Report/Photos! Tour Series – Durham (North East)


Kristian House dominated the Durham round of the Tour Series winning for the second year in a row on a course which suits his strengths

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The BIG Album from Durham – 200 plus photos of the action

Click here to read about last year’s event won by Kristian House

The 1.4 kilometre circuit features a long climb, much of it cobbled, and coming every two or three minutes for over an hour of racing, it’s no surprise riders were being shelled from lap 1. After two neutralised laps, the pace rose lap by lap and while the winner at Kirkcaldy, Yanto Barker, and so many others were dropped, a select group formed at the front.

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No less than four teams had three riders or more in it but it wasn’t until the final ten or so laps that a key move was made. Ian Bibby, who has had good results on the Durham circuit before but was riding with stitches and bruises from a crash on Tuesday in Kirkcaldy, went away on his own and the next lap, Kristian House went off after him. Another lap passed and they were together but not for long.


The cobbles the riders faced both on the climb and the descent on this tough circuit

House dropped Bibby and last years winner opened up a gap on the chasers. House benefited from two things; one he was riding very strongly and no-one was able to bridge to him and several did try, and then two, teams decided that with Rapha not having numbers in the group, they were going to concentrate on the team race.

It was getting messy though now at the front as House started to lap riders all the way to the finish where he crossed the line a few lengths behind the TV motorbike. It was even messier though for the chasers as they got caught up in a lapped group as they sprinted for the line and the team who did best in the scramble to the line was Raleigh with riders in 5th, 6th & 7th.


Teams squeeze together on the start line

It was Tobyn Horton of UK Youth, clearly in good form, who won the sprint behind House but Raleigh were the only team to get three riders in the top 10 and so for the second round in a row, they won and with UK Youth down in fourth, Raleigh opened up the four point gap at the top of the table with the series heading for the more ‘normal’ circuit of Circuit next Tuesday.


Two neutralised warmup laps of the circuit sees IG Gold jersey leader Mike Northey leading along with Kristian House and Alex Blain of Raleigh.


Each lap, a different rider would force the pace up the tough cobbled climb, here, Frenchman Alex Blain (Raleigh) leads.


Liam Holohan has a go then…


Niklas Gustavsson of Team UK Youth also got on the front to try and split it.


The crowds were the best yet in Durham in its fourth year of hosting the race.


First key move and Ian Bibby goes solo off the front.


 The others look at each other with Raleigh’s Evan Oliphant continuing to show good form before he heads to race the Irish RAS for Scotland.


 Kristian House didn’t wait round and chased Bibby solo …


Node 4 take up the chase which wasn’t hanging round as you can see from the long line of riders.


But the gap to the two leaders wasn’t being threatened although House soon left Bibby and there is a rumour ‘Bibbs’ did have a mechanical (unconfirmed).


Kristian House solos to yet another great win in Durham.


The chase behind was really on some times with the group splitting but it came together for the final gallop.


Surrounded by lapped riders, Kristian House celebrates a great victory done with typical panache by the former British RR Champion.


Not just the win in the race though as Kristian also picked up the Sprint’s jersey.


Costa Express Fastest Lap Durham: Niklas Gustavsson, Team UK Youth


Leaders now by four points in the Series, Team Raleigh. 

Rider Reactions:
Kristian House: Asked if the lone attack was planned, he explained “As long as we had three or four guys in the group, I was going to wait to give them a chance but as soon John told me we were down to two riders (Richard Handley was the other, 10th), I knew that it was time to go for the individual win (you really need three in the front group to go for the team win).”

“I was always going to for the individual but didn’t want to attack and break the group up and have my teammates dropped. So I let the race take its course and when I was told there were only two of us and then Bibby went, I thought it’s a good time to go and I rode straight across to him”.

Asked how he felt on the final laps forging a lonely path around Durham well clear of the chasers, he replied “I was hurting for sure and I knew there were three Raleigh guys chasing behind but I thought that would be to my advantage because they wouldn’t want to lose any of their team so they couldn’t commit to the chase. I just put my head down and tried to recover when I could and then ride hard on the climb and that was where I think I made the most time.”

“I went into it with everyone saying you’re the favourite and that is hard to deal with some times but you take the opportunities when they come and hopefully have some luck. Only a few days I had such bad luck (Lincoln, gears) and hope you don’t have it again.”

Lachlan Norris (Team Raleigh, 7th and 1st team) “It is not like any other crit I have done that is for sure. It was pretty brutal. Like a Belgian kermesse but squashed into a 1k circuit!”

“Being a team event changed how we raced. Obviously we wanted to win on the day (individually) but in the back of our minds, we’re thinking about the team and with other teams having three riders, you don’t want to burn yourself out and risk losing the team award.”

“So we had to be careful about that and I think in the end, it cost us the win on the night but we got the team GC and that is what we’re here for. I felt pretty good until around twenty minutes to go when the hill started to catch up with me but I think it started to catch up with everyone. You could feel the pace dropping but we had enough firepower left to try and be aggressive at the end and break the group up and split the other teams up.”

“We have such a good team we can bring guys in and out and this course was probably a bit better for me so I was here to help the lads out and hopefully I’ll get to do a few more in the next few weeks.”

Tom Scully (Raleigh, 5th) “Kristian was really strong out there to stay away solo was a pretty good ride and you have to give him credit for that. It was definitely very bouncy out there on the bricks and even coming down the descent, it was lucky we had some pavement before we turned right and ripped into it again.”

“It was a pretty cool course which required some skill to ride it like we did and strength in the legs to go the distance and it was good we had the numbers there at the end to play for the team GC.”

“It would have been nice to commit and work together to bring it back for the win but obviously we had to think about the team game.” Asked if he had ridden a circuit like the one at Durham he replied “the closest to this was Lincoln on Sunday! It was definitely the hardest criterium course I have ridden!”

Evan Oliphant (Raleigh, 6th) “It was pretty savage from the start but we were just making sure we had three or four in every move and we had four at one point. Kristian (House) went at one point and we were going to go after him but I said we had to wait because we’re more interested in the team than the individual so said lets stay together.”

“I am going better at crits than I have done but I’m off to the RAS next week so they had better carry on winning without me!”

Niklas Gustavsson (UK Youth, 12th) won the fastest lap competition and explained afterwards “it was so so hard today. I felt really good on Tuesday and felt good today but the course was so hard. We had three riders in that lead group who were all trying as hard as they could to ride offensively to keep the others on the rivet but unfortunately we missed out on the sprint.”

“I felt really good for the first half of the race and when Kristian went I was on his wheel but just couldn’t hold it. I don’t have the top end and he was outstanding.”

Josh Hunt (UK Youth, 15th) “That is definitely the hardest one hour I have done. It may be short but it was relentless and felt like there was no where to recover at all. You go over the climb and before you know it, you’re back on it.”

“It was little ring on the 23 each lap until the last one. You can’t go up on the big ring all the time because you get round that bottom corner and you need to accelerate and it’s not easy to do on the big ring from a dead turn like that.”

“At the end, it was so hard you just had to go as fast as you could and hope that your teammates were close when it was every man for himself going as hard as you could.”


Round Two Durham, Individual Result

1 Kristian House Rapha Condor JLT
2 Tobyn Horton Team UK Youth
3 Roman Van Uden Node4 – Giordana
4 Andy Tennant Madison Genesis
5 Tom Scully Team Raleigh
6 Evan Oliphant Team Raleigh
7 Lachlan Norris Team Raleigh
8 Ian Bibby Madison Genesis
9 Steve Lampier Node4 – Giordana
10 Richard Handley Rapha Condor JLT

11 Ben Greenwood Team Hope Factory Racing
12 Niklas Gustavsson Team UK Youth
13 Paul Oldham Team Hope Factory Racing
14 Liam Holohan Madison Genesis
15 Josh Hunt Team UK Youth
16 Mike Northey Node4 – Giordana
17 Will Bjergfelt MG Maxifuel Pro Cycling
18 Shem Rodger Node4 – Giordana
19 Peter Williams Team IG Sigma Sport
20 Alex Peters Madison Genesis

Round Two Durham, Team Result
1. Team Raleigh
2. Madison Genesis
3. Node4 Giordana Racing
4. Team UK Youth
5. Rapha Condor JLT
6. Team Hope Factory Racing
7. MG Maxifuel
8. Team IG Sigma Sport
9. Metaltek – Knights of Old
10. Spin Rotor – Primal – C-Originals

Team Standings, post-Round Two
1. Team Raleigh, 20pts
2. Team UK Youth, 16pts
3. Madison Genesis, 15pts
4. Node4 Giordana Racing, 15pts
5. Rapha Condor JLT, 14pts
6. MG Maxifuel, 8pts
7. Metaltek – Knights of Old, 7pts
8. Team Hope Factory Racing, 7pts
9. Team IG Sigma Sport, 6pts
10. Spin Rotor – Primal – C-Originals, 1pt

IG Sprints winner Round Two Durham: Kristian House, GBR, Rapha Condor JLT

Costa Express Fastest Lap Durham: Niklas Gustavsson, Team UK Youth

Live Text Updates

The Pearl Izumi Tour Series takes place at the following dates & locations:
1 – Round One Tuesday 14th May Kirkcaldy, Fife

2 – Round Two Thursday 16th May Durham, County Durham

3 -Round Three Tuesday 21st May Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire
(includes women’s Johnson Health Tech GP Series)

4 -Round Four Friday 24th May Aberystwyth, Ceredigion

5 -Round Five Tuesday 28th May Torquay, Devon

6 -Round Six Thursday 30th May Colchester, Essex
(includes women’s Johnson Health Tech GP Series)

7 -Round Seven Tuesday 4th June Redditch, Worcestershire
(includes women’s Johnson Health Tech GP Series)

8 -Round Eight Thursday 6th June Canary Wharf, London

9 -Round Nine Tuesday 11th June Woking, Surrey
(includes women’s Johnson Health Tech GP Series)

10 – Round Ten Thursday 13th June Aylsham, Norfolk
(includes women’s Johnson Health Tech GP Series)

Round Eleven Friday 14th June Ipswich, Suffolk

The Teams for 2013 doing all ten rounds are: (click for rider list)
— Rapha Condor JLT,
— Team UK Youth,
— Team Raleigh,
— NODE 4 Giordana Racing,
— MG – Maxifuel Pro Cycling,
— IG Sigma Sport,
— Metaltek – Knights of Old Racing Team,
— Team Hope Factory Racing,
— Madison Genesis,
— Spin Rotor – Primal – Coriginals

Note: each round will have a guest team or two (click for rider list)

Past winners of this unique competition include Team Halfords Bikehut (2009), Motorpoint Marshalls Pasta (2010), Rapha Condor Sharp (2011) and Endura Racing (2012).

Related Link: A look back at the 2012 Tour Series here


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