Rob Partridge wants to guarantee BIKE Channel Canyon launch their season on a winning note at the Perfs Pedal on Sunday (11am).
And the 31-year-old, from Pontypridd, is prepared to marshal his new team-mates in a bid to get the job done in Portsmouth.
Partridge will line up alongside reigning champion Rory Townsend, 2012 winner Chris Opie, James Lowsley-Williams, Mitchell Webber and Alex Richardson for Britain’s newest UCI Continental outfit.
They will roll out as hot favourites to claim the National B title but the team’s road captain knows they will have to remain professional. He said:
“It should be a nice start for us. It is an opportunity to shake off the winter cobwebs but that’s not to say we won’t have to switch on for that couple of hours.
“We want to win our first race. It is all very exciting at the moment but we train hard to race and hopefully we can mark the start of this new team with a win.
“We need to be in a situation where we can guarantee we’ll win it and that might take a bit of brain matter.
“If it comes down to that then so be it. I quite like the road captain role. The last couple of years I have started doing it, thinking more of the race and the other boys rather than just the sensations in my own legs.
“It brings a different dimension to my racing. And while Perfs is one of the smaller races we will do, it doesn’t mean it is going to be the easiest.”
Partridge spent two years at NFTO before joined BIKE Channel Canyon. Prior to that he rode for teams such as Velosure-Giordana, UK Youth and Endura.
He is relishing his new surroundings and after a settled winter, can’t wait to get started.
Partridge, who has recorded top-10 finishes on general classification in both the Tour of Britain and the Ras, said:
“The winter before this we moved house and there was loads to do, so I was putting my back out hanging mirrors and the like!
“But this winter has been really consistent. There is still a fair bit of sharpening up to be done but it is only the start of February.
“It is only the start of a long season and we have a lot to do but I have to be pretty happy with where I am at.”