Chris Opie has lifted the lid on the banter in the professional peloton which has got him relishing his Tour Series return with BIKE Channel Canyon.
Brother today expanded their sponsorship of the fastest lap prize, which is awarded at every round of the unique team championship.
Opie, who is renowned as one of the quickest sprinters in British cycling, has picked up the trophy on a number of occasions since it was introduced in 2013.
And the 29-year-old Cornishman is gunning for a few more, not least because it will give him more ammunition to fire at an old mate.
Opie, who returns to the competition this season after racing at Pro Continental level with ONE Pro Cycling last term, said:
“I have quite a few fastest lap trophies. And there is a long-running joke about this. Jon Mould has never won a fastest lap!
“Ever since they introduced the competition, he has obviously won quite a few rounds. But he has never won a fastest lap.
“Yanto (Barker) and I lay into him about it all the time. We tell him the fastest lap is the true competition, not how many rounds you can win.
“He had a fantastic Tour Series campaign last year and has won 11 rounds or something silly like that now.
“I’d love to win a few more fastest lap trophies. I would be made up about that, especially if Jon Mould doesn’t get any. I’ll be even happier then because I can taunt him some more!”
Opie reckons the competition, which is awarded for the fastest single lap during each Tour Series round, adds an extra dimension to the breathtaking action on the road.
But not only is it the source of extra inspiration for cycling fans, it adds another edge to the rivalry within the peloton. He explained:
“In Bath 2015, once we knew we had lost the Tour Series, Jon even slowed down for an entire lap and then went as hard as he could to try to get it. And he still couldn’t!
“In Durham, I can’t remember which year it was, Ed Clancy did a similar thing and Felix English gave him a proper lead out and Ed won the fastest lap!
“For those who know the course in Durham, that’s a serious effort from Ed. Yet Jon has still never won one!
“So there is a little bit of history there with this prize. And I am looking forward to having another crack at it myself with BIKE Channel Canyon.”
Read more: Check out the full Tour Series schedule and find out why BIKE Channel Canyon talent Matt Nowell had to check his sports director’s spelling.