RCJ: Opie second in National Circuit Race Champs
Rapha Condor JLT’s Chris Opie came close to taking his first national title last night, when he finished second to Adam Blythe in the National Circuit Race Championships.
After winning two rounds of the Tour Series in 2013, Opie had struggled with form throughout this season following an ongoing illness that had sidelined the fast finishing Cornishman since the Tour of Normandy in March.
“Two months ago I was feeling so unfit I could probably have just given up bike riding to be honest. I couldn’t get going for a long time following the illness that I had, and I missed a lot of racing because of it.”
Opie fought out the title with former World Tour professional Adam Bythe after an hour of fast racing around the city centre circuit in Hull. The two riders had escaped the clutches of the peloton with ten laps remaining, but despite working well together never enjoyed more than a few seconds advantage.
“I really wanted to win tonight and I did everything I could, in the end though Adam was just that bit faster and he just edged past me before the line. I am disappointed to miss out, but Adam is a quality rider and I know that I did everything I could.”
Moments after the duo had fought out the finish, Graham Briggs and Kristian House led home the bunch sprint to take third and fourth on the night, and make it two Men in Black on the podium.
It was a result that bodes well for Opie who, along with Briggs, will lead Rapha Condor JLT at the Elite Circuit Series in the month ahead.
“I am feeling pretty fresh now, and it seems like a lot of guys who have raced all through the Tour Series are pretty tired. Hopefully now I can get some wins up on the board for the team.”
The team’s next race will be the Stockton GP this coming weekend.
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