Rob Partridge of Endura Racing won an exciting race in Oldham on Thursday night in a photo finish sprint and to cap off a great night for the team, Endura Racing were also the Team and Sprint winners.
Previous Round – Halfords Tour Series in Stoke
Video: Shows several key people involved and explores the importance of The Tour Series in Womens’ cycling.
Endura Racing report with interviews for Rob Partridge, Julian Winn and Jack Bauer – click here
Endura Racing break the Rapha Condor Sharp dominance
Series leaders ‘only’ third, as Rob Partridge flies to narrow victory in Oldham
Like buses Endura Racing wait the whole Halfords Tour Series for a win to come along, and then they take two in a week, as Rob Partridge took victory in the Series first appearance in Greater Manchester at Oldham on Thursday night.
Halfords Tour Series – the Album — 400 plus pictures of the whole day!
Partridge took a narrow victory over Motorpoint’s Marcin Bialoblocki, who appeared to celebrate too soon as they hit the line, raising an arm in salute and allowing the Endura Rider to pip him to the win in a photo finish. Defeat was a bitter pill for Bialoblocki, who had heroically ridden across a 20-second gap to the four leaders in the last few laps.
Partridge’s win helped Endura to also defeat reigning Halfords Tour Series Champions Motorpoint by the narrowest of margins, as both teams tied on the placing of their three riders, so the Welsh rider’s win gave Endura Racing their first team victory of 2011 and broke the Rapha Condor Sharp dominance.
Rapha Condor Sharp remain at the top of the standings, despite only coming third on the evening, their worst performance of the 2011 Halfords Tour Series season, although their lead slips to just seven points over Endura Racing with two rounds to go.
A tough town centre circuit with very little flat welcome The Halfords Tour Series to Oldham, for the unique team based series’ first visit to Greater Manchester. As at the previous round at Stoke-on-Trent the pace was high from the start, with splits forming soon after the start as attacks came and went.
A large group of around 12 riders from a variety of teams went clear early on, but as that faltered the move that mattered though formed from it with just under half the race to go, as four riders pulled out a 20-second gap in one tour of the Oldham circuit. The big three teams were represented with Partridge, Ian Bibby and Dean Downing, with Team Raleigh’s Liam Holohan making up the quartet
Behind the main field came back together and briefly gave chase, but after getting the group within sight on the long drag past the pits and the finish line, the fight seemed to leave the peloton and victory would go to one of the four in front.
However Motorpoint’s Bialoblocki felt otherwise, jumping out of the main field with seven laps to go and slowly inching his way across to join teammate Bibby at the front with four laps to go. With two in the front group Oldham looked set to witness Motorpoint’s first win of the Series, with Bibby particularly proactive on a circuit that suited his talents.
Entering the final straight those it was the white jersey of Holohan that appeared to lead from the final corner up the rise to the line, as all five riders went wheel-to-wheel for victory. Bialoblocki appeared to have it and his first ever Halfords Tour Series win, but instead it was Partridge’s late head down lunge on the near side that swept him past the Pole to his first victory in the Series.
Behind Holohan and Bibby swept across, also within touching distance of the front two, as Downing surprisingly came home in last position among the five leaders. Behind the excitement in front, Ed Clancy moved clear of the field in the final laps to cross the line alone in sixth, for Rapha Condor Sharp, taking a late flyer to try and secure a better team result on the night.
Ian Wilkinson led in the main field for Endura, and with teammate Jack Bauer in ninth their 1, 7 and 9 was equal to Motorpoint’s 2, 4 and 11 for Bialoblocki, Bibby and McEvoy, but Partridge’s win meant the honours went to Endura.
Motorpoint take their second success second place of the Series, although their improved form has come too late to see them defend their title, but does move them clear of Sigma Sport – Specialized in third, with Holohan’s result helping to move Team Raleigh up to fifth ahead of Team UK Youth.
When big Maggy of UK Youth pulls a face like this, legs hurt behind!
With just two races to go Rapha Condor Sharp look set for glory, barring a final week disaster, with only Endura Racing now capable of beating them to the title. There is still all to play for in the midfield, with just ten points separating fourth down to ninth.
In the Boardman Bikes Sprints competition Partridge also took the honours on the night, moving into third position in the competition, which Kristian House still leads by some distance. Highlights of Round Six from Oldham will be shown on ITV4 at 20.00 on Friday 10th June, with a repeat on Saturday 11th June at 11.00
Post race interviews:
The interviews with the winner Rob Partridge of Endura Racing, the team’s director sportif Julian Winn and Jack Bauer: Click here …
Marcel Six (Twenty3C-Orbea) after retiring from the race, said “After crashing in Colchester, I went out the day after and it felt quite painful and I ended up going to the Ryedale GP which was a mistake and after that went to the hospital and they found the problem. Basically, it’s not letting me put the power down when I stand up out of the corners, it just gives way and is not letting me put the power down to the pedals. I’ve been in agony. I have had to cancel my entry for Smithfield and all I can do is rest and hope I can get a ride for the nationals.”
Dean Downing (Rapha Condor Sharp): “I’m really happy for Rob (Partridge). Marcin made the mistake of putting his hand in the air and Rob has nicked it. It was brilliant ride by Rob.It was a fast and tough race. Bibby sat on for a few laps while Marcin was chasing and that is the idea of team racing while Liam, Rob and me kept going though and off and as soon Marcin got there, I attacked. I was in two minds as to whether let him go and watch Rob but Rob and me were in the same boat and both wanted to win the race as individuals and it got a bit cat and mousey and Bibby went again and we both chased him again.”
“Liam did an awesome manoeuvre coming into the last corner and going round that so fast, I was at the back in fifth wheel which was my own fault so I am disappointed with my finish. Endura did a great ride today winning the team as well and we’re all disappointed that we didn’t win but we still keep a great lead in the series with two rounds to go. We were really nervous before the start today and the pressure is on as it’s a massive series for everybody involved. Briggsy came down pearler and took a lot of skin off his hit so he has hurt himself.”
Week Four of The Halfords Tour Series sees the final two rounds of the 2011 Series, with Round Seven taking place at the popular Surrey venue of Woking on Tuesday 14th June before Canary Wharf hosts the Grand Finale, Round Eight, on Thursday 16th June. The Canary Wharf Corporate Grand Prix will once again raise the curtain on a final evening of the unique team based series, that will see the final destination of the five Halfords orange leader’s jerseys decided.
Close but no cigar for Marcin as Partridge steals the victory from him on the line!
The Live Photo Album from Oldham!
The Halfords Tour Series, Round Six, Oldham, Results
1. Endura Racing
2. Motorpoint Pro Cycling
3. Rapha Condor Sharp
4. Team Raleigh
5. Sigma Sport – Specialized
6. Team UK Youth
7. CyclePremier.com Metaltek
8. Pendragon Le Col Colnago
9. Twenty3c Orbea
10. Wilier GoSelfDrive.com
1. Rob Partidge Endura Racing
2. Marcin Bialoblocki Motorpoint Pro Cycling
3. Liam Holohan Team Raleigh
4. Ian Bibby Motorpoint Pro Cycling
5. Dean Downing Rapha Condor Sharp
6. Ed Clancy Rapha Condor Sharp
7. Ian Wilkinson Endura Racing
8. Jeroen Janssen Team Raleigh
9. Jack Bauer Endura Racing
10. Dean Windsor Rapha Condor Sharp
Boardman Bikes Sprints winner
Rob Partridge Endura Racing
Team Standings, after Round Six
1. Rapha Condor Sharp 58pts
2. Endura Racing 51pts
3. Motorpoint Pro Cycling 38pts
4. Sigma Sport – Specialized 35pts
5. Team Raleigh 32pts
6. Team UK Youth 31pts
7. Pendragon Le Col Colnago 26pts
8. CyclePremier.com Metaltek 26pts
9. Twenty3c Orbea 25pts
10. Wilier GoSelfDrive.com 8pts
Boardman Bikes Sprints standings, after Round Six
1 Kristian House 27
2 Marcel Six 18
3 Rob Partridge 17
4 Steve Lampier 16
5 Dean Downing 15
6 Jeroen Janssen 15
7 Liam Holohan 15
8 Niklas Gustavsson 13
9 Ian Bibby 12
10 Johnny McEvoy 11
11 Tom Murray 10
12 Simon Richardson 10
13 James Stewart 8
14 Ed Clancy 8
15 Scott Thwaites 7
16 Graham Briggs 7
17 Yanto Barker 7
18 Chris Opie 6
19 Evan Oliphant 6
20 Stephens Adams 5
21 David McGowan 5
22 James McCallum 5
23 Magnus Backstedt 5
24 Dave Clarke 4
25 Dale Appleby 3
Johnson Health Tech Women’s Grand Prix Series, Round Three, Oldham, Results
1. Annie Simpson Horizon Fitness RT Prendas Ciclismo
2. Dani King Horizon Fitness RT Prendas Ciclismo
3. Helen Wyman Kona Factory Racing
4. Sarah Byrne VC St Raphael
5. Lucy Garner Motorpoint Pro Cycling
6. Hannah Barnes Motorpoint Pro Cycling
7. Joanna Rowsell Horizon Fitness RT Prendas Ciclismo
8. Penny Rowson Horizon Fitness RT Prendas Ciclismo
9. Rachel Pryzbilski Condor Cycles
10. Natalie Cresswick Abus Nutrixxion
Horizon Fitness RT Prendas Ciclismo
Sarah Byrne VC St Raphael
Individual Standings, after Round Three
1. Helen Wyman Kona Factory Racing 64pts
2. Lucy Garner Motorpoint Pro Cycling 53pts
3. Hannah Barnes Motorpoint Pro Cycling 52pts
4. Dani King Horizon Fitness RT Prendas Ciclismo 47pts
5. Penny Rowson Horizon Fitness RT Prendas Ciclismo 46pts
Team Standings, after Round Three
1. Horizon Fitness RT Prendas Ciclismo 166pts
2. Motorpoint Pro Cycling 139pts
3. For Viored Brookvex 111pts
4. Condor Cycles 63pts
5. Mule Bar Girls 6pts
Sprint Standings, after Round Three
1. Hannah Barnes Motorpoint Pro Cycling 16pts
2. Hannah Rich Horizon Fitness RT Prendas Ciclismo 16pts
3. Helen Wyman Kona Factory Racing 15pts