Report: Halfords Tour Series – Peterborough

Ed Clancy was the individual winner at Peterborough in front of a massive crowd while Raleigh-GAC took their first win as a team since the series began. 

RST Cycle Clothing & Trigon Bikes

Link: Halfway point in the Halfords Tour Series – we look back with the help of Magnus Backstedt and Dean Downing

Historic Halfords Tour Series win for Team Raleigh – GAC

Olympic Gold Medallist Ed Clancy may have got the individual honours, but Peterborough cemented its place in history last night as Team Raleigh – GAC took their first ever Halfords Tour Series win, in their third season of competition in the unique team based Series.

Their first team win in the Halfords Tour Series for Raleigh came after a great performance in Peterborough with two in the break and the British Crit champ, Graham Briggs winning the bunch kick.  In the break were two of the team’s ‘foreign riders’, Daniell Holloway and Bernie Sulzberger, showing the importance of those signings in the winter.

Photo Album

Raleigh placed Daniel Holloway and Bernard Sulzberger in the winning six man move, taking second and sixth respectively, while British Circuit Race Champion Graham Briggs brought in the bunch to take seventh place, an important finish that may even surpass his Peterborough victory 12 months previous.

Despite the presence of double round winner Scott Thwaites and Zak Dempster in the winning move, Briggs’ seventh was the score that mattered, handing Team Raleigh – GAC their first ever Halfords Tour Series win, making them the third team after Endura Racing and Team UK Youth to win one of the six rounds held to date in 2012.

Clancy had led out a long sprint to take the individual win ahead of Holloway and Thwaites, with the former scoring his best result yet in the team based competition.

“It’s been a tough Halfords Tour Series for the team so far,” said Ed Clancy. “It’s a team event so as nice as it is to win the individual we’re trying to win the team.”

“It’s a team event and I was kind of interested more in what was going on behind me with the boys. Once that breakaway had formed we were in a good position for the individual win as I had no work to do – two Endura’s, two Raleigh guys so I was just sat on taking it easy and waiting for the sprint. From a team point-of-view it would have been better to have had two or three of us in there, but that’s how it goes.”

Breaks came and went with one of the latter ones being a two up move from Jonny McEvoy (Endura Racing) and Kristian House (RCS). When this was caught, Scott Thwaites countered in a text book move and took two riders with him. They opened up a small lead and were soon joined by three more including Zak Dempster, making his debut in the series for Endura Racing.

That left a break of six riders off the front; Matt Cronshaw (Node4), Daniell Holloway, Bernie Sulzerberger (both Raleigh GAC), Scott Thwaites, Zak Dempster (Endura Racing) and Ed Clancy (RCS). Having taken a while for a move to stick, once this high-quality sextet moved clear, driven by Raleigh-GAC and Endura Racing, the lead swiftly grew, stretching to around the half a minute mark to ensure the individual winner would come from the break.

With two riders a piece in front, the team prize was always going to be fought out between Raleigh – GAC and Endura, and it was Briggs’ seventh, narrowly ahead of Endura’s Ian Wilkinson in eighth that proved conclusive.

Behind Rapha Condor Sharp took third, while Aberystwyth winners Team UK Youth had an off evening, only managing sixth on the night to drop them back to third in the overall standings.

Further success for Team Raleigh – GAC on the night came courtesy of Sulzberger, who yet again won the evening’s Boardman Bikes Sprints prize to extend his lead at the top of the standings over Marcel Six. With five rounds to go, Sulzberger has an eight-point lead over Six, who looks to be his only rival for the yellow jersey.

Asked whether defending champions Rapha Condor Sharp can take a team win and get back into the battle for the overall Halfords Tour Series title, Clancy is optimistic.

“I hope so, but if not let’s just keep looking at the individual wins. I think the overall is probably too far now as Endura are so strong, as well as the other teams. We’ll take each round as it comes and just enjoy it.”

Thursday sees The Halfords Tour Series head to London and Canary Wharf for Round Seven, with Clancy hoping to maintain his good form and claim what will hopefully be not his only victory in London this Summer.

Daniel Holloway leads Bernie Sulzberger and Matt Cronshaw in the closing stages of the race in front of a huge crowd in Peterborough. Ed Clancy at the back meanwhile looks to see if there is any of his team close to the break.

While the likes of Thwaites and Dempster from Endura Racing and Bernie Sulzberger and Daniell Holloway from Raleigh-GAC did just that, it was Clancy who had the freshest legs at the finish and one of, if not the fastest rider in Britain, he made no mistake in the finish getting the better of former US crit champ Holloway and Scott Thwaites.

In the team comp, it was much closer and the width of a wheel was all that separated first and second in the team prize as Endura Racing finished the night in second place to Raleigh-GAC at round 6 of the Halfords Tour Series all down to Graham Briggs win in the bunch kick over Endura Racing’s Ian Wilkinson.

Post race interviews

Ed Clancy (Rapha Condor Sharp): Asked whether he was starting to find his crit legs, the World and Olympic Champion explained why he has yet to shine in the series … “Andy Tennant and me are traning are quite hard at the weekends (for the Olympics) and we did a big block coming into this because we need something to taper off when we get into the Olympic period. A lot of the guys here will rest up between races and hit each race fresh which is great and what we intended to do but its hard because while we don’t want to go into these races creeping, we need the work load for the track.”

“Tonight, I would not say I have felt any better or worse than I have all series. I just happened to get into the front move and was on my own (lone RCS rider) which meant that I had the liberty of sitting in and getting away with it. A lot of the other courses have been hilly or stop start while I prefer the courses like today.”

“I was frustrated at Aberyswyth at riding the wrong side of the UK Youth train and put myself into a box which was a shame because I think we could have won the team that night. The team have been unlucky with crashes, punctures and Deano’s been ill and was ill again tonight and I don’t think the series is going our way. We have had three individual wins but it’s just a shame the team thing hasn’t worked thus far.”

“We’ll (Ed and Andy Tennant) be riding (the Tour Series) this week and next and that’s it as we then go into the track phase. The Halfords Tour Series is a big deal and Tennant and me want to do well for the team, and love riding for this team and it is frustrating riding fatigued but this year is all about riding for the Olympics.”

“It can be frustrating coming out here and getting a kicking but in ten days time we’ll be on the track and we’re already thinking about the Olympics.”

The big picture is all about the Olympics and weekends sees Ed and Andy doing five hour rides, road races and on Friday’s, zone three riding on the TT bikes. Asked does he feel pressure to win being an Olympic champion at the Halfords Tour Series, Ed replied “I guess so but then again but then again this isn’t my forte. People know I’m good on the track and yes, I can ride well on the road but I can also ride pretty poorly!”

Graham Briggs (Raleigh-GAC): On his way back from illness, the British Crit Champion said “We have had a few rounds where it hasn’t gone our way so over the last few rounds, we’ve really wanted to turn it around and get a result. I got the bunch sprint which I think made the difference.”

“We had two of our fastest guys in the break so the pressure was on me to do all I could in the bunch sprint so I just did my best and hoped they played their part. I love this circuit and the crowd was great tonight.”

“I knew if I could get into the last corner first or second wheel it would be ideal. Holty (Simon Holt) did a great lead out and then I came off Wilko (Ian Wilkinson) and piped him on the line. It was nice to have a flowing circuit with no dead turns!”

 Cherie Pridham (Raleigh-GAC)  was overjoyed at the team’s performance as it represents one of the team’s biggest wins of the season: ““I asked the boys to take little steps, which they have, and I knew they would come good. I’m just so happy for the team.”

“This has been hard work for everybody and finally our luck is starting to change. We rode as a team tonight and I couldn’t ask anymore of them. With the emotions we had before tonight and then to see them pull it all together is just fantastic. I’m so very proud of all of the lads.”


Ed Clancy, fatigued from his Olympic training, still had enough energy to show his true class in winning the sprint to give RSC their third individual win in the series so far.

Despite second on the night, Endura Racing increased their lead over the next team, RCS as UK Youth had one of those nights and dropped to third.

 Playing safe, Ed Clancy keeps his hands on the bars as he crosses the line, winner on the night in Peterborough. A good hunting ground for RCS with Graham Briggs winning in 2011 and Dean Downing in 2010.

So close! This is what separated Raleigh – GAC from Endura Racing on the night.

With a big lead, the break play the tactical game in the closing stages as Aussie Bernie Sulzberger in the Sprints jersey which he retained after winning the sprints comp on the night, leads Ed Clancy. Special mention for Matt Cronshaw who after two crashes in the previous two rounds had better luck and stayed upright to finish 4th.

One rider who didn’t have any luck was Russell Downing (Endura Racing) who got brought down around four laps from the end. It was ‘fonzys’ first crit in the Tour Series for his team.

The LIVE! Photo Album from Peterborough


The Halfords Tour Series, Round Six, Peterborough, Provisional Results

Round Six Individual Result
1. Ed Clancy, Rapha Condor Sharp
2. Daniel Holloway, Team Raleigh – GAC
3. Scott Thwaites, Endura Racing
4. Matt Cronshaw, Node4 – Giordana Racing
5. Zak Dempster, Endura Racing
6. Bernard Sulzberger, Team Raleigh – GAC
7. Graham Briggs, Team Raleigh – GAC
8. Ian Wilkinson, Endura Racing
9. James McCallum, Rapha Condor Sharp
10. Marcel Six, Metaltek Scott

11. Rico Rogers, Node 4 Giordana
12. Chris Opie, UK Youth
13. Jonny McEvoy, Endura Racing
14. Pete Williams, Node 4 Giordana
15. Tobyn Horton, Raleigh GAC
16. Jon Mozely, Cycle Premier Kovert
17. Kristian House, Rapha Condor Sharp
18. Will Bjergfelt, Cycle Premier Kovert
19. Mike Northey, Node 4 Giordana
20. Magnus Backstedt, UK Youth
21. Jake Hales, IG Sigma Sport
22. Wouter Sybrandy, IG Sigma Sport
23. George Tansley, Cycle Premier Kovert
24. Simon Gaywood, IG Sigma Sport
25. Jamie Shirlaw, Herbalife Leisurelakes


Round Six Team Result
1. Team Raleigh – GAC
2. Endura Racing
3. Rapha Condor Sharp
4. Node4 – Giordana
5. Cycle Premier – Kovert
6. Team UK Youth
7. Team IG – Sigma Sport
8. Herbalife LeisureLakesBikes
9. Metaltek Scott
10. Team Hope Factory Racing

Overall Team Standings, post-Round Six
1. Endura Racing, 56pts
2. Rapha Condor Sharp, 47pts
3. Team UK Youth, 46pts
4. Team Raleigh – GAC, 46pts
5. Node4 – Giordana Racing, 40pts
6. Cycle Premier – Kovert, 28pts
7. Team IG – Sigma Sport, 24pts
8. Metaltek Scott, 16pts
9. Herbalife LeisureLakesBikes, 15pts
10. Team Hope Factory Racing, 11pts

Boardman Bikes Sprints winner Peterborough: Marcel Six (Metaltek Scott)

Boardman Bikes Sprints standings, post-Round Six
1. Bernard Sulzberger, Team Raleigh – GAC, 61pts
2. Marcel Six, Metaltek Scott, 53pts
3. Kristian House, Rapha Condor Sharp, 32pts


Live Text Updates

RST Cycle Clothing & Trigon Bikes

Tags: , , ,