Result: Chorley Grand Prix 2018

Karol Domagalski solos to an emphatic victory whilst Madison Genesis  put two on the podium as Jonny McEvoy is second and Richard Handley third


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Result: Chorley Grand Prix 2018

Karol Domagalski gets perhaps his biggest victory in Britain with a win at Chorley and an emphatic one at that

Last Sunday saw the first big battle between the British based teams on British roads in 2018 and One Pro and Madison Genesis came out on top with the former winning the race through Karol Domagalski and the latter getting two riders on the podium with Jonny McEvoy (2nd) Richard Handley (3rd). The latter beat another One Pro rider (Pete Williams) to that final podium spot in a photo finish.

The race yet again saw a solo winner in the manner of Ian Bibby and Edmund Bradbury in previous editions. But the way it started was a little unusual. None of this suicide break going early and the race coming up from behind. Oh no, in 2018, the teams hit this from the word go and leading the first moves up the road was ‘new’ team from Cherie Pridham, Vitus Pro Cycling.

A large group of 14 riders got a gap and another smaller group of five saw the danger and chased it down. The peloton at this stage were not bothered despite the fact that Madison Genesis had four riders in the move as did Vitus Pro Cycling and One Pro had two. They were not riders to be given an inch either with the likes of Connor Swift, Jacob Scott, Isaac Mundy, Harrison Jones, Richard Handley, Rob Scott, Grant Martin, Deins Kanepejs, Adam Kenway, Damien Shaw, Rory Townsend, Erik Rowsell and Matt Nowell, Szymon Tracz, Gabz Cullaigh, and Fraser Martin among the group.

Jonny McEvoy of Madison Genesis was the final rider resist the ride to victory by Karol Domagalski  and solo’d in for second

Ahead of the riders lay a lap of 23 miles and as well as the climb of Rivington, there were many more grippy parts of the course to take in. Standing by the side of the road and waiting for another 50 minutes or more with little race radio coming in, what actually happened on the road is a little difficult to piece together. The lead group, minus the very tall Deins Kanepejs who dropped back on the climb, soon had a few minutes on the peloton which had gone across the Rivington Reservoir on the tops.

That didn’t last however and Canyon Eisberg were soon making their presence felt. Second time up the Rivington climb and the breakaway numbered 14 riders… Rowsell; Mundy, Nowell, Kenway, Shaw, Fraser and Grant Martin, Jacob Scott, Rob Scott, Tracz, Swift, Cullaigh, Jones and Handley. Behind them came another big group of 24 riders just clear of the peloton. Leading that chase group was Canyon Eisberg who had numbers on the front drilling it and behind there were splits and riders in the gutter all over the place.

The move from Canyon worked as they helped the chase group join the front and the moves continued to come and go and on the climb of Rivington the third time up, the lead group numbered twenty one riders including the likes of eventual winner Domagalski and Jonny McEvoy along with Steve Lampier, Max Stedman, Mike Cumming, Peter Williams, Tom Pidcock, Joe Evans, Edmund Bradbury and Jack Pullar. The group also contained a few of the riders from the early move whilst a few had been gapped and chasing hard were Grant Martin, Harrison Jones, Fraser Martin, Ollie Maxwell, and a rider from team Wiggins.

As the race went on, the attacks continued and the front group got ever smaller, so much so that by the time the bell lap came, the front group was half a dozen or so with Lampier, Cumming, Handley, McEvoy, Domagalski, Williams, Tracz and Stedman. They were chased by a similar sized group that had the likes of Jacob Scott, Tom Pidcock, Edmund Bradbury, Connor Swift, Cullaigh, Nowell and others in it.

It was clear that the race would be won by the riders in the lead group and the attacks with three Madison Genesis and three One Pro in that lead breakaway soon began. Soon only two riders remained at the front, Domagalski and McEvoy and then there was one, Domagalski. As in previous years, the course favoured the strong and the solo and the Polish rider made the most of it, opening up a big gap on McEvoy with the chase group only numbering Lampier, Handley, Stedman and Williams. And neither Handley or Williams would chase down their teammates ahead.

Tight sprint for third where Richard Handley of Madison Genesis threw his bike and hoped for the best – he was third ahead of Pete Williams

After 116 miles, Domagalski stayed strong and won alone and McEvoy followed him in on his own in second before an almighty sprint for third as Handley dived out from behind Williams in the closing 50 metres to just get his front wheel to the line first and the final podium position. After that, riders crossed the line in ones and twos before the peloton, which had caught a group ahead of it, sprinted in for 13th place, Cullaigh winning that ahead of Grant Martin.

With the presentations done, it was time for the interviews and we raced around the riders and had a chat to as many as we could find.

The Race in Pictures

The race is only a few miles old and this was the picture of them going across the reservoir before they get to the climb

The peloton block the road behind them

An hour later, and this was the lead group…

And behind mayhem as Canyon Eisberg took up the chase

And an hour later, the lead group was part original break and part chase group

A lap to go and Lampier leads a small group across the finish line

Jacob Scott leading the next group followed by Tom Pidcock

And behind them, three chasers, Rob Scott, Grant Martin and Joe Evans


Rider Reactions:

Karol Domagalski: “I am really happy with the win, a solo victory in this kind of race is really good, really nice. The boys did an amazing job for me. We were all riding very aggressive today. I make my final move on top of the climb, when it was headwind, block headwind and just squeezed on full gas to the end. It was really hard but I was controlling the power on the threshold. It was hard of course after 150km but it was good also.”

Jonny McEvoy (Madison Genesis): “I just didn’t have the legs to stay with Karol. I knew in the break he was definitely one of the strong ones, but it was really hard. We had good numbers on the break and that was the plan. We had four in the front from the start so we were on the front foot. Having that number advantage was a key for us so we didn’t have to chase everything. The course is so hard it does sort out everyone out.”

Jonny added that there were a lot of moves going and also a big crash which saw them on the back foot for a moment as they chased the front down. But preparation wise, he was pleased with his form. “We did the Tour of Normandy after the training camps so that was good preparation for this and I’ve had a good winter too so hopefully it’s a good little start”.

Richard Handley (Madison Genesis): “Last year we got caught off guard so we started towards the front and we got that feeling that when the first few riders started going, it was time to go before the road was blocked and I managed to slide through and so did Erick and then we had four in it. It isn’t always the best to have the most riders in a break because you can get leant on a lot but it was okay. There were a few starting to sit on after the second lap but that was when Canyon rode behind and split it.”

“When it came together (the front groups), we had seven of the eight riders in it and we just had to keep on the front foot for the rest of the race and we had three in that final selection. It was down to man marking then, all following one rider each and One Pro were doing the same. Karol was riding really strong and when he got away, Jonny was probably our best shot to go with him. So we couldn’t have done much different.”

Richard explained that after the first laps in the break, the third time up the Rivington climb was quick and then on the way down with a tailwind, it split and another group came across and that was the final 14 or so and after that it whittled down a little bit. The last time up the climb, it was just lots of little groups on the climb says Richard. “We were leaning on Max Stedman and Steve Lampier because we had riders ahead and so they had to ride the whole of that last lap for me and Pete. I’m pretty happy with the form though.”

Colin Sturgess (Madison Genesis DS): “The strategy was to get multiples in the moves and then it was the case of letting the race pan out. I could not have asked more from the boys today, they tried their utmost and second and third is great”.

Giving us an insight into preparing for a race of this length, Colin told us that with such short races in Britain he asked the riders to ride to events or ride home to get the extra miles in needed for an event like Chorley. “The biggest thing for them was believe in themselves and their ability” Colin added.

Steve Lampier: We were outnumbered big time today but it bodes well. The condition is there so I am happy even though I am disappointed with the result.”

Steve then explained what his new team was about. “I have set up this team this year, Saint Piran based out of Cornwall. We have Cornish sponsors, Cornish riders as well as riders from outside of Cornwall. Cycling is growing but there is little racing scene so we’re trying to build a sustainable team for the future.”
“I did some shrewd shopping over the winter when it came to riders. I had ridden with them so knew what they can and can’t do on a bike and it went from there. Will Harper is doing the sponsorship for the team and I do pretty much everything else! This week, the mechanic and I worked until pretty much 10 every night and didn’t know how I was going to drive up on Saturday morning but I got to the hotel last night, had a pint and chilled and I knew it was coming together”.

“It’s a good bunch of lads, and we have a modest budget but it’s growing and what we want to do is grow into a better team. I am happy with how the lads rode today despite a crash and we had a split team too as some rode Totnes which we won with Will Harper.”

Max Stedman (Canyon Eisberg): “The plan was for Rory, Matt and Dex to get in the break. Rory ended up changing bikes in the neutral zone; Matt got in the break of 14 but it ended up having four Madison riders in it. The gap was about three minutes and Opie, Andy, Hank, Rory did an unbelievable job. They shut three minutes down in a lap, lap-and-a-half, and then Rory and Hank finished the job with two-and-a-half laps to go”.

“Then it was down to me and Pullar to try to get across to the front of the race. The fourth time up the climb, we managed to bridge across with a few others but then it was five ONE Pro riders, three Madison Genesis, one Holdsworth and me and Steve Lampier. It was a case of trying to hang on as best you could, marking everything we could. It got to the fifth time up and I literally had nothing left. We caught Steve, so we were still racing for third but we had Rich Handley and Pete Williams sitting on, so it was just me and Lampier chugging away for 25km at the end. At that point my legs were done in.”

“I’m happy with it. First under-23, the legs were good, it’s not the end of the world. It shows the strength and depth we have. We rode hard, closed the gap and caused devastation in the peloton. So if you’re going to ride like that, you might as well put other people in the pain locker as well. But we won’t be making the same mistake again. We don’t want to burn through five guys like we did just then. It didn’t help when Dex punctured, it left just me and Pullar at that point. But yeah, it was a hard day out. Welcome to Chorley!”

Rory Townsend (Canyon Eisberg): “It was a bit of a rollercoaster. Right from the line, in the neutral zone, I had to get a bike change. I got to the front and then went straight off it with what was actually the second move. I’d missed the original break, and went chasing in a group of five. The race had shut down at that stage, everyone was happy with that group.”


Harrison Jones led a Vitus Pro Cycling 1-2 with Grant Martin in the Sprints competition


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Grant Martin (Vitus Pro Cycling), second in the Sprint competition behind his teammate Harrison Jones, told us he was pretty pleased with his ride. “I am very pleased after training hard this winter to get in the early break and then get in other moves. I was only caught by the peloton with five kilometers to go and to then get second in the bunch sprint as well, it was a big day! I’m really happy.”

“The course was definitely not one that suits me.” Grant explained adding that living up in Scotland, he’s not had the opportunity to do any of the National B events the team have done so far but his early racing has gone well and he came into the race at Chorley with confidence. “Considering I still had a really good kick in the bunch sprint after all those miles shows I am riding well”.

Adam Kenway was another of the Vitus Pro Cycling team who got across to the break, the last rider to do so after he saw other teams with numbers in the move. He joined the group at the foot of the climb and went straight to the front to take the points for the first King of the Mountains sprint. Adam explained how the breakaway took it steady on the climb the second time up where he was second in the KoM sprint. On the third ascent, Adam explained how the riders sprinted up the climb and he was still able to again get more points with third.

After that sprint, the make up of the riders at the front was constantly changing as Adam explained. “We got away after the sprint for the KoM and were working well but we were caught by a group who came around us and it split again and I was caught on the wrong side of it as I’d just done some work. Grant tried to bring it back and then I kicked on the other side of the circuit and just failed to get on the back of it as another group caught me and by this time the lights were going out for me.”

So in summary, One Pro and Madison Genesis have started well in their campaign to qualify for the Tour of Britain as well getting on the podiums of races in the process. Looking at the top 10, Madison Genesis had no less than four riders and One Pro had three whilst JLT Condor, Canyon Eisberg and Saint Piran had one each.

Looking at strength in depth, Madison Genesis had no less than seven of their eight in the result list and the eighth (George Pym) had a puncture early on when the team car was in front and it was race over for him. One Pro Cycling had five of their riders finish whilst Vitus Pro Cycling had six finishers.

Team Wiggins had five finishers whilst Canyon Eisberg had four as did Holdsworth. The next race, the CiCLE Classic, the teams only get a maximum of six starters and a lot of luck is involved so it will be hard to gauge team performances but One Pro and Madison Genesis have set the bench mark so far…
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1 Karol Domagalski One Pro Cycling 4:32:06
2 Jonathan McEvoy Madison Genesis +2:24
3 Richard Handley Madison Genesis +3:26
4 Peter Williams One Pro Cycling st
5 Steve Lampier Saint Piran +3:29
6 Max Steadman Canyon Eisberg +3:35
7 Connor Swift Madison Genesis +4:34
8 Szymon Tracz One Pro Cycling +5:10
9 Matthew Holmes Madison Genesis +6:00
10 Edmund Bradbury JLT Condor +6:22
11 Thomas Pidcock Team Wiggins +7:33
12 Michael Cuming Madison Genesis +9:16
13 Gabriel Cullaigh Team Wiggins +9:38
14 Grant Martin Vitus Pro Cycling st
15 Matthew Nowell Canyon Eisberg st
16 Corentin Navarro Team Wiggins st
17 Robert Scott Team Wiggins st
18 Russ Downing Holdsworth Pro Racing st
19 Joe Evans Saint Piran st
20 Edward Laverack JLT Condor st
21 Conn McDunphy Holdsworth Pro Racing st
22 George Wood Richardsons-Trek RT st
23 Callum Ferguson Team KTM UK st
24 Jacob Scott One Pro Cycling st
25 Tristan Robbins Team PB Performance st
26 Jacques Sauvagnargues Team Wiggins st
27 Andrew Nichols Team B38 / Underpin Racing st
28 Julio Alberto Amores Palacios Vitus Pro Cycling st
29 Seid Lidze Holdsworth Pro Racing st
30 Marcus Burnett Spirit Tifosi Racing Team st
31 Rupert Graham Spirit Tifosi Racing Team st
32 Michael Mottram Morvelo Basso RT st
33 Zeb Kyffin GS Metro st
34 Matthew Clarke Wheelbase Castelli MGD st
35 Finn Crockett Wheelbase Castelli MGD st
36 Jack Stanton-Warren Wheelbase Castelli MGD st
37 Louis Szymanski Cycling Sheffield Giant Sheffie st
38 Joe Swinnerton Swinnerton Cycles st
39 Dexter Gardias Canyon Eisberg st
40 James Gullen JLT Condor st
41 Charlie Passfield Spirit Tifosi Racing Team st
42 James Tillett Wales Racing Academy +9:49
43 Thomas Baylis One Pro Cycling +10:34
44 Lawrence Carpenter Ribble Cycling +10:59
45 Kieran Savage Cycling Sheffield Giant Sheffie +14:10
46 Adam Kenway Vitus Pro Cycling +14:13
47 Elliot Harrison Leisure Lakes +14:14
48 Michael Hall TBW Bottecchia Wigmore RT +14:25
49 Daniel Coombe Wales Racing Academy +14:29
50 Fraser Rounds Team KTM UK st
51 Harrison Jones Vitus Pro Cycling st
52 Ben Walsh Vitus Pro Cycling st
53 Erick Rowsell Madison Genesis +14:30
54 Joshua Hunt Vitus Pro Cycling +14:34
55 Sean McKenna Holdsworth Pro Racing st
56 James Lowsley-Williams Canyon Eisberg +15:29
57 Isaac Mundy Madison Genesis st
58 William Roberts Wales Racing Academy st

Sprints Competition
1 Harrison Jones Vitus Pro Cycling 6
2 Grant Martin Vitus Pro Cycling 4
3 Karol Domagalski One Pro Cycling 3
4 Peter Williams One Pro Cycling 3
5 Jacob Scott One Pro Cycling 3
6 Steve Lampier Saint Piran 2
7 Jonathan McEvoy Madison Genesis 1
8 Szymon Tracz One Pro Cycling 1

King of the Mountains Competition
1 Karol Domagalski One Pro Cycling 8
2 Matthew Nowell Canyon Eisberg 8
3 Adam Kenway Vitus Pro Cycling 6
4 Jonathan McEvoy Madison Genesis 4
5 Richard Handley Madison Genesis 1
6 Steve Lampier Saint Piran 1





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