Tim Elverson targeted Tour Series glory and declared: I’ve never had so much ammunition.
The Canyon Eisberg sports director has made no secret of his desire to claim victory in the unique team-driven criterium championship.
Elverson has pepped up his firepower for 2018 with the addition of multiple Tour Series champion Andrew Tennant, Alex Paton and track star Charlie Tanfield.
Now he is setting his sights on glory again after organisers announced the dates and venues for nine of the 2018 competition’s 10 rounds.
The action will begin on Thursday, May 10 in Redditch, where Elverson enjoyed individual success with Chris Opie last season and team glory with Pedal Heaven in 2016.
And the sports director, who is praying for sunshine after rain dampened the last campaign, can’t wait to get going. He said:
“I have always enjoyed the Tour Series and it is a competition I would love to win. We have been close before, winning rounds both individually and as a team.
“I feel we are stronger this year. We were very, very close last year in terms of rounds. We just had a few bits of bad luck.
“Hopefully, with the squad we have now, we can be more effective. And that should mean we have a higher chance of being in the fight until the end.
“Obviously JLT, One Pro and Madison will all be strong and we all want to win. But I feel we have the best tools we have ever had to do that. It will just be down to us to deliver.
“I’ve got what I consider eight very, very good Tour Series riders. As long as we don’t have a load of injuries, we have a strong squad.”
After Redditch, stops follow in Motherwell on Tuesday, May 15 and Aberdeen, where the squad dominated last term, on Thursday May 17.
The tour visits Durham once again on Tuesday, May 22 – with an additional hill climb included – and travels to Wales for the Aberystwyth round on Saturday, May 26.
Stevenage will host a crit and team time trial on Bank Holiday Monday, May 28 before 24 hours later the peloton make a second visit to Wembley, which debuted last season.
The 2018 championship will then climax at a venue in the south of England – the details of which have yet to be revealed. Elverson added:
“This is a great opportunity to promote the team. When you spend six or seven days away for three hours of racing, it can be hard work and sometimes frustrating.
“But it also equates to three hours of TV, well put together by ITV4. So it is a really compact part of the year which delivers quite a punch.
“You can have a bit of a laugh on the road with the lads as well. As long as the weather is kind to us this year, we should have a lot of fun.
“It can be very hard when you are unpacking in the rain and packing up in the rain every day of the week.
“I think we had three dry rounds last year, so we must be due a fully dry series. And we can’t wait to get rolling.”
Tennant won with Halfords Bikehut (2009), Motorpoint–Marshalls Pasta (2010) and Rapha Condor–Sharp (2011).
Paton has arrived from Madison Genesis, who pushed reigning champions JLT Condor close last season.
Three-time individual winner Opie, who also lifted the overall title with UK Youth in 2013, was part of Elverson’s squad last term.
As were Harry Tanfield, James Lowsley-Williams, Jack Pullar, who won in Aberdeen last term, and 2016 points jersey champion Rory Townsend.
Meanwhile, Commonwealth Games individual pursuit champion Charlie Tanfield will be aimed at the series on his return from Australia. Elverson said:
“Charlie will come back from the Commies and focus on the Tour Series. Everyone else has it in the back of their minds, although they have different goals beforehand.”