Rapha Condor JLT: Leicester Castle Classic
Rapha Condor JLT’s man in-form, Richard Handley scored another podium finish on Sunday, taking a close second in the inaugural Leicester Castle Classic.
Handley and his young team mate Hugh Carthy were both part of a twelve man move that went early in the twenty lap race and built up a solid lead on the peloton. Despite numerous attempts from the riders in the break, it wasn’t until the final lap that Handley, along with 100% ME’s Simon Yates, managed to pull clear.
“There were a lot of attacks all day in the group but nothing would stay away. Eventually Simon Yates went, and I went with him, but I knew straight away that he was much stronger. He went again on the final time up the climb and I just didn’t have the legs to go with him. It’s a bit annoying to get another podium and not a win, but there isn’t anything you can do in that situation, really.”
The Leicester Castle Classic is one of a number of events that has appeared on the elite calendar this autumn that will hopefully become a regular fixture for the countries top riders. As with the Stafford GP the race was run over a kermesse style course, meaning the riders enjoyed a full road closure throughout the 80km race. Riders and teams alike were full of praise for the event, with John Herety adding,
“This was another great UK based event that was delivered on totally closed roads. The crowds were big, and the organizer Phil West did a great job putting on a new event here. It is a shame not to win of course, but we hope to be back to do so in the future!”
Handley has been close to a big win this year on a number of occasions, but as of yet the big win has eluded the 22 year-old. One of the strongest riders in the team, and a key domestique for Mike Cuming at the Tour of Korea in June, Handley will no doubt be due his turn for a big win before the season is out.
The team now travels to France for the one day GP Marbiers, where the team came close to a win in 2011 with Kristian House who took an excellent second place in the tough French event.