Report: Halfords Tour Series – Torquay

UPDATED – PHOTO ALBUM ADDED — The Halfords Tour Series visits the seaside resort of Torquay in the South West for the first time for round 8 of the 2012 series

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| Round 1 Kirkcaldy | Round 2 Durham | Round 3 Oxford | Round 4 Redditch |
| Round 5 Aberystwyth | Round 6 Peterborough | Round 7 Canary Wharf |

Report by Peter Hodges

Bialoblocki shows a touch of class in Torquay - Node4 – Giordana take team and individual wins on South Devon’s Beautiful Bay

Marcin Bialoblocki took his first ever Halfords Tour Series win at Torquay, avenging his narrow defeat in Oldham 12 months ago, to lead his Node4 – Giordana Racing to victory in South Devon’s Beautiful Bay.

Marcin Bialoblocki, Node4 – Giordana wins the first Tour Series round in Torquay.

Bialoblocki benefited from a dramatic last corner crash which saw leaders Scott Thwaites and Chris Opie eliminated, gifting the Somerset based Polish rider the win, in front of his pregnant wife and supporters.

With teammates Mike Northey, sixth, and Matt Cronshaw, ninth, securing top ten positions, Node4 – Giordana took the win ahead of Team Raleigh – GAC and Series leader’s Endura Racing, who now have a 12 point lead at the top of the table.

Wet and windy conditions conspired against The Halfords Tour Series’ first ever Torbay round, but weather conditions improved as the afternoon wore on, getting the crowd revved up on the Riviera for Round Eight of the Series thanks to the support of Torbay Council and the Mid Devon Cycling Club, amongst others.

The break which dominated the final laps; Scott Thwaites leads. Into the final corner, and Chris Opie was in his words a little ambitious and in the process, took out Thwaites leaving Marcin Bialoblocki clear to win the race. 

With blue skies appearing and the roads drying out the action around Torquay’s Torre Abbey circuit was quick from the start. Node4’s Cronshaw and Endura Racing’s Johnny McEvoy made the early move, but no move was allowed the leeway to stay clear for long.

Eventually a three-rider move went clear, with strongman Bialoblocki joined by fast finishers Thwaites and Opie, who pulled clear from the bunch. The three worked well together to extend their lead, ensuring that the finish would be fought our by the leading trio.

Coming into the final lap the bunch was closing, and when Opie dived into the final corner leading onto the seafront with too much speed, understeering wide and eliminating both himself and Thwaites into the barriers on the outside of the last turn.

The all important bunch kick is won by Zak Dempster but it was Node 4 who had numbers to the fore to win the team prize from Raleigh with Endura Racing in third. 

Bialoblocki was left clear to navigate the carnage crossing the line arms aloft as the peloton closed in behind, with riders from five different squads filling the top five spots, led in by Canary Wharf winner Zak Dempster.

Having lost out by the narrowest of margins to Endura Racing’s Rob Partridge in Oldham in 2011, Bialoblocki, who lives in Bridgwater, was delighted to finally clinch victory in the team-based Series.

“Yeah it’s great for me after last year it was a nightmare. Now it is paid back and I feel much better. I am really happy,” said Bialoblocki. “It is very good to win, I’m in the South West which is my home region, so I have lots of friends around.”

As for what he thought when Opie and Thwaites crashed in front of him, a simple but heartfelt “Thank you!”

Bernie Sulzberger opened up a big lead over Marcel Six in the Sprints competition.

Highlights of Round Eight from Torquay will be shown on ITV4 on Wednesday 6th June at 8pm, while Round Nine seeing the Series return to Colchester on Thursday 7th June. The Essex venue also hosts Round Three of the women’s Johnson Health Tech Grand Prix Series, currently led by Matrix Fitness – Prendas rider Annie Simpson.

World class cycling returns to Devon this September for the penultimate stage of The Tour of Britain, the UK’s biggest professional cycle race. Devon hosts Stage Seven of The Tour on Saturday 15th September, for one of the hardest legs of the 2012 race, from Barnstaple to Dartmouth.

The other key break was this one with Matt Cronshaw and Jonny McEvoy.

Full details of the stage will be unveiled later in June, with more information via and

The Halfords Tour Series is a sister event to The Tour of Britain, the UK’s biggest professional cycle race, which takes place every September. To take on the challenge of riding a Tour of Britain route in a Tour Ride, head to to find our more and to register for your challenge!

It was no fun fair for Dave Collins who had a mechanical on the first lap and was then left to chase.

Team winners, Node 4. Missing is Rico Rogers who broke his chain and had to retire from the race.

There was certainly a big crowd for the race in Torquay.

The weather was a lot better for the race than it had been through out the day ….



Round Eight Individual Result

1. Marcin Bialoblocki, Node4 – Giordana
2. Zak Dempster, Endura Racing
3. Graham Briggs, Team Raleigh – GAC
4. Marcel Six, Metaltek Scott
5. Yanto Barker, Team UK Youth
6. Mike Northey, Node4 – Giordana Racing
7. Johnny McEvoy, Endura Racing
8. Tobyn Horton, Team Raleigh – GAC
9. Matt Cronshaw, Node4 – Giordana Racing
10. Will Bjergfelt, Cycle Premier – Kovert

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

Overall Team Standings, post-Round Eight
1. Endura Racing, 74pts
2. Rapha Condor Sharp, 62pts
3. Team Raleigh – GAC, 60pts
4. Team UK Youth, 59pts
5. Node4 – Giordan Racing, 59pts
6. Cycle Premier – Kovert, 37pts
7. Team IG Sigma Sport, 32pts
8. Metaltek Scott, 23pts
9. Herbalife LeisureLakesBikes, 18pts
10. Team Hope Factory Racing, 15pts

Boardman Bikes Sprints winner Torquay: Bernard Sulzberger (Team Raleigh – GAC.

Boardman Bikes Sprints standings, post-Round Eight
1. Bernard Sulzberger, Team Raleigh – GAC, 75pts
2. Marcel Six, Metaltek Scott, 55pts
3. Kristian House, Rapha Condor Sharp, 32pts



1. Endura Racing, 66pts
2. Rapha Condor Sharp, 55pts
3. Team UK Youth, 53pts
4. Team Raleigh – GAC, 50pts
5. Node4 – Giordana Racing, 49pts
6. Cycle Premier – Kovert, 34pts
7. Team IG – Sigma Sport, 28pts
8. Metaltek Scott, 18pts
9. Herbalife LeisureLakesBikes, 16pts
10. Team Hope Factory Racing, 14pts

Individual & Team Winners so far

Round 1 Kirkcaldy: 1. Scott Thwaites, 2. Bernie Sulzberger 3. Rico Rogers
Team: Endura Racing

Round 2 Durham: 1. Kristian House 2. Scott Thwaites 3. Ian Bibby
Team: Endura Racing

Round 3 Oxford: 1. Scott Thwaites 2. Marcel Six 3. Dean Windsor
Team: Endura Racing

Round 4 Redditch: 1. Niklas Gustavsson 2. Dean Windsor 3. Bernie Sulzberger
Team: Endura Racing

Round 5 Aberystwyth: 1. Kristian House, 2. Chris Opie, 3. James Stewart
Team UK Youth

Round 6 Peterborough: 1. Ed Clancy, 2. Daniel Holloway 3. Scott Thwaites
Team: Raleigh

Round 7 Canary Wharf: 1. Zak Dempster, 2. Mike Northey 3. Chris Opie
Team: Endura Racing

To Come


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