Redding relishes underdogs tag ahead of Tour Series bow

Horndean cyclist Sam Redding (2013).
Horndean cyclist Sam Redding (2013).
Mike Williams on his way to second place in the veteran 50 race last month. Picture: Neil Marshall (171322-123)

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Sam Redding relished his place among the Tour Series underdogs and warned the favourites: We’re coming for you.

The Horndean rider is part of the Spin Rotor Primal C-Originals (SRPC) team who – after appearing as a guest outfit last season – will make their full debut in the first round of the televised event tonight.

The 22-year-old will not be on the start line in Kirkaldy, though – with his studies at Loughborough University reaching a critical point.

A former i-team youngster, he is champing at the bit ahead of his own bow in Stoke next Tuesday.

But for now Redding is looking forward to his Plymouth-based team serving it up to their rivals.

‘With this being the first time we are doing the full Tour Series, we are the underdogs,’ he said.

‘If we can get any results on the night that is going to be a bonus.

‘But a lot of it will be trying to get involved in moves and get a bit of time on the telly for the sponsors.

‘It is a case of trying to be aggressive and taking the race to the bigger teams to a certain extent.

‘And then if we get a result, we get a result.’

Redding is currently in the final year of his joint honours degree in maths and sports science.

While he has trained hard in the winter, the former Horndean Junior School pupil is now entering a busy period of lectures and exams.

‘I’m not down to do the first two races,’ he said.

‘After Kirkaldy tonight they are in Durham on Thursday, so the team is staying up north for the week.

‘It is my last week of lectures and I can’t afford to take that time out.

‘I am doing Stoke and Aberystwyth the following week, though. I’m really looking forward to them.’

Redding was a member of British Cycling’s national endurance squad as a youngster.

He narrowly missed out on selection for the Olympic Development Programme – as the likes of Team Sky’s Luke Rowe and Omega Pharma Quick-Step rider Andrew Fenn made the grade.

But after a spell with GWR Racing, which saw him ride competitively in Belgium, Redding is now determined to take his chance to mix it with the best on the domestic scene.

And while the Tour Series will not necessarily play to his strengths, he is confident he will hold his own.

‘It will be my first time riding in the Tour Series, so it should be a good experience,’ said Redding.

‘I guess my forté is climbing and long, hilly road races.

‘So the Tour Series is not as suited to me as it is some of the other guys on the team but my bike handling skills are reasonable.

‘And one of the main things in the Tour Series is being able to hold your position when everybody is constantly trying to move to the front.

‘I find, in a bunch, I can be quite assertive.

‘So I would like to think I can hold my own in it but it is by no means my preferred event.’

Redding, who finished 33rd in the gruelling Lincoln GP won by Team Sky’s Peter Kennaugh on Sunday, will go wheel to wheel with some stellar rivals in the Tour Series, which came to Portsmouth in 2010.

Among them is Olympic gold medallist and five-time world champion Ed Clancy, who won the championship with his Rapha Condor Sharp team in 2011 and is bidding to regain the crown.

Former Paris-Roubaix winner Magnus Backstedt is also set to line up for MG Maxifuel.