Having returned from a tough training camp in Portugal at the beginning of March, Metaltek-Knights of Old blue and yellow army hit the road scene fired up ready to do battle in 2013.

Six riders consisting of Dale Appleby, Kit Gilham, Rob Orr, Gruff Lewis, Matt Pilkington and Chris Bartlett headed to Northern Africa to compete in the Tour de Algerie UCI 2.2.  A tough race due to weather conditions and terrain made the results and fantastic success of Dale Appleby finishing 6th overall and Kit Gilham taking the Stage 4 win, even more impressive for the non-UCI UK domestic team.  Dale then went on to get third the following day in the Circuit de Algier.

“Stage 4 was one where I felt I had good legs and I was determined to try to get into the break of the day,” said Kit. I went with several moves until one stuck with me and three others.  We gained a minute before being brought back by the Turkish team.  I sat in the bunch for a few minutes then decided to have one last attack.  Luckily I was allowed to ride away.  I was joined later by an Algerian rider and we worked well together through the snow, rain and near-freezing, ‘British’ conditions.  About 25km from the finish the Algerian began to weaken so I attacked him and rode off alone.  Another Algerian had left the bunch in pursuit and he caught me with 3km to go. We both took half-hearted turns until the final 500m, I kicked on the final corner with 300m to go and held him off on the uphill sprint to the line to win my first (and hopefully not last!) UCI race.
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Kit went on to say of his win, “I am extremely pleased to have won for Metaltek-Knights of Old and to have helped justify both my place in the team and the decision to race in Algeria. I couldn’t have won without the support of teammates and staff.  Together with Dale’s excellent riding in exalted company (Schumacher, Zaballa etc) I hope this will set us all up for a very successful 2013 racing season.”

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