Perfs Pedal Preview
Words by Jake Hollins
The Perfs Pedal race has become rather notorious on the UK race scene. It’s the shortest National level road race of the year at 74km, but what it lacks in length it makes up for with brutal flat out racing. It is the start of the UK road race season and every year the race is oversubscribed with riders waiting to show off how well their winter training has gone.
I myself, like the rest of the field, have been busy on the cold, wet and muddy roads since November doing a mixture of steady miles and intense intervals, day dreaming and practicing my celebrations.
However for guys like me its rather like …. Perfs is not a race I am going to win. Its the first opportunity the domestic pro teams get to stretch their legs. Normally they turn up having just completed a week long camp somewhere warm. They are as eager as the rest of the field to show off their hard work and consequently hammer it from km 1. The last few editions of the race have seen the top spots all taken by the professional team that has chosen Perfs as the start of their year.
Recent Perfs Pedal Results
2013 saw UK Youth finish 1,2,3,4,5,6.
2015 saw ONE pro finish 1,2,3,4.
2016 saw Pedal Heaven finish 1,2,3,4.
This year BIKE Channel Canyon are the team to beat. The 6 man line up includes last years winner, Rory Townsend. 2016 saw him dropped from the lead group with a puncture, only to chase back on, immediately attack and rode the last 8km solo to take the win. Rory isn’t the only favourite in the team. Chris Opie, the teams top sprinter, won the event back in 2012 with UK Youth. He’s coming off a huge season with ONE Pro cycling, having notched up 215 UCI points.
Winning a stage of the Tour of Korea and GC at Rhonde van Midden Nederland. Chris has had a great winter riding in Truro and is ready show what he can do. Opie recently spoke with The Portsmouth News. “Perfs is a really fun race on a really good circuit. It is a fantastic place to start the season and I can’t wait. I’ve raced there four times. The first was in in 2009 when it was on a different circuit and horses got on the road. I punctured on the final descent, started to chase back on only to find horses everywhere and that was it!”
Alex Richardson, James Lowsley – Williams, Rob Partridge and Mitch Webber complete a strong line up for BIKE Channel Canyon. Mitch finished 2nd last year to Rory and is keen to feature in this years race. With the strongest team in the race I am sure they are looking to dominate the race, make it as hard as possible and take the podium spots. High expectations then. Add the fact we are going to be there filming the day, no pressure lads.
As for my plan, it involves hanging on for dear life. Maybe ill throw in a kamikaze attack in the neutral section to get on TV. If I can get to the front.
This year we are really excited for the UK race season because we are title sponsors of the best new team. BIKE Channel Canyon. You can get inside the team by following them on social media. We are going to be producing plenty of content over the course of the season that will give you a taste of what its like in a UK professional team. This feature however we will be a little different, I am going to try and give you an insight into what its like to race against a professional team. I’m no pro, just your average Cat 2 who loves racing his bike.