Rory Townsend believes the floodgates will open once Canyon Eisberg clinch their first victory in British Cycling’s national road series.
And he has shrugged off the spectre of Tour of Britain qualification provided his squad remain professional in their approach.
Tim Elverson’s squad head for the Chorley Grand Prix on Sunday as the Spring Cup gets under way in earnest.
Townsend, 22, clinched the overall title last term after finishing second in a thrilling finale at the Lincoln Grand Prix.
A superb debut season for the team included eight podiums across the Spring Cup, National Circuit Series and Grand Prix Series.
There was no race victory to celebrate, though. But Townsend has backed the squad to put that right this season. And do so in style.
He highlighted the two stage wins and general classification title at the Tour of Quanzhou in China in December as a prime example of what can be done. Townsend said:
“If we race the way we know we can and execute things properly, the Tour of Britain qualification should take care of itself.
“We have got more strength in depth this year, so we can go into these races with the best riders suited to each course.
“When the first win comes they will start rolling in. It is crazy how it snowballs when you get on a roll.
“Just like in China, the way we dominated out there. Once the first stage win was under our belt, we had the belief. It then becomes an expectation to win rather than just a hope.”
Townsend described his Spring Cup triumph last season as a “happy accident”. Fifth place at the Tour of the Wolds and sixth at Chorley gave him an unexpected shot at the trophy.
And he needed no second invitation as he sealed the deal in style in Lincoln when he finished second to JLT Condor’s Ian Bibby on the Michealgate cobbles.
Those results put the team firmly on course for the Tour of Britain – with qualification decided on results accrued in the leading domestic skirmishes. Townsend added:
“I didn’t do Klondike last season and then finished well at the Wolds but the jersey was never in my mind then.
“I only started to think about it after Chorley when I saw the standings. All of a sudden I was second and started paying attention to it.
“Then at Lincoln everything fell into place. It could not have gone much better, apart from winning the race itself.
“It was a happy accident really. I just had to nail it at Lincoln. I had one chance and managed to make the most of it.”
A successful defence of the Spring Cup title is not high on the agenda for Townsend, who will line up alongside Andrew Tennant, Dexter Gardias, Chris Opie, Jack Pullar, James Lowsley-Williams, Matt Nowell and Max Stedman in Chorley on Sunday (11am).
He is just happy to be back on his bike after a crash in the feed zone at Dorpenomloop Rucphen in Holland last month. Townsend, from Addlestone in Surrey, said:
“The crash was quite innocuous and the wrist has never been that bad, it just seems to have dragged on.
“I did one ride the week after and couldn’t move my hand afterwards. The tendons were quite bad, so I’ve had just short of a month on the turbo and a week back on the road.
“I’m looking forward to Chorley, though. The race is in pretty epic surroundings and it is a course which suits my kind of rider.
“The main climb (Rivington) is more of a power climb than it is a climber’s climb. It has a steep section which is quite rude but other than that it is quite fast.
“When you come over the top the road is open and then there’s a flat finish, so suits a heavier rider with a bit more power.
“I’m nowhere near the same place as I was this time last year, unfortunately, but I’ll be giving it a good crack.”