Endura Racing’s Erick Rowsell has won the first stage of the Tour of DoonHame
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STAGE 1 – Castle Douglas to Girvan – 80 Miles
Endura Racing’s Erick Rowsell has won the first stage of the Tour of DoonHame. Part of a 13 man break that got away early on in the race, the victory came from a three man group after his teammate Alexander Wetterhall and Rowsell had attacked and counter attacked their way to the finish.
Video of the stage ( (BCpremiercalendar)
Erick was part of this thirteen man group that had got away in the first five K, a group which had three Endura Racing riders in it, Dean Windsor, Alexander Wetterhall and Rowsell. Also in it was Simon Richardson (Sigma Sport), Richard Handley (Rapha), Mike Northey (Node4) and two from Raleigh.
This group was whittled down as Alexander Wetterhall went for the KoM points and then when the bunch started to breath down their necks on the run in to Girvan, both Alexander Wetterhall and Rowsell went on the attack.
The original break lead by the team from Raleigh with Alexander Wetterhall
The final attack from Rowsell saw him go clear, taking with him Kiwi Mike Northey and Rapha’s Richard Handley and the three of them managed to just stay clear to fight out the finish with the bunch right on their back wheels as they approached the finish. In the gallop, Rowsell timed his move to perfection, having plenty of time to get the arms in air.
“It’s great to win my first Premier” Erick said shortly after finishing. “I’ve won abroad and its really great to win at home. Winning a Premier was one of the targets for the year and I did that today.”
There was a fire inside Erick as well after being overlooked for selection for the Under 23 Tour of Flanders. After having shown some great form in Normandy with a stage win, both he and National Champion (Under 23) Scott Thwaites (Endura Racing) were hoping to be called up for the Flanders event, but GB went with their Academy line up leaving Erick and Scott at home.
Dan Lloyd leads the chase for IG Sigma Sport who only had one rider in the break.
“I was a bit disappointed not being selected for that” he explained. “I felt I was in with a chance of going after having ridden it a couple of times and knowing the race, felt I could have got a good result there. So it was unfortunate not to go.”
“I know they have to get results in these races to be able to get places for the Worlds and if they don’t get the results, that affects their selection for the Worlds. I think I proved with my win in Normandy that I have come on quite a bit this year and so am surprised they didn’t select me for Flanders.”
Race Report by Carl J Lawrenson (commentator for the race)
Stage 1: Castle Douglas – Girvan, 79.9 miles, Sunday 8th April
Though reduced from the customary three days to two, a record entry of 140 riders for the third edition of The Tour Doon Hame proved that there was no lack of enthusiasm to contest this truncacted edition of the traditional Easter event.
With stage one due to finish in the race’s ‘spritual’ home in Girvan – to be swiftly followed by the short, sharp criterium race around Victory Park – the riders faced 79.9 miles of challenging terrain punctuated by 3 King of the Mountains primes for the JB Print Polka Dot Jersey and 2 sprints in the Endura Hot Spot Sprint completion, each carrying a potentially race changing time bonus.
The first move of the day proved to be the decisive one, although the 13 riders who escaped with just a couple of miles covered would gradually be whittled down to the three who contested the finishing sprint. Most of the major teams were well represented in the break with Team Endura and Team Raleigh each putting three riders up the road and Node 4 Giordarna and Team UK Youth each having 2. Rapha Condor Sharp and IG Sigma Sport also featured, with one rider each.
The gap steadily grew, reaching a maximum of 2:03 by the first KOM climb at New Galloway with 15 miles gone. Maximum points went to Endura’s Alex Wetterhall, a feat he repeated at the second climb at Tairlaw and with it secured the first polka dot jersey of the race. Although a predominantly Sigma-led peloton managed to claw back precious seconds as the riders battled the elements, the thirteen leaders didn’t split until the long descent from Tairlaw.
Down to just seven by the final hot spot sprint in Straition, further attacks saw three riders establish an increasing advantage on the road to Girvan. Erick Rowsell (Team Endura), Richard Handley (Rapha Condor Sharp) and Mike Northey (Node 4 Giordana) contested the final sprint in Victory Park, with Rowsell coming home in first place and rounding off a great week for his family following sister Joanna’s Gold Medal at the World Track Championships in Melbourne.
Rowsell had also accumulated sufficient sprint points to take the lead in the green jersey competition. The bulk of the field finished 15 seconds behind the first three to set up an great start for the second stage, the 16.5 mile criterium covering 15 laps of Victory Park.
1. Erick Rowsell, Endura Racing 3.08.14
2. Richard Handley, Rapha Condor Sharp @st
3. Mike Northey, Node4 Giordana @st
4. Rico Rogers, Node 4 Giordana @15 secs
5. Scott Thwaites, Endura Racing
6. Ian Wilkinson, Endura Racing
7. Chris Opie, UK Youth
8. Marcel Six, Scott Metaltek
9. Jonny McEvoy, Endura racing
10. Ian Bibby Endura Racing
11. Stephan Adams, Cycle Premier Kovert
12. Peter Williams, Node 4 Giordana
13. Bernie Sulzberger, Raleigh GAC
14. Will Bjergfelt, Wilier Live2ride
15. Andy Coupe, Herbalife
16. Jack Pullar, Wheelbase
17. Evan Oliphant, Raleigh
18. Ben Grenda, Rapha Condor Sharp
19. Steve Lampier, Sigma Sport
20. John Tanner, Sportscover
21. Matt Cronshaw, Node 4 Giodana
22. Marcin Bialoblocki, Node 4 Giodana
23. Wouter Sybrandy, Sigma Sport
24. Alex Wetterhall, Endura Racing
25. Kristian House, Rapha Condor Sharp
26. Richard Tanguy UK Youth
27. Robbie Hassan, Herbalife
28. Richard Lang Rapga Condor Sharp
29. Kit Gilham, Herbalife
30. Niklas Gustavsson, UK Youth
31. David Clarke, Node 4 Giodana
32. Dean Downing, Rapha Condor Sharp
33. Rob Partridge, Endura Racing
34. Dean Windsor, Endura Racing
35. PaulOldham, Hope FRT
36. James Lowsley-Williams, UK Youth
37. Simon Richardson, Sigma Sport
38. Matt Jones, Corley Cycles
39. Chris Daddy, composite
40. Mike Cuming, Rapha
41. Matt Gee, Metaltek Scott
42. Russell Hampton, Raleigh GAC
43. James McCallum, Rapha Condor Sharp
44. David McGowan, Uk Youth
45. Liam Holohan, Raleigh GAC
46. Yanto Barker, UK Youth
47. Jamie Shirlaw, Herbalife
48. Andre Cox, Saltire
49. Liam Glen, Wheelbase
50. Freddy Johansson, UK Youth
1. Erick Rowsell, 3.08.00
2. Mike Northey, @ 7 seconds
3. Richard Handley, @ 8 secs
4. Alex Wetterhall, @ 26
5. Rici Rogers @29
6. Scott Thwaites, @st
7. Ian Wilkinson, @st
8. Chris Opie @st
9. Marcel Six, @ st
10. Jonny McEvoy @st
PHOTO ALBUM FROM THE STAGE
The Stage Route
The 144 man Tour DoonHame field will be flagged away from King Street in Castle Douglas with the race start proper coming one mile later on the A713 Ayr Road. The route then winds up the side of Loch Ken to the opening J&B Print King of the Mountains climb, a Cat 3 ascent out of New Galloway.
The jaw-dropping beauty of the A712 Queen’s Way route to Newton Stewart provides the backdrop as the race heads into the Galloway Forest Park. The first intermediate sprint in Minnigaff gives green jersey hopefuls a chance to open their Endura Hot Spot Sprint accounts before the route turns north towards South Ayrshire and over the switchback road from Glentrool to Rowantree Toll.
The Cat 2 Mountains climb to Tairlaw Summit crests at the highest point on this year’s route followed by a hectic, near six mile descent through the Carrick Forest to Straiton where bonus seconds await the front runners at the second Hot Spot Sprint in Main Street. Barely time to draw breath before the final Mountains climb – an innocuous little Cat 3 climb up the side of Blairquhan estate, but one which often provided a ‘sting in the tail’ in the closing miles of many a Girvan 3-Day stage.
The final ten miles of the stage track the River Girvan to the event’s former home on the South Ayrshire coast. A circuitous run in through the town centre takes the riders past the scene of current world road race champion Mark Cavendish’s first big win at Henrietta Street in the opening stage of the 2004 Girvan 3-Day. The finish line is at Victory Park where the winner will claim the race leader’s yellow jersey.
Maldon Dengie Tour (Prem number 1)