Report: British Circuit Race Championships

Endura Racing continued their dominance of British racing with a 1-2 in the National Circuit Race Championship in Otley on Wednesday night with home grown hero Scott Thwaites winning from Russell Downing (Endura Racing) and Matt Cronshaw (Node4) third.

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Scott Thwaites is British Circuit Race Champion

Endura Racing continued their dominance of British racing with a 1-2 in the National Circuit Race Championship in Otley on Wednesday night with home grown hero Scott Thwaites winning from Russell Downing (Endura Racing) and Matt Cronshaw (Node4) third.

Matt Cronshaw (3rd), Scott Thwaites (1st) and Russell Downing (2nd)

The race was a perfect example of the strength in depth there is in British racing right now but also how, even when they are faced with challenges from multiple teams, how the riders from Endura Racing are able to come up with the desired result.

The race from start to finish was ultra aggressive with teams like the GB Academy, Rapha, Cycle Premier-Kovert, IG Sigma Sport, Endura Racing and others trying to split the field up but even on a tough course like Otley, the championship ended up being decided in a big bunch kick.

Dean Downing (Rapha Condor sharp) afterwards described how it was six or seven wide going hell for leather round the final bend, in near darkness and from that came Scott Thwaites who raced to his second victory in Otley in as many years.

The Race PHOTO ALBUM – 2012 Circuit Race Championships

After a late attack in the closing laps by Cycle Premier Kovert rider George Moore was brought back, Ian Wilkinson led a dangerous looking move with Steve Lampier (IG Sigma Sport) and Sam Harrison (GB Academy) gaining a few seconds two laps out.

With the bell ringing through out Otley with an absolutely huge crowd assembled to watch this race, Wilkinson was still leading the race through, a few lengths clear of the Raleigh train for Graham Briggs.

As Wilkinson was reeled in however, Ian Bibby (Endura Racing) saw his chance to go for it on the climb where he had noticed he’d been able to gap his rivals. Over the top of the hill, he had a small gap and the chase behind was having to be led by Raleigh and the other teams as the riders from Endura Racing stayed close to the front in the wheels.

The headwind across the top of the course made it tough on Bibby and he was brought back by the chasers as they got to the second last corner where Russell Downing, with Scott Thwaites in his slipstream, yelled to Bibby to go again on the descent.

Bibby responded, sprinting for another 100 metres before he could give no more and Russell Downing lead Thwaites past a spent Bibby and into the final corner where Thwaites knew the line to take after his victory in 2011. With Russell Downing on his wheel riding shotgun, Thwaites surged ahead as Downing closed the door on Matt Cronshaw to take second ahead of the Node 4 rider in a 1-2 for Endura racing.

Wow, what a race! Hats off to the GB Academy riders for a very bold aggressive race. Sam Harrison explained afterwards how they’ve been racing stage race after stage race and spending four hours in the gutters going full gas so an hour long crit was not going to be a problem for them. For sure they gave it everything but with their best rider in 7th, first year senior Owain Doull, the rewards for that effort were limited as the night belonged to Endura Racing with three riders in the top ten.

For the second year running, Scott Thwaites gets his hands int he air as winner of the Otley Town Centre Elite race which in 2012, was the British Championships.


Scott Thwaites: “I’m over the moon. It was always going to be a hard win after last year as everyone knew I could do it so there was a lot of pressure. I came into the race not thinking too much about it and took as it came. We have such a great team and we showed again tonight how strong it is.”

Russell Downing: “The race was good. I played an attacking role and lit it up quite a few times and it was hard and fast out there. Bibby did an amazing job attacking with a lap to go and it worked perfectly for Raleigh to chase it and I was sat third wheel.

“I took it up when we caught Bibby and asked him to go a bit more and knew if we got into that final corner, we’d be good. Scott got the jump and I just backed him up and there was no-one coming from fourth back. Scott went round that corner great.”

Matt Cronshaw (Node 4) 3rd “I’m pretty disappointed with third really. It’s still on the podium but I was coming into my own in the Halfords Tour Series, I was in the breaks consistently. I got it wrong a few times in the Tour Series and wanted to make up for that but didn’t quite manage it.”

“It was good that Raleigh-GAC took over the front quite a lot and then Bibby made a huge effort which kept it really fast and I’d carried good position the last few laps so that helped me. I was probably top 10 and then there was some jockeying for position along the top (Birdcage Walk) and I followed a 100% ME rider and ended up coming out of that top corner on Russell’s wheel and he was screaming at Bibby to carry on which I’m sure he didn’t appreciate because he’d been away for the last lap.”

“I tried going early into that corner as I went, Scott went down the left and Russell pinned up against the barriers a bit so I has happy to keep third out of the corner after that.”

“In this race on this circuit, it can be easy to sit in the wheels as long as you keep in that front twenty and you can save a lot more energy than in the Tour Series because there are so many personal agendas as well as team agendas going on that there’s always some one willing to chase something so I tried to save as much as I could.”

“There were times when the 100% boys went off the front and they were going really well. One lap, George Atkins was on the front for a whole lap and popping people and it was a bit scary when they went off the front.”

Matt now has a crit on Friday in Lancaster where he lives and then the National RR champs and admits after all the racing, he kind of wants a break!

Graham Briggs (Raleigh-GAC, defending champion): “The guys rode amazingly for me tonight and I could not have asked anything more from them really. I dropped my chain halfway down the descent and I didn’t want to press on the pedals and go over the bars at that point! Fair play to Endura who had three guys there on that top corner and it was game on from then on.”

Asked what i’s been like having the stripes, Graham replied “I didn’t think I’d be able to win the jersey last year so I’ve been very proud wearing it and having them gives you that extra five percent when you really dig in when you’re hurting. To win one of the Halfords Tour Series rounds with it on was a special moment and a few podiums too so I’ve had a good run it.”

“Losing the jersey tonight just makes me even more hungry to win the other races!”

Dean Downing (former champion, Rapha Condor Sharp) “I was considerably better tonight than I was a month ago. It was very hectic coming into the last corner. I got checked by Matt Cronshaw but he went on to get a medal so fair play to him. I was on Russell’s wheel (Dean’s brother) and thinking this is a good spot to be in and then Matt pulled out to go for it and I lost concentration for a second. It was seven wide going round that last corner with Rus and Thwaitesy in front and Bibby coming backwards!”

“We (Rapha Condor Sharp) rode well tonight. It was tough for the youngsters in a race that hard; it was certainly bloody fast! Myself, Kristian and Jimmy Mac were up there, getting in moves. I was feeling good and so the race is a turning point. I’m disappointed I didn’t get on the podium after having a great position down the hill but that last corner is always hairy and it was tonight for sure.”
“I’m pleased for Scott. He’s had a great start to the season, great in the Tour Series and has a great future. Still young and very very fast. Endura Racing were firing people off left right and centre tonight but I didn’t really see Scott that many times. I saw him at the start when I nearly knocked him off which I apologised for! I attacked and nearly took his front wheel with me – sorry Scott!

“So he was very quiet in the race and at the end, had so much gas, off he went and won the race so fair play to him.”

Dean then confirmed that he’s down to do Brighouse next Tuesday and that the coming Elite Circuit Series is a big goal, a five week block of racing to defend the title in that series. “That gives me something to look forward to after a disappointing Tour Series. Tonight, we’ve got 10,000 people here plus and that’s where it’s at. The rounds of the Halfords Tour Series all have big crowds, and crit racing is exciting for people to watch live and comes across good on TV. It’s an exciting form of cycling.”


Huge field in front of a huge crowd for the 2012 Circuit Race Championship.

Early move from a Herbalife/Onimpex rider…

Raleigh-GAC rider Matt Holmes goes clear with George Atkins.

Liam Holohan (Raleigh-GAC) with George Atkins

Former champion Dean Downing was another rider who got in a break with George Atkins.

Simon Yates was another GB Academy rider who spent some time off the front.

Ian Bibby who made a last lap bid for freedom which never brought him the title but certainly helped his teammates Scott Thwaites and Russell Downing.

Two laps out from the finish, Ian Wilkinson started the Endura Racing assault on the title challenge

George Moore of Cycle Premier/Kovert made a do or die effort five laps which gave him some time off the front

More to come after I’ve got some sleep!

Result (thanks to the Photo finish crew for the result!)

1. Scott Thwaites, Endura Racing 1.15.35
2. Russell Downing, Endura Racing @ st
3. Matt Cronshaw, Node4-Giordana
4. Chris Opie, UK Youth
5. Graham Briggs, Raleigh-GAC
6. Daniel McLay, Lotto Belisol U23
7. Owain Doull, GB Academy
8. Jonny McEvoy, Endura Racing
10. Dean Downing, Rapha Condor Sharp
11. Tom Murray, IG Sigma Sport
12. Matt Jones, Corley Cycles
13. Adam Yates, UVCA Troyes
14. Simon Holt, Raleigh-GAC
15. Paul Oldham, Hope Factory
16. Steve Lampier, IG Sigma Sport
17. George Moore, Cycle Premier Kovert
18. Andrew Griffths, IG Sigma Sport
19. Alistair Slater, GB Academy
20. Joe Kelly, GB Academy
21. Tom Last, IG Sigma Sport
22. Ian Bibby, Endura Racing
23. Jack Pullar, Wheelbase
24. Adam Duggelby, Sportscover
25. James McCallum, Rapha Condor Sharp
26. Dean Shannon, Twenty3c-Orbea
27. Simon Yates, GB Academy
28. Sam Harrison, GB Academy
29. Dan Smith, Velo29
30. Russell Hampton, Raleigh-GAC
31. George Atkins, GB Academy
32. James Stewart, UK Youth
33. James Moss, Node4 Giordana
34. Simon Richardson, IG Sigam Sport
35. David Clarke, Node4 Giordana
36. Richard Hanndley, Rapha Condor sharp
37. Rob Partridge, Endura Racing
38. Ben Greenwood,
39. Richard Hepworth, Cycle Premier Kovert
40. Evan Oliphant, Raleigh-GAC
41. Thomas Moses, GB Academy
42. Mike Cumming, Rapha Condor Sharp
43. Jamie Shirlaw, Herbalife Leasire Lakes
44. Chris Nicholson, Lotto Predictor VC Ardenne
45. James Lowlsey-Williams, UK Youth
46. Andrew Hastings, Metaltek Scott
47. Luke Grivell Mellor, Rapha Condor Sharp
48. Brennan Townsend, Raleigh GAC
49. Alistair Rutherford,
50. Chris Sherriffs Bglobal
51. Dave Collins, Hope Factory Racing
52. Michael SMith, Corley Cycles
53. Jacob Scott, Planetx
54. Kristian House, Rapha Condor Sharp
55. Tobyn Horton, Raleigh GAC
56. Liam Holohan, Raleigh GAC
57. Simon Gaywood, IG Sigma Sport
58. Dan Storey, RST Clothing/Trigon Bikes
59. Tom Barras, Metaltek Scott
60. Ian Wilkinson, Endura Racing
61. Stuart Reid, Wheelbase
62. Matt Holmes, Raleigh GAC

Support Race

1. Lee Tunnicliffe, Clay Cross Road Team
2. Jake Womersley, Sportscover
3. James King, Mountivation/Onimpex
4. Paul Bethall, Team Elite
5. Jack Sadler, Mountivation/Onimpex
6. Simon Maudsley, RVO Racing
7. Tony Greenhalgh, Wheelbase
8. Andrew Marsh, Dinnington RC
9. Josh Cole, Bike Box
10. Peter Baurusevicus, VC Bradford
11. Lewis Craven, Wheelbase
12. Karl Denton,
13. Paul McDonald, Slipstream
14. Alex Mitchell, we love mountains
15. Ben Hallworth, Ilkley CC
16. Deacon Cutterham, NFTO
17. Nick armitstead, Dirtwheels
18. Zack Whitehead, Dirtwheels
19. James Thompson, Hope Factory
20. Adam Robertson,

LIVE PHOTOS – VeloUK will be sending out live photos from the race

Evening Programme
18.40 Start of the Triton Construction Super Prestige Youth Race for U16s
18.41 Start of the WGC Landscapes Lads and Lasses Bike Race for U14s
19.15 Start of the Chevin Cycles Classic
20.00 Circuit Open for elite rider warm up and rider gridding
20.30 Start of the 2012 Elite Circuit Race Championship
21.40 Prize Presentation


1 Graham Briggs Team Raleigh – GAC
2 Russell Hampton Team Raleigh – GAC
3 Matthew Holmes Team Raleigh – GAC
4 Liam Holohan Team Raleigh – GAC
5 Simon Holt Team Raleigh – GAC
6 Tobyn Horton Team Raleigh – GAC
7 Evan Oliphant Team Raleigh – GAC
8 Brennan Townshend Team Raleigh – GAC

9 Scott Thwaites Endura Racing
10 Ian Wilkinson Endura Racing
11 Erick Rowsell Endura Racing
12 Robert Partridge Endura Racing
13 Jonathan McEvoy Endura Racing
14 Russell Downing Endura Racing
15 Ian Bibby Endura Racing

16 Dean Downing Rapha Condor Sharp
17 Michael Cuming Rapha Condor Sharp
18 Edward Clancy MBE Rapha Condor Sharp
19 Luke Grivell-Mellor Rapha Condor Sharp
20 Richard HandleyRapha Condor Sharp
21 Kristian House Rapha Condor Sharp
22 Tim Kennaugh Rapha Condor Sharp
23 James McCallum Rapha Condor Sharp
24 Oliver Rossi Rapha Condor Sharp
25 Andrew Tennant Rapha Condor Sharp

26 Anthony Gibb Metaltek – Scott
27 Tom Barras Metaltek – Scott
28 Dale Appleby Metaltek – Scott
29 Matthew Gee Metaltek – Scott
30 Andrew Hastings Metaltek – Scott
31 Rhys Lloyd Metaltek – Scott
32 Marcel Six Metaltek – Scott
33 Jason White Metaltek – Scott
34 Simon Wilson Metaltek – Scott

35 Steven Burke Team IG – Sigma Sport
36 Simon Gaywood Team IG – Sigma Sport
37 Andrew Griffiths Team IG – Sigma Sport
38 Jake Hales Team IG – Sigma Sport
39 Steven Lampier Team IG – Sigma Sport
40 Thomas Last Team IG – Sigma Sport
41 Daniel Lloyd Team IG – Sigma Sport
42 Thomas Murray Team IG – Sigma Sport
43 Simon Richardson Team IG – Sigma Sport
44 George Atkins 100% ME
45 Owain Doull 100% ME
46 Samuel Harrison 100% ME
47 Joseph Kelly 100% ME
48 Thomas Moses 100% ME
49 Alistair Slater 100% ME
50 Simon Yates 100% ME
51 Mark Christian An Post-Dolan Bikes-Sean Kelly Team
52 Jonathan Mould An Post-Dolan Bikes-Sean Kelly Team

53 Stephen Adams Cycle Premier – Kovert
54 Will Bjergfelt Cycle Premier – Kovert
55 Jamie Caldwell Cycle Premier – Kovert
56 Russell Falder Cycle Premier – Kovert
57 Jake Martin Cycle Premier – Kovert
58 George Moore Cycle Premier – Kovert
59 Jon Mozley Cycle Premier – Kovert
60 Richard Hepworth Cycle Premier – Kovert

61 Pete Williams Node4 Giodana Racing
62 David Clarke Node4 Giodana Racing
63 James Moss Node4 Giodana Racing
64 Matt Cronshaw Node4 Giodana Racing
65 Matt Higgins Node4 Giodana Racing
66 Kieren Frend Node4 Giodana Racing

67 Alastair Kay Herbalife-Leisure Lakes
68 Jack Cutsforth Herbalife-Leisure Lakes
69 Robbie Hassan Herbalife-Leisure Lakes
70 Andrew Hawdon Herbalife-Leisure Lakes
71 Jamie Shirlaw Herbalife-Leisure Lakes
72 Andrew Coupe Herbalife-Leisure Lakes

73 Gunnar Gronland RST Racing Team
74 Tom Stewart RST Racing Team
75 Dan Storey RST Racing Team
76 Matt Sumpton RST Racing Team

77 Matthew Jones Team Corley Cycles/Blue
78 Michael Smith Team Corley Cycles/Blue
79 Liam Stones Team Corley Cycles/Blue
80 James Millard Team Corley Cycles/Blue
81 Ashley Brown Sportscover Altura RT
82 Joe Moses Sportscover Altura RT
83 Adam Duggleby Sportscover Altura RT
84 Ashley Procter Sportscover Altura RT
85 Duncan Moralee Sportscover Altura RT
86 Robin Sharman Sportscover Altura RT
87 Ben Greenwood
88 Julian Pearson
89 Alistair Rutherford
90 William Penn
91 Jack Pullar
92 Stuart Reid
93 Grahame Sumner
94 Jack Rees Velo29 Cycling Team
95 Daniel Smith Velo29 Cycling Team
96 Alex Bottomley Velo29-OTR-Vankru
97 Matt Kipling Velo29-OTR-Vankru
98 Rob Orr Velo29-OTR-Vankru
99 Dean Shannon Orbea
100 Adam Blythe BMC Racing
101 Daniel Mclay Lotto-Belisol U23
102 Joshua Edmondson Team Colpack Astro
103 Nathan Edmondson Valle Seriana Cere
104 Adam Yates UVCA Troyes
105 Robert Crampton Heist zuiderkempen vzw
106 Chris Nicholson Lotto-Predictor-VC Ardennes
107 Luke Ryan Orbea
108 Jacob Tipper Teamwallis CHH Racing Team
109 David Collins Team Hope Factory Racing
110 Paul Oldham Team Hope Factory Racing

111 Matthew Williams Team Hope Factory Racing
112 Sam Ward Team Hope Factory Racing
113 Jack Clarkson Team Hope Factory Racing
114 Christopher Daddy Squadra RT
115 Chris Sherriffs Team Bglobal
116 Jay Eastwood Primera-Specialized
117 Will Stephenson Primera-Specialized
118 Dave Saunders NFTOrace
119 Christopher Latham Champion System/Maxgear/Kyklos
120 Robert Watson Paul Milnes/Bradford Olympic RC
121 Graeme Rose Dirtwheels Cycles
122 Mark Perry Dirtwheels Cycles
123 Jacob Scott Planet X
124 Ashley Marshall Aire Valley Racing Team
125 Benjamin Kellett V S Cycles, Brighouse
126 Matthew Robinson All Terrain Cycles
127 Michael Nicolson unattached

(thanks to Jim Hendry)

1. Graham Briggs, Rapha Condor Sharp
2. Ian Wilkinson, Endura Racing
3. Tom Murray, Sigma Sport Specialized
4. Marcel Six, Twenty3C Orbea
5. Will Bergfelt, Motorpoint, @ 2 secs
6. Matt Jones, Raleigh, @ 5 secs
7. Ed Clancy, Rapha Condor Sharp (bunch sprint) @ 6 secs
8. Scott Thwaites, Endura Racing
9. Jonny McEvoy, Motorpoint
10. Stephan Adams, Sigma Sport Specialized

2010 Beverley- 70 mins + 5 laps
1. Ed Clancy, Motorpoint Marshals Pasta
2. Ian Wilkinson, Endura Racing
3. Jonny McEvoy, Motorpoint Marshals Pasta
4. Marcel Six, Obea For Goodness Shakes
5. James McCallum, Endura Racing
6. Peter Williams, Motorpoint Marshals Pasta
7. Simon Holt, UC Bergamasca
8. Matt Kipling, MTS Cyclesport
9. David Lines, Endura Racing
10. Matt Cronshaw, Rapha Condor Sharp

2009 Beverley- 70 mins + 5 laps
1. Russell Downing, CandiTV/Marshalls Pasta
2. Jeremy Hunt, Cervelo Test Team
3. Rob Hayles, Halfords Bikehut
4. Dean Downing, Rapha Condor
5. Malcolm Elliott, CandiTV/Marshalls Pasta
6. Jon Mozley,
7. Ian Wilkinson, Halfords Bikehut
8. Graham Briggs, CandiTV/Marshalls Pasta
9. Tom Barras, unattached
10. Simon Gaywood, Corley Cycles

2008 Beverley- 70 mins + 5 laps
1. Dean Downing, 2. Rob Hayles, 3. Tony Gibb

2007 Otley – 1 hour
1. James McCallum, 2. Ed Clancy, 3. Matt Cronshaw

2006 Horwich. – 64 km
1. James Taylor, 2. Tony Gibb, 3. Adam Blythe

2005 Otley, West Yorks – 47 km
1. Mark Cavendish, 2. Russell Downing 3. Ian Wilkinson

2004 Hillingdon 80 km
1. Colin Roshier, 2. Greg Sandy 3. Rob Enslin

2003 Llandudno – 51 km
1. Russell Downing, 2. Dean Downing 3. Bryan Taylor

2002 Newport, Wales – 60 km
1. Dean Downing, 2. Mark Kelly, 3. Neil Swithenbank

2001 Newark
1. Chris Newton, 2. Dean Downing 3. Bryan Steel

2000 Birmingham – 62.4 km
1. Rob Hayles, 2. John Tanner, 3. Anthony Malarczyk

1999 Bury St Edmunds – 60.6km
1. Chris Walker, 2. Rob Reynolds-Jones 3. Chris Lillywhite

1998: Haverhill – 72 km
1. Chris Walker, 2. Chris Williams 3. Dan Smith

1997 Bury St Edmunds – 72 km
1. Simon Cope, 2. Joe Bayfield 3. Mark McKay

1996 Bury St. Edmunds – 73.3 km
1. John Tanner, 2. Mark Walsham 3. Jon Clay

Professional Criterium Manchester
1. Jon Clay, 2. Mark Walsham 3. Chris Lillywhite

Amateur Criterium – Bury St. Edmunds – 75.4 km
1. Sam Quinn, 2. Roger Hammond 3. Jimmy Jones

Professional Criterium Milford Haven – 58 km
1. Neil Hoban 2. Dave Rayner 3. Bernie Burns

Amateur Criterium Gorleston – 70 km
1. Dave Williams 2. John Charlesworth 3. Matt Stephens

Professional Criterium Crystal Palace – 66 km
1. Chris Lillywhite 2. Spencer Wingrave 3. Simon Cope

Amateur Criterium Wigan – 70 km
1. Roger Hammond, 2. Jeremy Hunt 3. Mark McKay

Professional Criterium Cardiff – 100 km
1. Neil Hoban, 2. Dave Baker 3. Keith Reynolds

Professional Criterium Cardiff – 80 km
1. Rob Holden 2. Hilton McMurdo 3. Mark Walsham

Professional Criterium Worksop
1. Rob Holden 2. Hilton McMurdo 3. Adrian Timmis

Professional Criterium Cardiff – 90 km
1. Paul Curran 2. Mark Walsham 3. Chris Lillywhite

Professional Criterium Leek – 100 km
1. Mark Walsham 2. Jon Walshaw 3. Nick Barnes

Professional Criterium Crystal Palace 100 km
1. Tim Harris 2. Chris Lillywhite 3. Mark Walsham

Professional Criterium Leek – 84 km
1. Paul Sherwen 2. Steve Joughin 3. Phil Thomas

Professional Criterium Hull – 80 km
1. Dave Miller 2. Malcolm Elliott 3. Steve Fleetwood

Professional Criterium NEC, Birmingham – 90 km
1. Malcolm Elliott 2. Bill Nickson 3. Keith Lambert

Professional Criterium Stockton on Tees – 81 km
1. Keith Lambert 2. Dudley Hayton 3. Steve Jones

Professional Criterium Newport, Gwent – 80 km
1. Phil Bayton 2. Phil Corley 3. Bill Nickson

Not Held

Professional Criterium Telford – 90km
1. Bill Nickson 2. Sid Barras 3. Barry Hoban

1979 (first running of crit champs)
Professional Criterium Milton Keynes – 90 km
1. Sid Barras 2. Ian Banbury 3. Jack Kershaw


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