It is teammate against teammate in the battle for the overall titles in the final round of the Benchmark Homes Tour on Saturday. The 142km KPMG 6th Oxford Grand Prix, one of the more challenging courses in the series, is certain to unearth worthy winners.
The Benchmark Homes Cycling Team is in prime position to take out the overall title, with James McCoy leading the series with a narrow two point lead over his teammate Josh Atkins.
Both riders are playing down the rivalry between them, instead choosing to focus on a team win.
“We will ride it as a team. A win is a win at the end of the day no matter which one of us crosses the line first,” said McCoy.
Atkins, optimistic about the race, recognises that “James has been racing well all year, where I have been a bit up and down. To win the series is a goal of his so it would be nice if his consistency was rewarded.”
If it comes down to a sprint between the two, Atkins predicts that “James will win – by a centimetre!”
The same battle will be fought in the women’s race as Jeannie Kuhajek fights for the overall win from Tasman Wheelers teammate Karen Fulton who is only two points behind.
“This series really emphasises that cycling is a team sport. The team has ridden really well all series and we will be racing as a team on Saturday,” said Fulton.
“It’s interesting racing your teammate. But as its predominantly a men’s race so us women have to race it differently. At the end of the day it’s going to be a case of whoever is in the best position after the bunch splits, and who can get over the line first.”
Kuhajek is honest about her chances. “I would really like to win it, but Karen is going to be hard to beat in a sprint! Either way, the win is going to be good for the team.”
Cycle Surgery’s Mark Spessot has already won the master’s title with a whopping 28 point lead over nearest rival, Ian Smallman (Team Thule).
The race starts at 11am at the Oxford Town Hall.