Alex Paton has targeted a fast start as he bids to rediscover his best form with Canyon Eisberg in 2018.
The 27-year-old, who hails from Dover, believes Madison Genesis did not see the best of him on the road last season.
But he reckons a few familiar faces can help get him back on track this term after penning a contract with Tim Elverson’s UCI Continental outfit.
Paton rode for the sports director at Pedal Heaven, where he also counted Rory Townsend, Max Stedman, Dexter Gardias, Harry Tanfield, Jack Pullar and Joe Fry as team-mates.
And having been welcomed back into the fold, he can see the team spirit developed over the past few seasons remains. Paton said:
“It was an okay year [with Madison]. There were some reasonable performances but nothing stand-out. It just didn’t seem to click.
“You need all the little things to slot into place but it just didn’t come together how I had hoped it would. And that’s when you get average!
“I am really looking forward to 2018. I get on very well with Tim, I have great belief in him and the way he works seems to work well for me, too.
“I get on with all the guys. Despite not being on the team in 2017, I’m always speaking to them and catching up with them.
“We are all genuinely good friends. There is a really good atmosphere here, people genuinely get on and want to help each other out.
“You could see everyone was happy and enjoying their job last season. That is partly down to the attitude of the riders but also Tim getting them in the right frame of mind.
“We all want to win bike races and be better than we were the year before. And I am no different in that.
“I often have a steady start to the season before gradually working up into it. But this year I have adjusted my training a little because I want to start better.
“If I can do that, it can only get better from there as the confidence comes. That’s the goal but we’ll soon find out if it works!”
A former Great Britain junior mountainbiker and national junior cyclocross champion, Paton has also tasted cyclocross success in the National Trophy series.
He has not attempted to weave another off-road campaign into his preparation for the new season, instead opting for a more relaxed approach.
The Fleet-based talent is, however, relishing getting to grips with a Canyon bike in anticipation of his new steed. Paton added:
“Training is going well and I’m progressing nicely without stressing or forcing it. There is good quality in there with no drama.
“I have got Rob Partridge’s old Aeroad at the moment. It is hands down the fastest, nicest bike I have ever ridden.
“I know it is annoying. Everybody who gets a new bike says how great it is. But this is honestly unbelievable. It is ridiculous!”
Paton has registered numerous top-10 finishes in the Tour Series and enjoyed a superb one-two with Tanfield at the Chepstow Grand Prix in 2016.
He finished 12th and 13th in the Rutland-Melton International CiCLE Classic in 2015 and 2016 respectively but missed the race last season.