A super-strong performance by the Bradwell Abbey based Madison Genesis team at the iconic Lincoln GP on Sunday secured the outfit’s first major objective of the season, overall team victory in British Cycling’s HSBC Spring Cup series.
And another solid performance by the team’s Johnny McEvoy made it a Madison double with the Merseyside born rider taking the individual prize in the Spring Cup.
Leading both competitions going into the 103-mile event – that included 13 climbs up Lincoln’s steep, cobble Michaelgate – Madison’s Connor Swift helped form an early move with four other riders.
Parts of that group were still at the front of the race with three laps to go but by then the leading peloton was made up of 19 riders including the Madison trio of Swift, McEvoy and George Pym.
Despite being allowed a brief foray on the their own with two laps to go, McEvoy and Swift were eventually hauled in by eventual winner Alex Richardson.
But a sixth place finish by Swift, 8th for Pym added to McEvoy’s 11th place across the finishing line resulted in the double Spring Cup for the Madison Genesis boys – and a hatful of important qualifying points for the team’s season long target, a ride in the prestigious Tour of Britain in September.
The Trek-Drops team were competing in the 8-lap women’s race. Rebecca Durrell (Storey Racing) - who successfully rode for the team in 2017 – was the eventually winner and played a key role in the early break that dominated the race.
Trek’s Manon Lloyd – who represented Wales in the Commonwealth Games – was the team’s chief protagonist in the chase for the leaders that resulted in her taking 7th place overall at the end of a long, hard race.
Both teams had lined-up for the start of the 2018 OVO Energy Tour Series in Redditch last Thursday, the televised series now being a key feature in the British racing calendar.
As 2017 Series champions, the Trek-Drops riders were hampered at the very start of the race as they were only able to field three riders due to injuries and a congested racing schedule. But with the first three riders scoring points in the all-important Team Series, team tactics were always going to be crucial if they were to start their defence in style.
But a fast start and a mid-race crash that disrupted the rhythm of the race for a number of teams meant that Manon Lloyd’s win in the first of the mid-race Eisberg Sprints was the only crumb of comfort on the night for the team.
In the men’s Series, Madison Genesis, themselves the 2016 overall Team Series winners, were very positive in their approach to the first race of the year, team manager Colin Sturgess commenting before the off that “Not to put too fine a point on it, we want to regain the title from JLT Condor. It’s going to be one of the hardest fought series in years as there are so many strong teams and all vying for victory and Tour of Britain points. We’ve taken a hit with a couple of injuries but will still try and shake things up. There’s a surprise or two in store.”
In what was, as always, a superb demonstration of the cut and thrust of top level city centre racing, Madison always ensured they had a rider at the front of the race when and where it mattered.
And it was that attention to the all-important Tour Series race tactics that ensured they came away with double second place finishes, in both the Team and the overall race itself, the team’s Tobyn Horton just missing out on another Series win being added to his growing collection of Tour Series victories.
After the race he said “I didn’t have a lot of zip in my legs. It was move after move and whenever I got into anything I didn’t want to commit because I felt that bad. So I just covered and did the bare minimum. The way I felt, I thought I was going to get dropped a few times so I’m happy with the result.”