Feature report: Leicester Castle Classic

The final round of the Men’s National Road Series is the Leicester Castle Classic Kermesse – VeloUK is here

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Feature report: Leicester Castle Classic


A late attack half a lap from the end saw Connor Swift win the final Prem of the season for his team Madison Genesis. His victory came after a thrilling end of the race when a split of seven riders had a small gap on the peloton and it was touch and go until the last lap as to whether they would stay away.

Connor’s win was his third for the team he signed for in 2017 and he’s been one of the revelations of the season and also came on the day when his teammate Jonny McEvoy won the GP Series, four prems held in the second half of the season (Tour of Reservoir, Stockton GP, Ryedale GP and Leicester Castle Classic. Second in the race was the rider of the season, with 10 victories, Brenton Jones of Australia with Chris Latham third.

On a course of only 5kilometres, barriered for much of that distance and very narrow in parts, the ‘kermesse’ was raced like a two hour crit and the pace on from the word go. Lined out through the castle and the rest of the circuit, much of the action in the first hour was at the back as the peloton got smaller as splits in the peloton saw riders distanced. A big group led the race and then a smaller one decided it was not going to be out of the race and chased it down, making the junction in the third quarter of the race.

Dylan Kerfoot-Robson leads the break with the peloton just visible in the distance – what a finish!

Then with only six laps left, a small group of riders got off the front chased by another small group with the peloton gapped. The two lead groups came together and with JLT having missed the move, they put Matt Gibson on the front who was then joined by teammates to bring the gap back. Other teams joined in and with a lap to go, ten seconds separated the two groups. When they came into sight again, it was that of Connor Swift (Madison Genesis) who had gapped the field with only a few kilometres to go.

With JLT having burned their riders, the lead out for Brenton Jones was struggling and Swift was holding a small gap but it was so close on the line that another ten metres, and Jones may well have won the race. He didn’t however and Swift was able to celebrate, his face a picture of joy as he crossed the line with Jones alongside.

What a location for a race, a Castle! Well what is left of it … 

Raced like  a crit, the peloton had no time to sit and cruise during the 50 miles. hammer down, and race on!

Davie Lines leads the break

With the break in their sights with a lap to go, Harry Tanfield chases it down with Connor Swift (Madison Genesis) poised for his move a few places back

Sam Lowe leads the first split ….

… and  Davie Lines the next split which regrouped to form the break

Series winner Jonny McEvoy of Madison Genesis

Top 3 in Leicester, Brenton Jones, Connor Swift and Chris Latham

Matt Gibson, winner of the Elite Circuit Series, does his best to set the race up for Brenton Jones, chasing down the break.

Post Race Interviews

Connor Swift: Riding a prototype Genesis bike, on what he said was a very fast circuit with crashes making things even more difficult, Connoryet again proved he was a winner for his team Madison Genesis.

“I would not have expected to win at all the race as it was so tough and I was suffering. I heard Mike (DS for Madison Genesis)  say as soon as the break comes back to hit it over the top. It came back and that is what I did just over there (pointing to a spot opposite the finish area). I went as hard as I could for the last half of a lap and I was starting to think, this might not even be the last lap yet!”

“It was so close and Brenton must have closed twenty metres in a second and I thought bloody ‘ell. I was glad to win! The team will be happy about winning the last prem of the season though and it’s been a good season for me.”

Brenton Jones: “That was an impressive ride by Connor and he’s done that before in the Tour Series, slipping off the front on the final lap and had the legs to do it unfortunately for me. I didn’t have teammates on that last lap as they gave everything bringing the break back which was fantastic so thank you to them.”

“It started off like a crit and stayed that like that the whole race. 80k is short enough you can keep that intensity up and the course had a lot of corners and cobbles as well. Bike Channel rode from the start and did well and it was the only last half an hour that attacks started to happen and Matt Gibson, Tom Moses and Jon Mould did a lot of work on the front to bring it back for me.”

Next week, Brenton has a circuit race in Copenhagen and then goes to France to ride a UCI one day event and then the Tour of Britain. With Brenton signing for a French ProConti team in 2018, we asked how will the Aussie spend his winter. “After the Tour of Britain I’m going to enjoy a couple of weeks travelling round Europe with my girlfriend Lucy and take a few days off the bike to shut it down before I get back into the season for 2018. I’ll then head back to Oz for a couple of months before I head to France to start the next adventure.”

Chris Latham: It was more like a crit than a road race and I’ve not done many crits and wasn’t ready for that! It was okay though. I had Joey leading us out trying to catch Connor Swift but we ended up sprinting for second after messing it up with the gears but it was alright. The form is there, I kept a good position all day and avoided the crashes.

“I tried to use Joey as much as possible in the sprint as it was a headwind and to be fair, I was waiting for a 200 metre to go sign but there wasn’t any. Brenton hit it early doors and I was chasing him to the line”.

“We had Dylan in the break. It was hard to get away so we let a gap open and got him up there and then it was JLT who chased him back and they did a good job”.

Series winner Jonny McEvoy of Madison Genesis

… continued after advert


1 Connor Swift (u23) Madison Genesis 1:45:44
2 Brenton Jones JLT Condor st
3 Christopher Latham Team Wiggins st
4 Jonathan McEvoy Madison Genesis st
5 Harry Tanfield BIKE Channel Canyon st
6 George Pym Metaltek Kuota Racing Team st
7 Dexter Gardias BIKE Channel Canyon st
8 Kamil Gradek One Pro Cycling st
9 Joey Walker (u23) Team Wiggins +3
10 Andrew Tennant Team Wiggins st
11 Alex Paton Madison Genesis st
12 Robert Scott (u23) Team Wiggins st
13 James Lowsley-Williams BIKE Channel Canyon st
14 Rory Townsend (u23) BIKE Channel Canyon st
15 Bertie Newey Metaltek Kuota Racing Team st
16 Isaac Mundy PMR@Toachim House st
17 Chris Opie BIKE Channel Canyon st
18 Oliver Wood (u23) Team Wiggins +7
19 Fraser Martin (u23) Raleigh GAC +12
20 Lloyd Chapman Catford CC Equipe/Banks st
21 Adam Kenway Raleigh GAC st
22 Peter Williams One Pro Cycling st
23 Liam Holohan Metaltek Kuota Racing Team st
24 George Harper One Pro Cycling st
25 James Oram One Pro Cycling +15
26 Christopher Dredge Spirit Tifosi Racing Team st
27 Dylan Kerfoot-Robson (u23) Team Wiggins +22
28 Karol Domagalski One Pro Cycling st
29 Sam Lowe BIKE Channel Canyon +37
30 Matthew Holmes Madison Genesis +44
31 Will Fox Catford CC Equipe/Banks +1:50
32 David Lines Wheelbase.co.uk +2:01
33 Jake Hales Spirit Tifosi Racing Team +2:42
34 Jez McCann (u23) Richardsons-Trek RT +2:53
35 Peter Cocker (u23) Giant Store Rutland / Wattbike st
36 David Ogg GodfreyBikewear-VisionExpress R +2:55
37 Erik Kholer Team Triebwerk st
38 James Hyde Wellingborough Cycles Race Team st
39 Taylor Gunman Madison Genesis +3:03
40 Matthew Gibson (u23) JLT Condor +3:39
41 Luke Ryan Richardsons-Trek RT OTL
42 Andy Brown (u23) Metaltek Kuota Racing Team OTL
43 Anthony Moye Spirit Tifosi Racing Team OTL
44 Jordan Doig Wheelbase.co.uk OTL
45 Stanley Kennett (u23) Spirit Tifosi Racing Team OTL
46 Samuel Henning (u23) Richardsons-Trek RT OTL
47 James Rix Hosté TAAP Storck OTL
48 Simon Alexander Richardsons-Trek RT OTL
49 James Jenkins (u23) Richardsons-Trek RT OTL
50 William Bjergfelt Neon-Velo Cycling Team OTL
51 Tristan Robbins (u23) Raleigh GAC OTL
52 Oliver Maxwell (u23) Richardsons-Trek RT OTL
53 Tobyn Horton Madison Genesis OTL
54 Robert Orr Brother NRG OTL
55 Conn McDunphy Raleigh GAC OTL
56 Oliver Peckover (u23) 365 4 Bikes Academy OTL
57 Jeremy Durrnin Neon-Velo Cycling Team OTL
58 Matt Clarke Neon-Velo Cycling Team OTL
59 Matthew Clegg (u23) Beacon Roads CC OTL
60 Oliver W Bates (u23) Wellingborough Cycles Race Team OTL
61 Elliott Porter Neon-Velo Cycling Team OTL
62 Joshua Wallis Velo-One Cycling Team OTL
63 Alex Hunt (u23) Flamme Rouge Cycling Team OTL
64 Tom Yiangou (u23) Neon-Velo Cycling Team OTL
65 Tom Chandler (u23) Metaltek Kuota Racing Team OTL
66 Douglas Coleman Spirit Tifosi Racing Team OTL
67 Charlie Passfield (u23) Spirit Tifosi Racing Team OTL
68 Stuart Reid Wheelbase.co.uk OTL
Leicester Castle Classic

(4 races, Tour of Reservoir, Stockton GP, Ryedale GP and Leicester Castle Classic)

1 Jonathan McEvoy Madison Genesis 89
2 Dexter Gardias BIKE Channel Canyon 88
3 Brenton Jones JLT Condor 70
4 Matthew Holmes Madison Genesis 55
5 Christopher Latham Team Wiggins 54
6 Graham Briggs JLT Condor 51
7 Ian Bibby JLT Condor 51
8 Thomas Stewart One Pro Cycling 50
9 Thomas Moses JLT Condor 50
10 Karol Domgalski One Pro Cycling 46
11 George Pym Metaltek Kuota Racing Team 46
12 Andrew Tennant Team Wiggins 46
13 Kamil Gradek One Pro Cycling 40
14 Connor Swift (u23) Madison Genesis 38
15 James Oram One Pro Cycling 38
16 Oliver Wood (u23) Team Wiggins 33
17 Will Fox Catford CC Equipe/Banks 31
18 Chris Opie BIKE Channel Canyon 30
19 Harry Tanfield BIKE Channel Canyon 27
20 Liam Holohan Metaltek Kuota Racing Team 23
21 Hayden McCormick One Pro Cycling 23
22 George Wood (u23) Richardsons-Trek RT 21
23 Alex Frame JLT Condor 20
23 Nathan Draper Team Wiggins 20
25 Joshua Hunt One Pro Cycling 18
26 Dan Fleeman Metaltek Kuota Racing Team 16
27 Gruffudd Lewis Madison Genesis 16
28 Elliott Porter Neon-Velo Cycling Team 15
29 Richard Handley Madison Genesis 15
30 Tom Mazzone Metaltek Kuota Racing Team 14
30 Joey Walker (u23) Team Wiggins 14
30 Dylan Kerfoot-Robson Team Wiggins 14
33 Enrique Sanz Raleigh GAC 14
34 Alex Paton Madison Genesis 10
34 Steele Von Hoff One Pro Cycling 10
36 Robert Scott (u23) Team Wiggins 9
37 James Knox (u23) Team Wiggins 9
38 Isaac Mundy PMR@Toachim House 9
39 James Lowsley-Williams BIKE Channel Canyon 8
39 Reece Wood (u23) 100% ME 8
41 Rory Townsend (u23) BIKE Channel Canyon 7
42 Joseph Clark Cycling Sheffield Giant Sheffie 6
42 David Lines Wheelbase Altura MGD 6
42 Bertie Newey Metaltek Kuota Racing Team 6
45 Fraser Martin (u23) Raleigh GAC 6
46 Max Stedman BIKE Channel Canyon 5
47 Jordan Doig (u23) Wheelbase Altura MGD 3
47 Edmund Bradbury JLT Condor 3
49 Jake Tanner Cycling Sheffield Giant Sheffie 2
49 Matthew Clarke Neon-Velo Cycling Team 2
51 Scott Davies (u23) Team Wiggins 1
51 Oliver Maxwell (u23) Richardsons-Trek RT 1
51 Lloyd Chapman Catford CC Equipe/Banks 1
51 Etienne Georgi Team Wiggins



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