Report: Halfords Tour Series – Aberystwyth

Kristian House took out his disappointment from his result at Redditch by winning in  Aberystwyth while UK Youth had their best ever performance as a team by winning that competition on the night.

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Link: Report from Round 4 at Redditch

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Team UK Youth secured their first ever Halfords Tour Series victory, putting two riders into the winning four man move that saw Kristian House claim victory on a scorching evening in Aberystwyth. House featured in a breakaway for the second evening in succession, but this time saw it through to his second win of the 2012 Halfords Tour Series, adding victory to that in Round Two in Durham.

“With UK Youth having two in there it was always going to be a problem so I let them ride for a bit and then attacked then. I got rid of one of them and then just went for the sprint,” said Kristian afterwards. “It’s a hard course so it wears people down. The course suits me really well, I knew that and I knew where to hit them.”

Victory for RCS rider Kristian House with UK Youth placing two riders in the top three.

The Rapha Condor Sharp rider outsprinted UK Youth riders Chris Opie and James Stewart, and Team Raleigh – GAC’s Tobyn Horton. Dean Downing led in the bunch for fifth place, but with Yanto Barker taking seventh a historic victory was secured for Team UK Youth, who once again placed three riders highly, but this time to winning effect.

“Second place for me, same as last year here,” said Cornishman Opie. “There were two of us up there and I was the one that managed to muck it up – I just didn’t go hard enough. On a positive note we managed to get the team prize so it’s pretty good stuff. On the decent I came around the last corner standing up and I had nothing in my legs, Kristian was a lot stronger, no excuses.

“We’re moving up there, consolidating our second place overall and winning the team prize tonight – we’re really happy with that.”

Top team on the night, UK Youth who have come so close in previous rounds and in Aberystwyth, it all came together for them.

Endura Racing’s four run winning streak came to an abrupt end, with Ian Wilkinson, star of a long range lone attack early on, their top placed finisher in sixth place, as the team slumped to a fourth placed finish

“It’s better to be the aggressor rather than trying to chase,” said Wilkinson on his early attack. “I was still trying to attack the race. I attacked around the back and I expected someone to come with me. It was too early to go all the way on my own. I thought a small group might come with me but it did split the race up and kept the pressure on. Ian Bibby and Jonny McIvoy had bad crashes so that isolated us with three riders so when the group came back up to me, we were there to be shot at then. We did quite well and regrouped and Dean [Windsor] got away which was perfect but then he crashed so that was that.

“We’ve conceded a couple of points but we’re just under halfway in the Series. We’ve still got a little lead and we’re keeping it entertaining.”

A crash to Jonny McEvoy and then one for Dean Windsor who was one of three Endura Racing riders in the lead group meant it was a night to forget but they still have a good lead over their challengers at the halfway point of the series.

UK Youth’s win keeps them in second, now just six points behind Endura, with Rapha Condor Sharp a further two in arrears, while Team Raleigh – GAC lie fourth.

Despite losing Bernard Sulzberger to a crash early on, Team Raleigh – GAC secured third on the night, with the former Australian criterium champion holding onto the Boardman Bikes Sprints jersey, but by just three points over Marcel Six.

“I had a bit of luck really,” said Sulzberger post-race. “I crashed early on in the back-straight and then crashed again. First time I broke my right-hand buckle and second time I broke my left-hand buckle on my shoe so that was it, I can’t really sprint without buckles. It’s obviously a bit tighter now [the sprints jersey lead] so I am going to have to get up there next week and work hard.”

Seaside crowds had been entertained by a full afternoon of racing on the Aberystwyth promenade circuit, in conditions markedly different to 12 months previously. The high temperatures took their toll in the evening’s main race, sapping riders strengths but ensuring an entertaining spectacle for the Welsh crowds.

Highlights of Round Five are on ITV4 on Monday 28th May at 8pm, while Peterborough hosts Round Six on Tuesday 29th May.

A crash ruined Bernie Sulzberger’s race but he holds onto the Sprints jersey.

Tobyn Horton leads Chris Opie and Kristian House in the closing laps of the race  tonight.

Ian Wilkinson attacked at the start and spent quite a few laps out front alone before being brought back by a reduced group at the front of the race.

After a Wheelbase rider came off, Matt Cronshaw came round the blind bend and running ride, had no where to go except to flatten the barriers.

The most scenic of venues for the Halfords Tour Series… 

Bright blue skies….



1 Kristian House Rapha Condor Sharp 1
2 Christopher Opie UK Youth Cycling Team 2
3 James Stewart UK Youth Cycling Team 3
4 Tobyn Horton Team Raleigh – GAC 4
5 Dean Downing Rapha Condor Sharp 5
6 Ian Wilkinson Endura Racing 6
7 Yanto Barker UK Youth Cycling Team 7
8 Marcel Six Metaltek SCOTT Prof Cycling Team 8
9 Graham Briggs Team Raleigh – GAC 9
10 Daniel Holloway Team Raleigh – GAC 10
11 Ed Clancy MBE Rapha Condor Sharp 11
12 Andrew Hawdon Herbalife/ 12
13 James McCallum Rapha Condor Sharp 0
14 George Tansley Cycle Premier – Kovert 14
15 Scott Thwaites Endura Racing 15
16 Magnus Backstedt UK Youth Cycling Team 0
17 Ian Bibby Endura Racing 17
18 Evan Oliphant Team Raleigh – GAC 0
19 Jonathan McEvoy Endura Racing 0
20 Mike Northey Node 4 Giordana Racing 20
21 Will Bjergfelt Cycle Premier – Kovert 21
22 Tom Murray Team IG Sigma Sport 22
23 Andy Tennant Rapha Condor Sharp 0
24 Paul Oldham Team Hope Factory 24
25 Blair Windsor Cycle Premier – Kovert 25

Team – Aberystwyth

1. UK Youth
2. Rapha Condor Sharp
3. Raleigh-GAC
4. Endura Racing
5. Node 4
6. Cycle Premier-Kovert
7. IG Sigma Sport
8. Herbalife-Leisure lakes
9. Metaltek Scott
10. Hope Factory Racing

Team Overall
1 Endura Racing 47
2 UK Youth Cycling Team 41
3 Rapha Condor Sharp 39
4 Team Raleigh – GAC 36
5 Node 4 Giordana Racing 35
6 Cycle Premier – Kovert 21
7 Team IG Sigma Sport 19
8 Metaltek SCOTT Prof Cycling 14
9 Herbalife/ 12
10 Team Hope Factory 10

Round 5 Sprints – Marcel Six

Overall – Bernie Sulzberger



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