Halfords Bikehut made it a hat-trick at round six of the Tour Series in Southport yesterday evening (11 June) as they scored their third win on the trot. The team's Ed Clancy took the individual win after escaping early on with three other riders.
As the Candi TV and Halfords boys hit the front on lap one it was apparent that this was going to be another high-tempo round. It was good to see some of the early exchanges being shared by the Sport Beans – Wilier and Endura Racing squads.
Approaching the first sprint of the night, round five winner Rob Hayles moved up a gear and took
An attack after 15 minutes by a select group of four riders was almost a carbon copy of the Blackpool race on Tuesday, with the top four teams all placing a rider in the break. The only difference on this occasion was the make-up, of Ed Clancy, Chris Newton, Tony Gibb and Graham Briggs.
The ‘Iceberg’, Will Bergfjelt, desperately tried to spoil the party as he aired his Sport Beans – Wilier colours in an effort to bridge the 22-second gap that the escaping four had amassed after 25 minutes of the hour.
But the relentless pace from the Madison, Candi TV, Rapha – Condor and Halfords teams meant this attempt was destined to fail, and as the second sprint of the night came and went the foursome swapped positions and Tony Gibb took the win.
Cyclingbargains’ Jason White and James MaCullum from Endura ensured that the big four teams were not able to shut things down. Not that the teams of Halfords and Candi TV were happy to just sit and watch, as Rob Hayles, Mark McNally, Russell Downing and Ian Bibby made constant forays off the front, creating mini-break after mini-break.
Tony Gibb made sure of a successful night for Madison.co.uk by taking the third sprint, and the crown of the king of the Southport sprints. Fifty minutes gone and it was beginning to look like the four riders were not to be caught, as the gap was now at 28 seconds.
Seven laps to go and the four became three as Graham Briggs found the pace too hard. As he drifted back to the chasers, Briggs’ demise heralded the Candi TV – Marshalls Pasta riders to mass at the front and raise the tempo to an average speed above 30mph. With five laps to go the main field began to see some frantic activity at the head of affairs, but it was apparent that Clancy, Newton and Gibb would not be caught.
With three laps left only 30 of the 50 riders were left on the circuit, as many had found the pace too hard. Into the last lap the leading trio began to settle themselves for the inevitable sprint. As they came into view for the last time on Lord Street it was Halfords’ Ed Clancy who simply had too much for Gibb and Newton.
The bunch sprint for fourth was won by Rob Hayles, and with Ian Bibby in sixth, Halfords secured another great team win. Candi TV – Marshalls Pasta hold onto the slenderest of leads as the Tour Series now moves south on Tuesday (16 June) to Stoke-on-Trent for round seven.
|1 Halfords Bikehut|
|3 Candi TV – Marshalls Pasta|
|4 Rapha – Condor|
|7 Sigma Sport Cycling Team|
|6 Sports Beans – Wilier|
|8 Endura Racing|
|5 Team Corley Cycles|
|10 BMC UK Racing Team|
|1 Ed Clancy (Halfords Bikehut)|
|2 Tony Gibb (Madison.co.uk)|
|3 Chris Newton (Rapha – Condor)|
|4 Rob Hayles (Halfords Bikehut)|
|5 Russell Downing (Candi TV – Marshalls Pasta)|
|6 Ian Bibby (Halfords Bikehut)|
|7 Ian Wilkinson (Halfords Bikehut)|
|8 John Mozely (Madison.co.uk)|
|9 Tom Barras (Madison.co.uk)|
|10 Dean Downing (Rapha – Condor)|
|Overall team standings after round six|
|1 Candi TV – Marshalls Pasta||56pts|
|2 Team Halfords Bikehut||55|
|4 Rapha – Condor||51|
|5 Sigma Sport Cycling Team||32|
|6 Sports Beans – Wilier||29|
|7 Team Corley Cycles||25|
|8 Endura Racing||16|
|10 BMC UK Racing Team||14|
For full results, see the Tour Series website, www.tourseries.co.uk.
Tour Series dates
- Round seven: 16 June, Stoke-on-Trent
- Round eight: 18 June, Colchester
- Round nine: 23 June, Chester
- Round 10: 25 June, Southend-on-Sea