Barker aims to extend Tour Series lead

ONE Pro Cycling celebrate glory in Ryde
ONE Pro Cycling celebrate glory in Ryde
Abbie Manley leads her Hargroves Ridley Montezuma's team-mate Amy Perryman through a corner at the Swanmore Motocross Track. Picture: Neil Marshall (171339-131)

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  • ONE Pro Cycling captain targets glory in Redditch
  • Experience key for leaders after Ryde domination
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Yanto Barker has called on ONE Pro Cycling to turn the screw on their Pearl Izumi Tour Series rivals.

The battle for the unique team prize resumes in Redditch at 7.30pm this evening after a thrilling launch on the streets of Ryde last Thursday.

Barker led his ONE Pro Cycling team to glory in both the time trial and criterium on the testing Isle of Wight course.

It was a dominant display from the debut-making outfit and earned them a two-point cushion over Madison Genesis in the overall standings.

There will be plenty more twists and turns over the next nine rounds of the breaktaking race for glory.

Barker is delighted ONE Pro Cycling have their noses in front, though.

And the road captain is keen to see his troops hammer home their advantage over the next few rounds.

Barker, 35, said: ‘It is much easier to defend than to attack the lead.

‘We have got some experienced guys in the team and we know what we are trying to do.

‘So if we can get ourselves into a commanding position by rounds three, four and five, we would absolutely take that.’

It is much easier to defend than to attack the lead

Yanto Barker

Tour Series organisers have tweaked the rules to the competition this summer, with rounds decided on the combined time of all five riders in each team.

Tom Scully, of Madison Genesis, won the criterium in Ryde on Thursday but because his team-mate Mark McNally was dropped from the peloton they had to settle for second overall.

ONE Pro Cycling’s quintet of Barker, Chris Opie, George Harper, Marcin Bialoblocki and Jon Mould all finished in the main group, earning them success by 2min 40sec.

Punctures and mechanicals can therefore make or break a team’s hopes.

And Barker is well aware of the role Lady Luck may have to play during the course of the competiton.

The reigning Perfs Pedal champion said: ‘It is going to be important not to have any mistakes, or punctures, because they could be a huge factor in the overall this year.

‘Hopefully they won’t be decisive but it is something to consider.’

Marc Hester replaces 2013 Perfs Pedal winner Bialoblocki, who has flown out to Poland for the Baltyk-Karkonosze stage race, in tonight’s five-man team in Redditch.

Meanwhile, Olympic gold medallist Dani King, who hails from Hamble and rode for Portsmouth-based i-Team as a junior, will begin her Matrix Fitness GP Series charge in the midlands.

The five-round series begins at 6pm, with King representing Wiggle Honda.

Highlights from Redditch will be screened on ITV4 at 8pm tomorrow.

For more information on the competition, visit tourseries.co.uk