SAINT PIRAN BURSTS ONTO THE NATIONAL STAGE AT THE OVO ENERGY TOUR SERIES
Cornwall’s first professional cycling team has taken a big step up onto the national stage with a stellar performance in this year’s Ovo Energy Tour series.
The series of seven city centre races finished on Saturday 25th May, after two weeks of competition. The Tour visited Redditch, Motherwell, Aberdeen, Durham, Birkenhead and Salisbury before finishing at the site of iconic Brooklands motor racing circuit. Featuring the cream of British cycling talent, all the races received extensive TV coverage, on ITV4 in the UK and in 100 countries worldwide.
The Saint Piran team finished in fifth place overall, with lead rider, team manager and Helston boy Steve Lampier crowned points champion after achieving the best results in the intermediate sprint competitions within each race.
Racing on the narrow, twisty town-centre street circuits was fast and furious, with plenty of crashes and lung-busting sprints. Unsurprisingly, big crowds turned out at each venue to watch the action.
The highlight of the race series was undoubtedly the Durham round where we took four of the top nine places out of a field of 49 riders. Best placed was 22-year-old Cameron Jeffers in second, with Steve Lampier in fourth, Joe Evans seventh and Matt Nowell in ninth.
Simply winning a spot in the Ovo Series is a testament to how far the team has come since its foundation less than four years ago. With five of the seven available slots taken by UCI Continental teams (the third tear of global cycling), Saint Piran was one of two chosen from the remaining 14 eligible teams in the Elite (fourth tier) category. Not only did the Cornish outfit beat the other Elite category team, it also came in ahead of one of the Continental teams.
But we’re not interested in merely being the plucky underdog from Cornwall. For Team Principal and co-founder Richard ‘Ricci’ Pascoe, this is a long-term project to build a team that will be able to challenge at the very highest levels of the sport. Coming up against teams with bigger budgets and more resources doesn’t phase the former pro rider, and while much work remains to be done, he has been pleased with the level of support they have received in Cornwall so far.
Ricci also wants to do things the right way. For example, giving the riders the best chance of success by providing them with top-end equipment in the form of Colnago bikes. The iconic Italian manufacturer is the Ferrari of the bicycle world, and Saint Piran’s machines attracted envious glances from other teams’ riders.
Ricci said: “We came to make an impression and to showcase Saint Piran. We not only came away as winners on the road but also having made many friends in the peloton. We’ve been building this for years now and are now at a point where we can push on with our ambitions. Above all, we’re developing Cornish talent. What’s next for us? Watch this space!”
As the ITV4 commentator said at the end of that final race at Brooklands: “A dream tour series for the team from Cornwall.”