‘the’ toughest as riders had said it was the year before, the Ryedale Grand Prix. This turned out to be one of the most awesome battles of all as Ian Bibby (NFTO) collapsed across the line ahead of a similarly exhausted Tom Moses (JLT Condor) with Peter Williams (One Pro Cycling) third.

Ride London then showed that British based riders can compete with the major European teams with Graham Briggs (JLT Condor) and Eddie Dunbar (NFTO) both in the top 20 but neither making the lead break like Adam Bythe had done the year before. That race was just one example of how well the Brits can compete at the highest level.

At the start of the year, NFTO’s Steele Von Hoff had won a WorldTour stage Down Under whilst only last week, Marcin Bialoblocki (One Pro Cycling) beat world tour competition in the Tour of Poland to win a stage there. In the Tour of Yorkshire (May), British based teams had two riders in the top ten, Erick Rowsell (Madison Genesis) in 8th and Richard Handley (JLT Condor) 10th.

Overall though in the British racing, no one team was dominating the season which was the predication pre season and in the GP Wales last week, yet again the race was wide open with riders from any of the teams capable of the win.

In the end, it was the rider who seized the moment, Chris Lawless (Team Wiggins), attacking 700 metres from the line no less, who held on, just, to win from Yanto Barker (One Pro Cycling) and the rider of the moment Graham Briggs (JLT Condor).


As one of the managers explained later, it was a race more in the style of a European event with a break staying out front for a lot of the race whilst one team took responsibility for the chase, Raleigh GAC. It was brilliant to watch and on a tight technical finish, those at the front had their destiny in their own hands whilst behind, others let lady luck dictate what they would get out of it.

So with one ‘Prem’ to go, an event over 50 miles or less than two hours of racing, the season is almost over and the UCI teams here are now focused on the Aviva Tour of Britain with training camps in the mountains of Europe or on the hills of Britain in between the haggling of the transfer season in full flow.

Looking at the results, Ian Bibby has won two ‘Prems’ for his team NFTO with Steele Von Hoff adding another major victory for that squad in the UCI ranked CiCLE Classic. Team Wiggins have two victories to their name with Tennant and Lawless whilst the GB Academy have two as well thanks to Gabz Cullaigh and Chris Latham.


One Pro Cycling have two wins, a stage in Reservoir and Chris Opie’s much celebrated Stockton GP whilst Madison Genesis have two as well, a stage and overall in the Tour of Reservoir. Honours pretty even across the board with not a lot between them. Who has the bragging rights? Good question ;-)

When it comes to podiums, Steve Lampier (Raleigh GAC), the Star Trophy winner has four while Yanto Barker (One Pro Cycling) and Erick Rowsell (Madison Genesis) have three each.

Andy Tennant has two as does Ian Bibby (NFTO) and Morgan Kneisky (Raleigh GAC), whilst the list of riders with a single podium is quite long showing how open the racing is;
Mark McNally (Madison Genesis), Marcin Bialoblocki (One Pro Cycling), Steel Von Hoff (NFTO), Harry Tanfield (JLT Condor), Pete Williams (One Pro Cycling), Mike Northey (Madison Genesis), Chris Latham and Gabriel Cullaigh (both GB Academy), Jon Mould (One Pro Cycling), Sam Lowe (Raleigh GAC), Jonny McEvoy (NFTO), Chris Lawless (Wiggins) and Graham Briggs (JLT Condor).


When it comes to the teams who have been successful getting to the top step, NFTO with three wins shows they had had a strong squad this year. Team Wiggins, despite having to deal with GB commitments, had two wins as did One Pro Cycling, GB Academy and Madison Genesis.

JLT Condor have had an indifferent year with three podiums but no victories which is perhaps why their manager John Herety has been active seeking out new signings for 2016. No wins either for Raleigh GAC but seven podiums shows just how close they have come whilst One Pro Cycling had seven too.

Madison Genesis had five podiums in all, NFTO had four, Wiggins three and the GB Academy two. The other striking stat is that all the riders on the podium are from UCI teams or part of the GB team. With teams like Pedal Heaven and Sportgrub Kuota to name but two having been so active and visible in the races, it is a surprise that none made it onto the podium.

But, because the racing scene has had so many UCI teams and other well organised outfits battling for the wins, it has been a brilliant season with so many riders capable of winning. Kudos to the teams, UCI and non UCI, for making the racing so close and competitive.

For now, the season for the pros has stalled before the Tour of Britain which is why there are a lot of training camps on the go. Looking ahead to next season, one team looks like being in Europe (One Pro Cycling) and another non UCI team looking likely to move up to UCI Conti. It will still leave the scene one major team down unless there are other new big teams planned I don’t know about.


Certainly, if the racing is anything like it has been this year, then there is a lot to look forward to in the winter and work to be done to be ready for it!

Major Road Races 2015 Honours List
Podiums (not including major UCI races (inc RR Champs) where there were no British based riders on the podium in British races)

Chorley GP
1. Ian Bibby (NFTO)
2. Steve Lampier (Raleigh GAC)
3. Morgan Kneiskey (Raleigh RAC)

Tour Reservoir
1. Erick Rowsell (Madison Genesis)
2. Steve Lampier (Raleigh GAC)
3. Andy Tennant (Wiggins)

Stage 1
1. Erick Rowsell (Madison Genesis)
2. Steve Lampier (Raleigh GAC)
3. Mark McNally (Madison Genesis)

Stage 2
1. Marcin Bialoblocki (One Pro Cycling)
2. Erick Rowsell (Madison Genesis)
3. Steve Lampier (Raleigh GAC)

CiCLE Classic
1. Steele Von Hoff (NFTO)
2. Chris Opie (One Pro Cycling)
3. Harry Tanfield (JLT Condor)

Wiltshire GP
1. Andy Tennant (Wiggins)
2. Yanto Barker (One Pro Cycling)
3. Mike Northey (Madison Genesis)


Great year for the new Wiggins team, Chris Lawless winning last weekend in Wales

Beaumont Trophy
1. Chris Latham (GB Academy)
2. Tom Stewart (Madison Genesis)
3. Yanto Barker (ONE One Pro Cycling)

Stafford Kermesse
1. Gabriel Cullaigh 100% ME
2. Morgan Kniesky Raleigh GAC
3. Jonathan Mould One Pro Cycling

Stockton GP
1. Chris Opie (One Pro Cycling)
2. Jonny McEvoy (NFTO)
3. Sam Lowe (Raleigh GAC)

Ryedale Grand Prix
1. Ian Bibby (NFTO)
2. Tom Moses (JLT Condor)
3. Pete Williams (One Pro Cycling)

GP Wales
1. Chris Lawless (Wiggins)
2. Yanto Barker (One Pro Cycling)
3. Graham Briggs (JLT Condor)
*disclaimer – if there are errors in the maths, I apologise now profusely ;-) ! Be kind and email me here LoL

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