Halfords Tour Series Peterborough

The first double header of the Halfords Tour Series was held in Peterborough in front of a huge crowd and under bright blue skies.

In the men’s event, Rapha won the individual and the team award for the third in the series while in the Womens Johnson Health Tech race, Hannah Barnes was the fastest from a five rider break.

Link: Women’ s Johnson Health Tech Report

Endura Racing reportclick here

Link: Round 2 in Aberystwyth


Graham Briggs leads Rapha Condor Sharp to hat trick
Rapha Condor Sharp keep up their unbeaten record in 2011 Halfords Tour Series

Rapha Condor Sharp added victory in Peterborough on Tuesday evening to wins at Durham and Aberystwyth as they made it three wins from three in The Halfords Tour Series.

It wasn’t just the team win heading the way of the men in black, who are rapidly becoming the men in Halfords orange. Graham Briggs took the individual win on the night, joining teammates Zak Dempster and Ed Clancy who took victories in Rounds One and Two of the Series.

Briggs headed home teammate Dean Downing and Scott Thwaites of Endura Racing, who once again took the runners-up spot behind Rapha Condor Sharp, to keep themselves in the hunt for The Halfords Tour Series title.

Reigning Champions Motorpoint Pro Cycling endured an evening to forget, coming home a disappointing ninth, with their best placed rider Malcolm Elliott in 25th position, thus unable to replicate the victory by their women’s team earlier in the day in the opening round of the Johnson Health Tech Women’s Grand Prix Series,

With large crowds and sunny skies, conditions were far more benign than for Round Two in Aberystwyth, leading to a race run off at high speeds, meaning attacks had to work hard to stay away for just a handful of laps.

Team Raleigh’s Matt Cronshaw was the first rider to go it alone, being joined a lap later by Ed Clancy, Magnus Backstedt and two others, but next time around it was just Olympian Clancy a few lengths clear of the field, illustrating the ever changing complexion of the race.

Clancy was often towards the front during the race, which came all back together again for the final time with five laps remaining. From then on Endura Racing and Rapha Condor Sharp kept the pace high to deter any last ditch attacks bringing the race down to a final bunch sprint.

There was plenty of Halfords orange at the front in the sprint, with Briggs narrowly heading home last year’s Peterborough winner Dean Downing for his first Halfords Tour Series win since the first ever Tour Series round, at Milton Keynes in 2009.

Behind Downing’s second place and Clancy’s sixth ensured a comfortable victory, with the fourth Rapha Condor Sharp rider in the top ten, James McCallum, not even having to come into play in the unique team based series, where a team’s result is calculated on the lowest finishing position for a team’s leading three riders.

Graham Briggs (Rapha Condor Sharp)
“I didn’t feel my best after Lorraine and wasn’t feeling sharp in Durham and just bowled round there and wasn’t one of the team’s counters. Last week in Wales I went hard from the gun and then punctured with three to go and that put me out of the action. So there was a little bit of pressure tonight so I was gunning to be just one of the counters tonight and to get the win on top of that was fantastic.”

“Ed did a great leadout. From five laps out, I was constantly moving up to try and stay in the top five all the time. We were all up in there numbers and all over the race in numbers. Coming through the finish with a lap to go, I was second wheel behind Rob (Partridge) and there was an attack down the dual carriage way and Ed followed him and I followed Ed until the final bend where Wilko tried to come round me and I kicked. That was the end of it.”

“I tried to use Lorraine as preparation for this and I knew the first week would be tough. In the past, I have been very good at the beginning and then tailed off at the end so with this series I have tried to make sure I am still going well at the end. This is my first proper victory in the Tour Series where I’ve been able to put my hands in the air”. Graham was awarded the victory a few years ago in a round in Milton Keynes after a tussle with Rob Hayles and the barriers.

Dean Downing (Rapha Condor Sharp)
“It’s a strange race when you are in the leader’s jersey as everybody wants to take it off you but you have to race a bit different, a bit defensive. We had a few attacks and got people in the moves and got Endura to attack and they were attacking us a hell of a lot. In the end, with about 15 or 20 to go, I was telling myself don’t panic. It was such a hard circuit on the back straight with the wind and the race would split and then come back together.”

“With a lap to, there was four of us at the front and Ed looked round just after the finish line and saw Graham on his wheel and me on Grahams. Ed just went into team pursuit mode then and off he went down the back straight and to be lead out by an Olympic record holder, you only have to finish the job off. He went again in the sprint to lead it out and that was amazing and Graham just jumped off his wheel and I just held on to Graham.”

It wasn’t all Rapha Condor Sharp on the night though, with the three intermediate Boardman Bikes Sprints falling to James Stewart (Team UK Youth), Peterborough rider Steve Lampier and Tom Murray (both Sigma Sport – Specialized). Thanks to points gained on the night, Marcel Six moved into second in the standings in the Boardman Bikes Sprints, pulling on the yellow jersey of leader thanks to the absence of Kristian House.

Rapha Condor Sharp now lead the way in the overall Halfords Tour Series standings by three points from Endura Racing, with Sigma Sport – Specialized in third, eleven points behind.

Highlights of Round Three from Peterborough will be shown on ITV4 at 20.00 on Wednesday 1st June, with a repeat on Thursday 2nd June at 10.45.

Colchester returns to The Halfords Tour Series schedule on Thursday evening. In 2009, the last time the Essex venue hosted Tour Series racing, Tom Southam won for Rapha Condor Sharp after an impressive attacking ride. Rivals of Rapha Condor Sharp will hope that history doesn’t repeat itself in 2011, as they bid to put an end to their winning run.

More photos of the support events in Peterborough

Round Three, Peterborough, Results

Men’s Race

Team Results
1 Rapha Condor Sharp
2 Endura Racing
3 Twenty3c – Orbea
4 Sigma Sport – Specialized
5 CyclePremier.com – Metaltek
6 Team UK Youth
7 Team Raleigh
8 Pendragon Le Col Colnago
9 Motorpoint Pro Cycling
10 Wilier GoSelfDrive.com

Individual Results
1 Graham Briggs Rapha Condor Sharp
2 Dean Downing Rapha Condor Sharp
3 Scott Thwaites Endura Racing
4 Marcel Six Twenty3c – Orbea
5 Jason White CyclePremier.com – Metaltek
6 Ed Clancy Rapha Condor Sharp
7 Ian Wilkinson Endura Racing
8 Magnus Backstedt Team UK Youth
9 Rafa Rodriguez Segarra Twenty3C Orbea
10 James McCallum Rapha Condor Sharp

Boardman Bikes Sprints winner
Marcel Six Twenty3c – Orbea

Team Standings, after Round Three
1. Rapha Condor Sharp 30pts
2. Endura Racing 27pts
3. Sigma Sport – Specialized 19pts
4. Twenty3c – Orbea 17pts
5. Motorpoint Pro Cycling 15pts
6. Team Raleigh 14pts
7. Team UK Youth 14pts
8. Pendragon Le Col Colnago 12pts
9. CyclePremier.com – Metaltek 11pts
10. Wilier GoSelfDrive.com 5pts

Boardman Bikes Sprints standings, after Round Three
1. Kristian House Rapha Condor Sharp 27pts
2. Marcel Six Twenty3c Orbea 14pts
3. Jonny McEvoy Motorpoint Pro Cycling 11pts

Johnson Health Tech Women’s Grand Prix

1. Hannah Barnes, Motorpoint
2. Helen Wyman, Kona
3. Lucy Garner, Motorpoint
4. Penny Rowson, Horizon Fitness/Prendas
5. Rohan Battison For-Viored-Brookvex
6. Hannah Walker, Motorpoint
7. Hannah Rich, Horizon Fitness/Prendas
8. Alice Barnes, Motorpoint
9. Charlotte Colclough
10. Ceri Dipple, Twenty3C Orbea
11. Niki Juniper, Condor Cycles
12. Natalie Creswick Abus Nutrixxion
13. Gabby Shaw, For-Viored-Brookvex
14. Rebecca Curley For-Viored-Brookvex
15. Lindsey Clarke Fenland Clarion
16. Delia Beddia Condor Cycles
17. Sarah King Motorpoint
18. Sarah Byrne VC St Raphael
19. Annie Simpson Horizon Fitness/Prendas
20. Corrine Hall, Team Corridor
21. Marrianne Britten, VC ST Raphael
22. Louise Mahe, Mule Bar Girl
23. Dyanne Holland, Inverse / Cyclaim Womens RT
24. Tanya Hunt Mule Bar Girl
25. Rachael Pryzbilski Condor Cycles
26. Hannah Bussey
27. Wiesia Kuczj
28. Claire Beaumont, Condor Cycles
29. Carole Jackson,
30. Louise Clowes


Sprint 1
1. Hannah Barnes
2. Hannah Rich
3. Sarah Bryne

Sprint 2
1. Rohan Battison
2. Hannah Barnes
3. Helen Wyman

You can follow the race in pictures here on VeloUK, watch the race live in Peterborough as well as catch the event on ITV4.

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