Talking to Kristian House, Dean Downing & Marcel Six as well as an album of images from the evening’s race.
Rapha’s Kristian House first won a round of the Halfords Tour Series at Kettering in 2012 and on Thursday night added to that with victory on probably his favourite Tour Series Circuit; Durham. In 2010, Kristian was second to Malcolm Elliott and in 2011, sixth behind then teammate Zak Dempster who won.
This year he had the legs to dominate the race and said afterwards “I felt absolutely awesome out there. I was so nervous before the start with the wet and the way the racing went on Tuesday. I think a lot of the other riders were nervous as well. For the most part, I think the riders were sensible out there and I didn’t see any crashes even though I know there were some.
The Halfords Tour Series Durham Round — Big Photo Album
After the Lincoln Grand Prix where Kristian was on the podium yet again in that race (he won it in 2006), he explained that he’d had good form all year but not had the rewards for it. In Durham, that changed. “I felt amazing today. I was a bit nervous when I went away as it was a bit early and I was thinking ‘would it stick’. John kept telling me to ride it and the gap was getting bigger.”
“The course was slippery, very slippery. The angle of the cobbles down there (the bottom off camber corner leading into the climb), you had to be careful. We were slipping all over the place. The corner there was the worst while coming onto the cobbles at the top of the circuit they were kind of bad bad as well.”
Watching Kristian each lap, at the front and big gaps opening up behind him, it appeared as though he was trying to split it. No so he says. “I wasn’t trying to split it and was holding back to be honest as you want to at the front but not really on the front.”
“For the half of the race, I held back and just tried save energy. The first time I went for it, I got a massive gap and I don’t know if they weren’t trying behind or not. The second time, I got the same gap and decided to keep going.”
“These type of circuits suit me. You look at the Edinburgh Nocturne and the Lincoln, they are courses that suit me. It’s that hardness every lap that suits me down to the ground.” While admitting it would have been better to have won the team award, winning the race was a brilliant feeling and something he says he’s wanted for a few years. For sure, there are no lucky victories at Durham and like those that went before him, Kristian was a very deserving winner of the race.
Looking back at the week…
One of the problems faced by covering the Halfords Tour Series is getting a word with them. SO little time between them arriving, going on the podium, warming up and then racing. Afterwards, its all about the winners and by the time they are done with everyone is gone. I did get time to catch up with a couple of riders though for a quick update.
Dean Downing: “Kirkcaldy was bad luck. Myself and Jimmy Mac where up there alongside Scott (Thwaites) and Dean (Windsor) and then it got quite close as we hit the left left near the finish. I started going backwards into sixth or seventh and the back end of the bike was a bit wobbly and I soon knew I had a flat tyre.”
Dean Downing not enjoying the circuit at Durham…
“I was disappointed and it wasn’t a great a result for the team but we’d gone into the round at Kirkcaldy to race it like we always do, to attack but not too much so you’re tired at the end. It was a tough circuit with lots of tight corners but there was a bit of crazy racing going on from some of the other teams that were riding on their limits.”
“Half the field were lapped or dropped and that shows you how tough it was. There was some crazy cornering though and everybody in the peloton needs to start respecting each other as pros. We’re all here to race and to win but if it means crashing and taking people out, that’s not what we’re here to do.”
Marcel Six – Sprints winner Round 1
“Kirkcaldy was great; great circuit, technical and hard and even a bit of rain, it had everything. I felt good and was happy to be up there. I tried to get up there for the sprints and that worked out fine . Unfortunately I dropped back a bit at the end. That was more to do with being worried about the rain that was coming down and choosing the safety option.”
“I have built up to this and over the next six or eight weeks, I want to try and do as well as I can for me and the team. Hopefully I can keep the form and stay upright!”
Marcel Six in yellow at Durham.