Mallorca graft puts ONE Pro Cycling on track for Perfs

George Atkins is in the ONE Pro Cycling squad for the Perfs Pedal
George Atkins is in the ONE Pro Cycling squad for the Perfs Pedal
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Matt Winston is relishing ONE Pro Cycling’s debut after a successful training camp in Mallorca.

The new team, founded by England cricketer Matt Prior, will taste their first competitive action in the Perfs Pedal on Sunday morning (11am).

With their official launch coming later this month, the squad will be in kit which won’t give away the name of their headline sponsor.

But there is no suggestion of the six-strong team of Yanto Barker, Marcin Bialoblocki, Chris Opie, George Atkins, George Harper and Sam Williams holding anything back in their performance.

They are determined to hit the ground running and Winston reckons the training camp in Spain has got them raring to go.

He said: ‘It was really nice to get the lads together over there.

‘The weather wasn’t great. It rained a lot and was fairly cold.

‘But we were able to get out on the road every day and put some good four, five and six-hour rides in.

‘The lads were able to practice working together and we came away really happy with how it went.’

Sunday’s race represents Winston’s debut as a full-time directeur sportif.

And the former British Cycling Olympic Development Programme coach is relishing the opportunity.

He will put the finishing touches to the team’s strategy with road captain Barker tomorrow.

Then it is over to his troops to deliver on the Perfs Pedal course, which includes four climbs of Portsdown Hill and two ascents of Hundred Acres Road, where the race finishes.

Winston said: ‘I did a little bit of work as a DS in my role at British Cycling but it is the first time it has been my official job title.

‘I have been more of a coach rather than a DS.

‘I’ve just been putting things in place and getting things organised.

‘It has been good so far, although I’ll be able to tell you more on Sunday night!’

Don’t miss The News tomorrow - online and in print - for more previews ahead of the Perfs Pedal.