Chris Opie revealed he has never been happier after winning a bike race.
The BIKE Channel Canyon sprinter timed his effort brilliantly to clinch individual success in the opening crit of the Tour Series campaign in Redditch.
Opie, 29, used all his experience to steal a march on the JLT Condor train and beat Brenton Jones to the line, with Enrique Sanz taking third for Team Raleigh.
Tim Elverson’s squad finished second to JLT in the team standings, just as they had done in the team time trial earlier in the day.
For Opie, it was an unforgettable experience as he capped his return to Tour Series action with victory and the Brother fastest lap of 1min 51.699. Speaking to VeloUK, he said:
“Genuinely, it is the happiest I have ever been after winning a bike race. It was special. It couldn’t have been any better for me.
“It was probably the most nervous I have been before a race for a long time. Having not done the series last year, I didn’t really know what to expect.
“It is such a specific discipline, you don’t really know where you are until you are in the middle of it.
“I had to dig deep. The last minute, in particular, was probably the hardest I have had to try for a long time.
“JLT did a brilliant job. It worked really well for me. I was able to weave in and out, using my experience of riding a lot of sprints last year and it paid off.
“The more sprints you ride, the more experience you get and the more you know when to time your effort.
“I knew the final corner was crucial, so I came alongside them up the hill and just managed to get the last couple of pedal strokes in before the corner to go through it first.”
Watch the full interview and other Tour Series reaction on the VeloUK YouTube channel.
Click here to read our Redditch race report. The second round of the Tour Series takes place in Stoke on Thursday night.