A shrewd tactical line-up change saw Rapha Condor Sharp take their second Tour series clean sweep in two rounds, with National Criterium Champion Ed Clancy taking his first win of this years series in Aberystwyth.
Note: First photos from the race >>> click here
After the challenge of the cobbled climb at Durham in round one, many had expected the Halfords Tour Series’ first ever visit to Wales to be a much easier affair, however cold and windy conditions in the Welsh seaside town proved for a tough night of racing.
Clancy had sat out the first round in Durham on Tuesday and his fresh legs proved to be the strongest of a six man break that dominated the closing stages of the race, taking the win ahead of another rider who skipped round one Chris Opie of Pendragon.
The team are interviewed by Ned Boulting after the clean sweep in Wales.
Before leaving for Ireland to oversee the team currently at the An Post RAS, team manager John Herety commented “We were happy to have Ed in the break, as it was a small move with no teams managing to get two riders there. We were pretty confident of the win on the night then. The boys behind really had to concentrate to make sure they made the most of the result to make sure we took home the team prize. Andy & Kristian did the business there, just like they had done on Tuesday”.
“We have had to mix up the teams over this first week of the series, some of our specialist criterium riders have been absent at the Ras in Ireland. These first two rounds have both proven to be hard races though, that have been well suited to all-round guys like Kristian, Andy and Zak. This series more than any other is a team game and we’ll keep applying our resources intelligently. Moral is good in the camp at the moment, but we know from last year we cannot take our foot off the gas- even for an instant”.
The team’s other counting riders Kristian House and Andy Tennant came in at the head of the main bunch in 8th and 9th positions securing the men in black, sporting the distinctive orange leaders jerseys, another win ahead of rivals Endura Racing. The icing on the pink trimmed Rapha Condor Sharp cake came with Kristian House’s second visit to the podium as the winner of the Boardman bikes sprints competition.
The Rapha Condor Sharp team now lead Endura racing by two points at the head of the overall classification, with last year’s winners Motorpoint back in 3rd spot.
The race will be televised tonight Friday May 27th at 20.00 on ITV4, and repeated on Saturday May 28th at 11.00.
1. Rapha Condor Sharp
2. Endura Racing
3. Pendragon Le Col Colnago
4. Motorpoint Pro Cycling
5. Sigma Sport – Specialized
6. Twenty3c – Orbea
7. Team UK Youth
8. CyclePremier.com – Metaltek
9. Team Raleigh
10. Wilier GoSelfDrive.com
1. Ed Clancy Rapha Condor Sharp
2. Chris Opie Pendragon Le Col Colnago
3. Jonny McEvoy Motorpoint Pro Cycling
4. Marcel Six Twenty3c – Orbea
5. Evan Oliphant Endura Racing
6. Dale Appleby CyclePremier.com – Metaltek
7. Ian Wilkinson Endura Racing
8. Andrew Tennant Rapha Condor Sharp
9. Kristian House Rapha Condor Sharp
10. Scott Thwaites Endura Racing
Boardman Bikes Sprints winner
Kristian House Rapha Condor Sharp
Team Standings, after Round Two
1. Rapha Condor Sharp 20pts
2. Endura Racing 18pts
3. Motorpoint Pro Cycling 14pts
4. Team Raleigh 10pts
5. Team UK Youth 10pts
6. Twenty3c – Orbea 10pts
7. Pendragon Le Col Colnago 9pts
8. Sigma Sport – Specialized 8pts
9. CyclePremier.com – Metaltek 6pts
10. Wilier GoSelfDrive.com 5pts
Boardman Bikes Sprints standings, after Round Two
1. Kristian House Rapha Condor Sharp 27pts
2. Jonny McEvoy Motorpoint Pro Cycling 11pts
3. Ian Bibby Motorpoint Pro Cycling 8pts