James Lowsley-Williams insists he has no regrets after narrowly missing out on a jersey in the Tour de Yorkshire last season.
However, the 26-year-old has underlined his desire to get the job done this term – provided he can make the Canyon Eisberg squad.
Tim Elverson’s British Continental team have been invited back to the UCI 2.1 contest following a stunning debut in 2017.
After their selection turned a few heads, they more than repaid ASO’s faith with a stunning performance which returned a podium and two jerseys.
Lowsley-Williams lit the blue touchpaper for a thrilling three days in Yorkshire with a brave breakaway ride on stage one.
He made a bold bid for the mountains jersey only to be edged out by Etienne van Empel, of Roompot, while Aqua Blue’s Conor Dunne clinched the day’s combativity prize.
Team-mates Harry Tanfield and Dexter Gardias went on to win the latter on the following two days as Lowsley-Williams looked on with pride.
Now he is eyeing a trip to the podium of his own when the race, now extended to four days, returns on May 3. He said:
“It is the race everyone wants to be in. It is one of the top two races in the country and everyone watches.
“You get the biggest crowds in the UK and it is run by the Tour de France organisers (ASO), so feels like a mini Tour de France in your home country.
“It will be difficult to get in our team as always. But if I do, I will give myself the best opportunity to get a jersey of some sort.
“That can make or break your career. I was gutted last season, so I would love to go back there and have another crack at it.
“Every race I give my all. Every race I make sure I have done everything possible to be in the best condition on the start line.
“And every race, I will make sure I have emptied the tank completely so I don’t have any regrets. I don’t regret anything I did that day.
“I did hit out early but I don’t regret it. You never know, they might have stopped and had a chat. They only caught in the last five or 10 metres before the KOM.”
Lowsley-Williams knows the Tour de Yorkshire better than most having raced in all three editions so far.
He lauded the team’s debut last term as they looked at home alongside World Tour outfits such as Lotto NL Jumbo, Orica Scott, Dimension Data, Katusha, BMC and Team Sky, in some cases shining brighter.
And while he believes it will be tough to replicate, he reckons there is even greater potential this season. Lowsley-Williams added:
“We did pull it out of the bag. I still can’t believe how well we did. For a first-year team, a real wildcard, we smashed it.
“It will be difficult to repeat that but in Max (Stedman) we have someone who has got a lot stronger and is a lot more positive.
“He has a UCI win in the bank now, he is a lot more confident and it is a race he can really perform in.
“We have (Andrew) Tennant with all his experience, we’ve got Harry (Tanfield) and we’ve got (Chris) Opie, who finished third on stage one last year. I’m hoping he can go even better with a bit more support.
“So I think we can better last season. It is going to be difficult but I know everyone will give their all and do everything possible to have a great race.”
The Tour de Yorkshire begins in Beverley on May 3 and climaxes in Leeds on May 6. Click here to read Tim Elverson’s reaction to the team’s invitation.