The dust has settled on the Perfs Pedal victory. And the team presentation at the London Bike Show is out of the way. Now the hard work begins.
That’s the verdict of Chris Opie, who reckons BIKE Channel Canyon have a lot to learn in their bid to become a successful UCI Continental race team.
The 29-year-old Cornishman sprinted to victory in the 74km Perfs Pedal in Portsmouth earlier this month. It was his second success in the season-opening road race.
But despite seeing plenty of positive signs during the team’s debut outing, he warned there is also work to be done. Opie said:
“It was a very positive first race but there is quite a bit to learn. You have to keep reminding yourself to do those basics.
“You don’t need to go through just to show everyone you are strong. You need to think about winning a race, not going through hard.
“Maybe we need to be reminded of that sometimes. It is very important. You can be the strongest rider in the race but if you don’t cross the line first or the team doesn’t meet its objectives, it’s all for nothing.”
The Perfs team, which also included Rob Partridge, Rory Townsend, James Lowsley-Williams, Mitchell Webber and Alex Richardson, have had a welcome leg-up as they bid to raise their game. Opie added:
“We have all got a little bit of bike set-up to do. They are absolutely minute tweaks but it was a massive boost when we were told we could take our race bikes home.
“It means we can spend a little time on them. Not every team lets you do that. It is actually quite special and a big head start.
“On a personal level, the key now is to go away and do some fine-tuning. You know what sort of efforts you need to put into your training now.
“Okay, it wasn’t a world-class field at Perfs. But there were some very good bike riders there and because you have experience from years past, you know how you were feeling compared to your previous markers, especially if you have done this race before.
“I know I have felt better on my bike in the first race of the year. But I also know I have felt a lot worse!”
Matt Nowell and Jake Womersley are set to make their race debuts for the team on Sunday. The duo are entered in the 95km Clayton Spring Classic in Clitheroe (10am).