Halfords Tour Series blog: Zak Dempster in Stoke-on-Trent
Zak Dempster, Maldon Dengie Tour 2012
Cycling Weekly will have a rider blogging from every round of this year's Tour Series, offering insight, comment and humour from the fast-paced proceedings.
Australian Zak Dempster won the Tour Series with Rapha-Condor-Sharp in 2011, and he played a big part in Endura Racing winning it in 2012.
Last year I was only involved in the first couple of rounds, so it was nice to play a bigger part this year with a couple of wins and a second place. I'm happy that I won my first race of 2012 here, but being part of a competitive team in this event is more important. After all, if you're not riding well, you don't get the chance here. That's how good the team are.
It's a really important series for a British team, and to have the overall victory secured and so convincingly ahead of the final round was satisfying.
There was never any question of us riding the final rounds with our feet up. I'm not interested in riding defensively. It's not the way we do things. You'll only ride badly. Woking was a good example of this; I wanted to go up the road, and when that didn't work, I went for the bunch sprint.
Everyone has good and bad nights in this series, and it's important you have five good riders in case someone crashes or punctures. Endura have 16 good riders, all of whom could do a job in these races. I don't think anyone has underperformed, and that's one of the reason why we have two programmes running and we've won races here and abroad.
I'm really hungry going into the second half of the year. I won't be taking any time off like I have done in previous years at this stage. I want to win bike races - I'll spend today on the beach in Girona, and then I'll start training again on Saturday. We've got the Czech Cycling Tour, Trofeo Agostini, Paris-Corrèze and that takes us up to July. I've shown personally that I can compete in UCI .1 races this year; I've climbed better and my endurance has been good too.