Yanto Barker (Team UK Youth) sprinted to his second victory of the 2013 Pearl Izumi Tour Series to win round three in Stoke-on-Trent.
The Welshman led home a bunch sprint, pipping former national circuit race champion, Dean Downing (Madison Genesis), and team-mate, Tobyn Horton.
A five-strong breakaway went clear early on, including Felix English (Rapha Condor JLT), Gruff Lewis (Metaltek-Knights of Old), Liam Holohan (Madison-Genesis), Lachlan Norris (Raleigh), and Horton.
English said: “I was in the break of five for most of the race, but got caught with four laps to go. I still felt really good, so I hit the UK Youth leadout with 300m to go, but the headwind and uphill finish was too much to hang on.
“I’m feeling really good now, I just need to get my tactics and timing right.”
English’s quintet was hauled back by the combined efforts of Team UK Youth and Madison Genesis. The crashes did much to affect the chances of Team Raleigh, who had raced in the red jerseys of leaders of the team standings.
Their bad luck in Stoke-on-Trent, and Team UK Youth’s posting of three riders in the top 10, combined to push the Nottingham squad from the top of the team standings. Raleigh salvaged one result from the result, by claiming leadership in the IG Sprints Jersey, courtesy of Tom Scully.
Both teams face a strong challenge from debutants, Madison Genesis, who enjoyed greater fortune in Stoke on Trent than they had in Durham, where Ian Bibby rode comfortably in what appeared to be a decisive break with eventual winner, Kristian House (Rapha Condor JLT), before a mechanical ended his challenge.
In Stoke-on-Trent, the Roger Hammond-managed squad claimed second with Downing, and fourth place with world track champion, Andy Tennant, and placed all five riders in the top 20.
“I was really pleased with the team tonight: they showed power, tactical awareness and worked well together, but above all the determination was there in abundance and it was great to see,” Hammond said.
The next round of the series will be held in Aberystwyth this Friday (May 24) as part of the Aberystwyth Cycle Fest.
Metaltek-Knights of Old’s Welsh duo of Lewis and Dale Appleby, who finished eighth in Stoke-On-Trent, will be seeking to build on their good form in front of a home crowd.
Highlights of the Durham round will be screened on ITV4 at 10pm tonight, and repeated tomorrow at 12.55pm.
Pearl Izumi 2013 Tour Series: round three (Stoke-on-Trent) – result
1) Yanto Barker (GBR) – Team UK Youth
2) Dean Downing (GBR) – Madison Genesis
3) Tobyn Horton (GBR) – Team UK Youth
4) Andy Tennant (GBR) – Madison Genesis
5) Kristian House (GBR) – Rapha Condor JLT
6) Felix English (GBR) – Rapah Condor JLT
7) Ian Wilkinson (GBR) – Team UK Youth
8) Dale Appleby (GBR) – Metaltek-Knights of Old
9) James McCallum (GBR) – Rapha Condor JLT
10) Ed Clancy (GBR) – Rapha Condor JLT
Team standings after three rounds
1) Team UK Youth – 26 points
2) Team Raleigh – 26 points
3) Madison Genesis – 24 points
4) Rapha Condor JLT – 20 points
5) Node4-Giordana Racing – 20 points
6) Metaltek-Knights of Old – 14 points
7) Hope Factory Racing – 11 points
8) MG Maxifuel – 10 points
9) Team IG-Sigma Sport – 8 points
10) Spin Rotor-Primal-C Originals – 3 points