Pedal glory the Perf-ect launch pad for Winston

Yanto Barker, left, in action for Raleigh last season

Yanto Barker, left, in action for Raleigh last season

80-year-old to pedal 80 miles

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Matt Winston is aiming to use the Perfs Pedal as a springboard to a successful maiden season for ONE Pro Cycling.

The new team, founded by England cricketer Matt Prior, will make their debut in the 72km battle on Portsdown Hill and the surrounding area tomorrow (11am).

Former winners Marcin Bialoblocki and Chris Opie are joined by Yanto Barker, George Atkins, George Harper and Sam Williams in a team packed with talent.

The race also represents Winston’s bow as a full-time directeur sportif following his spell as endurance coach on British Cycling’s Olympic Development Programme.

And with a training camp in Mallorca behind them, they are gunning for glory.

Winston said: ‘The first few races of the season are very important to get off the ground.

‘We will be coming down to put in a good performance as a team.

‘And that will be the first stepping stone towards the national races later on in the season.

‘The key to this weekend will be getting our fundamentals right.

‘It will be a case of getting the lads working together.

‘The plan is to be fairly aggressive and get stuck in and then see how it unfolds on the road.

‘There will be no one designated leader. The lads will all have a role and the chance to get a result.’

Winston, who is also a member of host club VC St Raphael, spent Friday driving through France and up to Manchester following the training camp in Spain.

While many entrants will hope to gain a tactical edge by riding the course today, his squad have been given some time off with their families after the spell away.

They will link up again on Sunday morning at the D Day Memorial Hall in Southwick ahead of their first competitive action.

Winston said: ‘We will turn up on Sunday and take it as it comes.

‘It will be the first time I’ve been down to the Perfs Pedal, although I am a member of VC St Raphael and have been for the past 12 years.

‘When I have been racing I have been associated with them, so it is really nice my first race in the job is going to be the Perfs Pedal.’

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