Adam Blythe is hoping to make the most of the Tour of Britain ‘showcase’ this week to further his claims for a return to a world tour team.
The 24-year-old, from Sheffield, is in the form of his life, having won a host of races this summer including the Otley Grand Prix and the Prudential Ride London ahead of a stellar field.
Tomorrow’s opening stage of the ever-expanding Tour of Britain in Liverpool is one for the sprinters, with big names such as Mark Cavendish and Marcel Kittel vying for a fast start.
But Blythe should not be discounted as he looks to claim another scalp in the coming days.
“The Tour of Britain is a showcase for the domestic teams to show what we can do,” said Blythe. “It’s great for us to be riding against Tour de France sprinters like Kittel and Cav.
“It will be a great experience for myself and the team and hopefully we can make an impression. If I can get a stage win, fantastic.”
A stage victory in that company and on such a stage will only help boost Blythe’s chances of returning to a world tour team, after taking the decision last year to quit BMC Racing to get more time in the saddle with fledgling British squad NFTO Procycling.
“It wasn’t my best year on tour with BMC, even if it was great to be in that environment,” said Blythe, who rode the 2013 Giro d’Italia for the Swiss team.
“It wasn’t that difficult a decision to make. It was a case of riding my bike and getting racing, and NFTO gave me that chance. It was an easy decision to make at the time. The plan though is to get back to that level.”
There are four other Yorkshiremen in the Tour of Britain, which winds its way from Liverpool through Wales, across the west country and into London next Sunday.
Scott Thwaites rides for NetApp Endura, with his reputation enhanced by a bronze-medal win in horrendous conditions at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
Rotherham’s Ben Swift is the designated sprinter on the Team Sky roster, who will also be hoping to elevate Sir Bradley Wiggins to a successful defence.
Nathan Edmondson, older brother of Sky’s Josh, rides for Velosure-Giordana, while Keighley’s Tom Moses is in the Rapha Condor squad.