James Lowsley-Williams is relishing the opportunity to be a little more selfish in the colours of Canyon Eisberg.
The 26-year-old returns to Spring Cup action in the East Cleveland Klondike Grand Prix on Sunday (midday).
After a difficult Chorley Grand Prix, the former UK Youth and NFTO rider is itching to get back on the road.
And he has revealed he is looking forward to taking a more senior role in Tim Elverson’s UCI Continental squad this term.
Whether as leader or road captain, Lowsley-Williams is ready to step up when the opportunity presents itself.
The Cotswolds rider, who launched his season with a superb 34th in a high-class Ronde van Drenthe in March, said:
“When you are captain you always want to lead by example. It’s like the army for me. I don’t want to tell people to sit on the front and work if I can’t do it myself.
“I don’t want to be a team captain who is the slacker of the group. I want to be the last man standing.
“I really fancy a lead role, though. I’m a massive team player. My first thought is to look after the rider in the bunch and I have done that throughout the past six years.
“Now Tim is pushing me to take up the baton and ride for myself a bit more. But my nature is not really to be like that.
“It is more to look after everyone else before I look after myself. Drenthe was the first race I got on the radio and had Holty (Simon Holt) say we’re riding for you now.
“I was thinking great, I feel really good. Then 5km later everyone was gone! But I have taken a great deal of confidence from that race.”
Lowsley-Williams turned professional with UK Youth in 2012 and helped Marcin Bialoblocki win the An Post Rás the following season.
Alongside a hat-trick of appearances at both the Tour of Britain and Tour de Yorkshire, he was also a key part of Adam Blythe’s RideLondon win for NFTO in 2014.
Last season Lowsley-Williams showed his consistency with a string of fine rides in the Tour Series, inspiring a team triumph and contributing to individual successes for Chris Opie and Jack Pullar.
Now the Cotswolds star is ready to begin making a name for himself. Lowsley-Williams added:
“I have definitely worked on it. I have been in the sport a long time. I joined UK Youth at 19 or 20, so I have been a UCI pro for six years.
“It feels like I’m an old dog now. I feel like I have the respect of my team-mates but also a bit of respect in the bunch, too.
“I love my team, I’m excited about my role this season and being more involved. I like working with sponsors, too, and doing the corporate side of things.
“I just want to do everything I can for the team because we do have something super special here and it would be a shame to lose it.”
Lowsley-Williams will be joined by Pullar, Harry Tanfield, Andrew Tennant, Max Stedman, Louis Rose-Davies and Dexter Gardias at the East Cleveland Klondike Grand Prix.
Charlie Tanfield will also make his Canyon Eisberg debut following a stellar track season which culminated in a world title, alongside gold and silver medals at the Commonwealth Games in Australia.