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Glasford and his team have the edge

Man to beat: Glasford, right, in among the favourites to win Tuesday’s race (File photograph by Akil Simmons)

Winner’s Edge will be looking to continue their dominance at Tuesday’s Sinclair Packwood Memorial Race from Somerset to Bernard Park.

The team already have several victories under their belts and on present form are firm favourites to win next week’s prestigious race.

“We are having a really good season,” Darren Glasford, the most senior Winner’s Edge rider and former race winner, said. “We have pretty much been on the podium in every race, so it has set us up nicely and the season is looking good.”

Matthew Oliveira, meanwhile, is in the midsts of a breakout season that has seen him win multiple titles, including last weekend’s Bicycle Works Criterium in emphatic fashion after Glasford laid a solid foundation.

“My team-mate Darren Glasford was out for the first half of the race in front by himself forcing the other teams to chase, and the rest of my team-mates just sat back and saved ourselves,” Oliveira said.

Glasford, who won the May 24 race in 2011, stressed the importance of team work in the sport.

“Team work is the biggest thing and a lot of times in cycling you just see the winner and don’t see what the other team-mates have done earlier in the race,” he said.

With last year’s winner Shannon Lawrence not competing this year, Glasford is among the favourites to win.

“I have done pretty good in the last few years, especially coming out of Somerset,” Glasford said. “The finish line kind of suits me, but there are a lot of other guys that you have to watch and keep in check.

“At the end of the day I am happy if someone from Winner’s Edge wins the race. No matter who it is the goal is to get one of our riders to win the race.

“The most important thing is for a Winner’s Edge rider to be standing on the podium, and every time we win the team is happy.”

Despite his team being heavily favoured to win Glasford still believes he and his colleagues have their work cut out.

“Of course everyone likes to win,” he said. “But it is such an unpredictable race that anything can happen.

“Everyone has strengths and weaknesses and so we have to play on that and try and get that victory. But there are so many riders that can win because that race is so short.”

Greg Hopkins, the 1999 winner and Winner’s Edge co-owner, predicts that this year’s race will be the “most exciting.”

“This year will see arguably the strongest, most powerful group of riders ever assembled on the start line,” he said. “I am confident this could be the fastest and most exciting edition of this very special event.”