Yanto Barker led ONE Pro Cycling to team time trial glory on their Pearl Izumi Tour Series debut on the Isle of Wight this afternoon.
And then the reigning Perfs Pedal champion predicted a gruelling scrap for honours in the curtain-raising criterium on the same Ryde circuit tonight (7.30pm).
Barker joined Chris Opie, Marcin Bialoblocki, George Harper and Jon Mould for the battle against the clock on the 2.6km town centre circuit amid steady rain.
The quintet recorded a blistering time of 3min 44.504sec to beat runners-up Madison Genesis (3.48.576) by more than four seconds, with Pedal Heaven (3.52.463) rounding out the podium places.
That winning margin could have been even greater had Bialoblocki not lost position in the final corner and crossed the line 15 metres adrift of his team-mates.
Nonetheless, Barker was delighted with the performance as his team’s meticulous planning paid off.
The ONE Pro Cycling road captain said: ‘I’m really, really happy with that.
‘It was a good test of speed and technical ability which obviously we got down as well as we could.
‘We went through the selection, the order and the markers where we were beginning our turns.
‘So we set an order, how long each turn would be and who would be doing each turn, specifically tailored to their strengths.
‘We basically went through ticking the boxes.’
Barker admitted the triumph, which saw his team open their championship account with the maximum 10 points, was a boost ahead of this evening’s criterium.
And he likened the circuit to last season’s Edinburgh round, where team-mate Mould won both the individual race and points competition.
‘It is a confidence boost,’ said Barker.
‘We were all suffering at the end.
‘We went back to warm down and our lungs were absolutely tearing us apart.
‘But you translate that into a race situation and, absolutely, it’s a good marker.
‘I actually think it is going to be a tough circuit and I think you will find quite a lot of guys struggling to keep with the pace.
‘Hopefully that means we can all keep up because we weren’t holding back on the climb either time.
‘And if we can come away with a decent result this evening, that will be a really solid start to the series.
‘I think it will be a similar sort of selection to Edinburgh last year but obviously without the cobbles.
‘The climb is a similar length and elevation gain, plus if it stays wet this evening you can’t keep momentum through the corners.
‘And that will mean the gaps will happen, with the guys who don’t have the bike handling skills or confidence falling behind.
‘That may take its toll five metres at a time but you can’t keep making up those gaps.
‘I do expect to see a selection and that to be a combination of the strongest riders and the most technically proficient as well.’
But Barker insists ONE Pro Cycling will not be overly aggressive for this evening’s battle, which is an hour plus five laps in duration.
He added: ‘We have to follow the rhythm of the race and respond to whatever the race situation is.
‘I don’t think we need to be overly aggressive, especially on this style of circuit with the wet conditions.
‘The effort will come and find you, you don’t have to go looking for it.
‘And that will takes its toll pretty quickly.’