12 images that defined the 2017 season

JLT Condor celebrate ten years on the road. We relive the moments and the stories behind a remarkable year.

"Sometimes everything just clicks."

 

This year, the riders at JLT Condor fought personal battles to return to the front end of the field while others set out to prove their ability.  When it's all said and done, and the men clad in burgundy and blue roll over the finish line after nearly 8000km, there is no other season that has left everyone in the team with such a feeling of accomplishment.

So, let's rewind and head back to Melbourne where the year began and take a look at the images that defined JLT Condor's season.

Jon Mould at the Bay Crits 2017

1. Jon Mould marshals the Orica train

Image: Con Chronis

 

Whilst most of us were nursing a hangover on New Year's Day 2017, Jon Mould and a six man team of JLT Condor were controlling the peloton on the downtown streets of Melbourne. The three day Bay Crit series was hot, fast and furious, and it was Ian Bibby who brought home the bacon, becoming the first British rider to win the series in its 28 year history. 

 Ian Bibby Race File

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Downtown in MelbourneTeam podium at Bay Crits

Steve Lampier leads the break onto the climb

2. Lampier — last man standing

Image: Con Chronis

 

The opening stage in the 2017 Jayco Herald SunTour was one of the toughest, finishing with an 18 mile ascent to the ski station of Falls Creek.
Steve Lampier spent most of stage one in a breakaway of four. When the leaders from Team Sky hunted down the break in a bid to set up Chris Froome, Lampier attacked alone in an aggressive move to get to the summit finish line first.

The toll of riding all day in the break began to show on the steep slopes at 2km to go, and he was caught by the fresher legs of Team Sky's Kenny Elissonde and eventual race winner, Damien Howson.

 Steve Lampier solo moveLampier awarded most aggressive jersey

Falls Creek Strava Segment

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Jon Mould wins stage 4 New Zealand Classic

3. The Crown is yours — Jon Mould

Image: David Lintott

 

“I’d gone so deep to hang onto Joe’s attack and I didn’t think I had anything left. I put it all into the sprint.”

 

On 25th January, Jon Mould became the first British rider to win a UCI race in 2017. Jon spent most of the day in a three-man break and was able to outwit the other escapees to take the stage win on stage 4 of the New Zealand Cycle Classic. The Welshman was awarded the most aggressive rider after an incredible performance on the 142km stage in Wairarapa, New Zealand. 

The peloton on stage 4 of the New Zealand Cycle Classic

Ian Bibby at the Chorley GP

 4. Bibby and the late attack lookback

Image: Tom Hardy

 

Ian Bibby has shown he can chase wins off the front of the race, sprint from the bunch, and control the front of the race. The Chorley GP was Ian Bibby's for the taking and he completed an almost textbook attack to seal the race. Ed Laverack finished third putting two JLT Condor riders on the podium in Lancashire.

Ian Bibby at the breakaway move

Ian Bibby attack at Chorley GP

Ed Laverack Strava activity

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7. Pain is temporary, glory is forever

Image: Angus Sung

Russ Downing was the victim of several crashes this season but Russ has shown he's a  true contender for MVP (most valuable player) at JLT Condor.

During the CiCLE Classic he was involved in a heavy crash on a gravel sector. Downing was cut to shreds but duly jumped back up and chased back to the front of the peloton, found team sprinter, Brenton Jones, and led out the Aussie to win the bunch kick for the line.

Russ and Brenton Spoils of War

James Gullen wins stage 2 8. Gullen's Taiwanese triumph

Image: Terry Hui

 

Unbeknown to the peloton at the Tour de Taiwan, James Gullen is an ace time triallist.  On stage two of the race he got low and aero with 5km to go and attacked. Gullen used his time trial skills and power to foil the plans of the sprinters and claim his first ever UCI win.

 James Gullen Strava file

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James Gullen on the podium


Tom Moses after the Tour de Yorkshire

9. Hell in Yorkshire

Image: Angus Sung

 

The Tour de Yorkshire captured home hearts and minds. Nothing was more evident than the crowds on the roads of Yorkshire at this year's race. Stage three, billed as one of the toughest days on a bike, lived up to its claim.

The cobbles of the Shibden Wall climb were just an appetiser to the brutal ascents that would come in the final 20km of the stage. The route battered the peloton with the World Tour feeling the gradients in their legs as much as the domestic-based JLT Condor.

 Shibden Wall Strava Segment

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Tom Moses during Tour de Yorkshire

Tour Series overall winners

 10. Another podium for JLT Condor

Image: SW Pix

 

The late night events, the crashes in the wet, training in the cold — sometimes to be the best takes commitment. When all is said and done, spraying the champagne and holding a trophy aloft makes all the stress worth it.

Brenton Jones win Tour Series in Stoke on Trent JLT Condor winners of the Tour Series

The summit of the stage 8 Tour of Portugal

11. No rest for the weary

Image: Angus Sung

 

JLT Condor ventured into Portugal during August, taking part in the longest UCI stage race in the world outside of the three grand tours. Unfortunately for the riders, Europe was in the midst of a heatwave. Ed Laverack rode (literally) out of his skin on the queen stage to finish in a select group of contenders.

The peloton descends during the Tour of Portugal Ian Bibby crosses the line from the breakaway group

Ed Laverack Strava file

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Graham Briggs before the start of stage 5 Tour of Britain

12. King of the break (and the jerseys)

Image: James Robertson

 

“My legs feel a little tender, I think I can have two desserts tonight, one per jersey. Just don’t tell John [Herety].”

 

Graham Briggs has the misfortune of finding himself level on points in two jersey competitions at this year's 2017 Tour of Britain. It meant he would spend the next four stages on the hunt for points to solidify his lead. In the pouring rain of stages 2, 3 and 4, he collected enough points to lead the points and king of the mountains competitions.

 Graham Briggs Strava stage 4

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Graham Briggs on the podium

Image from the Tour of Britain

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