Dexter Gardias believes BIKE Channel Canyon are closing in on their first major success.
And the 26-year-old, from Witney in Oxfordshire, reckons Sunday’s Velothon Wales would be a great place to break their duck.
Tim Elverson’s squad recorded two individual wins and one team success in the Tour Series earlier this season.
However, in the major domestic road races they have produced impressive, aggressive displays without getting their wheel in front.
Podiums at the East Cleveland Klondike Grand Prix and Lincoln Grand Prix remain the squad’s best finishes, alongside a hat-trick of fourth places.
Add to that Chris Opie’s third place on the opening stage of the Tour de Yorkshire, where they also collected two combativity jerseys, and it has been a superb maiden campaign.
The team’s consistency has put them on the verge of qualifying for the Tour of Britain – in fact, it will be rubber-stamped with another solid effort at the Velothon.
But Gardias knows how hungry his team-mates are for a big win. And he believes it is nothing more than their performances have deserved.
The former ONE Pro Cycling man, who was only beaten into fourth at the Tour of the Reservoir last weekend on countback, said:
“We can definitely go well at the Velothon. We probably deserve to win one of these, so it wouldn’t be a bad way to start!
“As much as doing a solid ride is good, it would be nice to win one. That is what we go to bike races to do after all.
“I think I have got the legs. Maybe if last weekend had panned out a bit differently, we might be in that position now.
“We will go there on Sunday and do what we always do. We have lots of options, so there is no reason we can’t get a good result.
“I know the roads, obviously the GP of Wales goes over the Tumble as well. It is a proper bike race again, so I’m looking forward to getting stuck in.”
Gardias is in as good a form as anyone in the BIKE Channel Canyon ranks at present. He followed up two top-10 stage finishes at the Rás with 16th in the Beaumont Trophy.
Next stop was the national road race on the Isle of Man where, again, he finished 16th. And last weekend back-to-back fourth-place finishes earned him fourth overall at the Tour of the Reservoir.
Gardias, who will line-up alongside Joe Fry, James Lowsley-Williams, Rob Partridge, Jack Pullar and Max Stedman tomorrow, added:
“I have been feeling good. I think doing the Rás has put me in some decent shape. Then doing the ride I did at the nationals gave me a bit of confidence.
“It changes the way you think about racing a little bit. You have to be positive and race it on the front foot.
“It’s about having a go. You just have to commit to stuff, whereas often in the domestic races it can be a bit cagey.
“So going into the Tour of the Reservoir I had a bit of confidence and form. I’m pleased with the way we rode up there.
“The lads all did a great job and kept me out of trouble all day. It was a really good team performance.
“It was a bit annoying to get flicked at the end on countback but Ian Bibby is pretty good at cycling!
“We rolled the dice by attacking and going down the road. We could have just ridden to keep our place on GC but that’s not why we are there. We’ll do the same again on Sunday.”
The 174km Velothon will begin in front of Cardiff Castle at 12.45pm. The riders will climb the famous Tumble twice before two ascents of Caerphilly Mountain on the run to the finish on King Edward VII Avenue in the heart of the Cardiff.
The team also has a seven-man squad racing in Holland tomorrow. George Atkins, Sam Lowe, Matt Nowell, Alex Richardson, Harry Tanfield, Rory Townsend and Mitchell Webber will tackle the UCI 1.2 Midden Brabant-Poort Omloop.