Halfords Tour Series Interviews: Colchester

VeloUK talks to Dean Downing, Scott Thwaites, Yanto Barker, Marcel Six and Simon Richardson about their Tour Series experiences …

Halfords Tour Series: Colchester Race Report

Scott Thwaites (Endura Racing)


One of the high flying Endura Racing riders has been Scott Thwaites who said before the Colchester round of the Halfords Tour Series, the course was a proper crit course, nice and tight which had something for everyone. After a break got away, Scott was second in the bunch kick to finish the race in seventh place.

The Halfords Tour Series, with rounds on Tuesday and Thursday nights, is pretty demanding on the bike and off it so we asked Scott how he and the Endura Racing team cope with the demands.

“Because the rounds have been so far apart, we have stayed together as a team for the Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday. Last week, we spent the night in Durham before making our way down to Aberystwyth before having a steady ride to just loosen the legs up after the travel.”

Tight up against the barriers, Scott Thwaites (left) finishes second in the bunch kick.

It was all very relaxed for Scott and his teammates and they even had time for a 10 mile time trial on the Wednesday evening before the big race on the Thursday.” Being with the team has been good as it saves all that driving especially with two rounds every week and a Premier Calendar race on the weekend coming up” says Scott.

“The travelling is probably the one thing that gets you more than the racing. Recovery is so important that it’s nice that we have the Endura Racing team vehicles to relax in and there’s no pressure. The rides in between races are just steady for a few hours.”

“There is such a lot of racing on at the moment , three days a  week,  there is no time for solid training. Hopefully I have enough endurance from the winter training and the racing I had at the start of the season and I’ll get do more training done once the Tour Series finishes and there is more time. ”

Related Link: Endura Racing Rider Interviews


Marcel Six (Twenty3C Orbea):

The wearer of the Boardman Bikes yellow jersey, Marcel Six (Twenty3C Orbea) meanwhile was at work on the day in between Peterborough and Colchester and then spent the morning before Colchester looking after his young children back in St Albans. “I managed to get in two and half hours training on Wednesday before work but have tried to rest as much as possible.”

Asked what it’s like wearing the Yellow jersey for the Boardman Bikes sprint competition, Marcel replied “I haven’t really noticed it until I see myself on TV. Seeing the race on TV is really great because you can see what you’re doing wrong more than anything.  I didn’t have the best day on Tuesday (Peterborough) where I didn’t feel fantastic but I could see on TV where I made the mistakes.”

Marcel unfortunately crashed in Colchester but despite being battered and bruised is ready to race again in the Ryedale Grand Prix on Sunday.

Marcel Six, in yellow, like many of the riders, mixes work with racing three times  week.

Simon Richardson (Sigma Sport Specialized)

The Bristol rider made the first move of the race and surprisingly for a crit, that move proved to be the winning one as five riders came together at the front and kept the peloton at bay. Richardson said afterwards he felt frustrated because he had quite a lot left in the tank at the end and had thought there was another lap. “Coming off the back of a stage race (the RAS), the longer and harder the race, the better but I knew the only way I was going to win was perhaps a last lap move.”

“So I’m frustrated not to have got it all out but it was nice to be in the break and have a good solid race. The time gap kept going up despite the fact  we were pedalling relatively slowly so I was confident that nothing much was going on behind us.”

“The only thing I saw of the bunch was the massive crash. Everyone was working in the break and it was nice that when Dean Downing is confident of the win, he commits to the move like he did tonight and that makes it so much easier because everyone is less cagey. With the gap so big though, there was no need to really smash it which would have probably benefitted me perhaps.”

First move of the race and the winning break is formed! Simon Richardson drives it with Jeroen Janssen of Team Raleigh on his wheel.

Yanto Barker (Pendragon Le Col Colnago)

Part of the team both as a rider and sponsor, Pendragon Le Col Colnago rider Yanto Barker said he was confident a break like that would go because riders are starting to get tired and the teams are starting to check each other. “These circuits are so fast that once you get 50 metres, it really is hard to close the gap and Dean and Niklas did a really good job to get up to us at the front.”

“I was surprised it went so early (first move of the race) as I thought it would take a little longer. I haven’t really felt myself like I did last year. I could do pretty much what I wanted last year and this was the first time this year where I felt like I could get off the front and press on.”

“Hopefully the legs will come round more in the next couple of rounds and I was pleased with how I felt out there.  Unfortunately it was a little bit predictable that group. Dean and JJ are fast fast guys and Niklas is also strong so I was just glad Simon was there as he’s as useless at sprinting as I am!”

Dean Downing (Rapha Condor Sharp)

winner at Colchester. The Rapha Condor Sharp rider is in great form with a second and a win since coming into the series this week. He explained that in their team meeting in Pizza Express they talked about the circuit which Dean says was a hard one with a tough climb through the finish. Dean says he realised that around seven laps in to the race that the front three, Richardson, Barker and Janssen were controlling the race so he decided to have a go.

“I jumped across with Niklas Gustavsson who gave me turn for turn but it took three or four laps to get across and that took it out of me. When we got there, we had thirty seconds and John was giving me time checks while the boys behind were controlling it. I understand Endura were attacking a lot which they had to do with five guys up the road and they weren’t in it.”

Key moment as Dean Downing attacks from the peloton to chase down the break.

We knew that it was possibly going to be a break away and we wanted some one in it and getting a not so bad sprinter in it was not such a bad thing! Everyone worked turn for  turn and then Si Richardson put in an attack after the sprint which JJ was going for and Si Richardson took advantage and that split our group but it came back together.”

“Yanto led it out with 350 to go and I was thinking, this is a long way out Yanto but he gapped the other guys and I was on his wheel thinking, don’t panic, don’t panic because if I’d gone from 300, they would have come round me as 300 is a long way out on an uphill sprint.”

“I went for it with probably 200 or 150 to go and thought Niklas was going to get round me so knocked into the 11 and had another go. During the race I was panicking a bit, wiggling around and my shoe kept coming undone.”

“I thought I’m going to get attacked here and luckily for me there was only one attack from Simon and that hurt because when he attacks, he does so for a long time and it takes a lot to close the gap. At no time did I think the race was a forgone conclusion. I knew everyone was going to watch me and I had to make sure I had good position because I’m not that much faster than everyone else that I can ride around everybody. I’m not Mark Cavendish!

Halfords Tour Series: Colchester Race Report

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