Graham keeping feet on ground after Perfs heroics

Rupert Graham, left, with winner Alex Paton and third-placed Ben Marks. Picture: Hugh McManus
Rupert Graham, left, with winner Alex Paton and third-placed Ben Marks. Picture: Hugh McManus
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Rupert Graham is refusing to get carried away after finishing second in the Perfs Pedal.

The Spirit Tifosi newcomer produced a superb ride only to be narrowly beaten by Alex Paton, of UK professional outfit Canyon Eisberg.

Graham, 24, spent much of the 74km season-opening road race in the breakaway, alongside Paton and team-mate Jordan Peacock.

And while they had the numerical advantage, the man from Cornwall admitted their rival was simply too strong.

But that did not detract from his pride at the result in only his third race at National B level.

Graham, who now lives in Maidenhead, said: ‘Overall I am pretty happy.

There is plenty of positive energy, so fingers crossed. I’m not thinking too far down the line at this stage, though

Rupert Graham

‘It is definitely a step up for me and to hang in the front group is always a good sign at this time of year.

‘I definitely had no kick at all, though. Hopefully that will come.

‘We definitely had a good chance but we were under no illusions of how good Alex was and the kind of pedigree of rider he is.

‘It is always going to be tough to overturn someone like him and that is how it proved in the end.

‘Maybe we could have done things differently. I’d have liked to have been in a proper gear, earlier.

‘I definitely missed one or two at the end there I could have done with. It might have been a little closer but it probably wouldn’t have been enough.

‘I’ve only joined this year but the team is really upbeat. There is a lot of positive sounds coming through of what the year may hold.

‘I guess that was shown by getting two in the break. There is plenty of positive energy, so fingers crossed.

‘I’m not thinking too far down the line at this stage, though. It will be interesting to see where it goes but I’m just keen to keep racing at this level.

‘I want to keep seeing what I can do. It is a new experience, so I just want to take it as far as I can.’

Graham caught the eye of his new team when winning their Spirit Tifosi Autumn Road Race in October.

Now he is keen to tap into the feelgood factor from last season as he aims to make his mark at the next level.

Graham added: ‘I’ve been racing lots of small stuff until now. Lots of Hillingdon laps have been accrued!

‘I got a really lucky break to win the Spirit Tifosi Autumn Road Race at the end of last year.

‘That was the springboard. I wouldn’t be here with the team now if I hadn’t managed to do that.’