HUDDERSFIELD’S Ed Clancy insists Team Halfords Bikehut have laid the platform to upset the big guns after the opening two stages of the Tour of Britain cycle race.
The 24-year-old finished yesterday’s 153.3km stage from Darlington to Newcastle in 87th place, 20 seconds behind winner and yellow jersey holder Kai Reus.
The Beijing Olympics team pursuit gold medalist is now 84th in the general classification but is backing impressive teammate Ian Wilkinson to lead their charge for success.
Wilkinson followed up Saturday’s ninth place finish by coming home 13th in the North East but Clancy admits everything is going to plan so far for Team Halfords, one of only two teams made-up of British riders.
“It’s been a solid weekend for us overall and I think it’s a case of job well done,” said Clancy.
“Ian Wilkinson has had a couple of really good finishes and that’s a great reward for the work we’ve put into this.
“We’re not the biggest team out there and to achieve anything this year will be a great achievement. It’s not a bad start and we will definitely be looking to build on this for the rest of the week.
“It’s now a case of looking forward and making sure we recover and are in good shape for the next stages.”
More than 3,000 people turned out on Sunday to watch a dramatic second day as Dutch rider Kai Reus overhauled Australian Chris Sutton to take the yellow jersey.
Rabobank rider Reus, along with Tanel Kangert and Thomas De Gendt, broke away from the peleton with 42km remaining and he held off their challenge to romp home.
But former Shelley High School pupil Clancy revealed he had found yesterday’s stage tough going.
He added: “The stage was a bit more undulating than Saturday and the weather was a bit rainy and that made it more difficult.
“But the lads worked hard and once again we put in a performance I think we can be pretty happy going into the rest of the week.”
The Tour of Britain is the UK’s biggest free to attend sporting event, attracting over a million spectators per year to towns, cities and communities across the country – for further information please visit – www.tourofbritain.co.uk