The Rapha-Condor squad won the team race at Stoke-on-Trent at round 7 of the Tour Series, while Team Halfords Bikehut moved to the top of the series leader board, finishing second in Stoke.
The Rapha-Condor squad took the Team win on the night, with some great riding from a strong quintet including Chris Newton and Dean Downing.
The tight, technical and relatively hilly Stoke circuit was always going to suit those lighter, punchier riders, and in particular the Candi TV-Marshalls Pasta team.
However as Rob Hayles and the Halfords squad stretched their legs on the front after five laps it was clear that the bigger guys in the Tour Series field were going to have something to say about that.
As the first sprint of the night passed – taken easily by Rapha-Condor man Chris Newton – a group of five riders put the hammer down and caused a considerable split in the group, which was already beginning to thin after 15 minutes.
A perky and fresh-back-from-Canada Rapha-man Kristian House led the field through, as the select foray was quickly pulled back into order.
After all of the talk of the big four Teams at the Tour Series is was good to see the likes of www.cyclingbargains.com and Sigma Sport mixing it heavily at the front, however Rapha-Condor seemed to have the bit between their teeth for this one, and an attack by James Cambridge was closed down by Kristian House. Candi TV, Halfords and Madison were playing a cagey game at this point as the stakes become higher and higher in this 10-round Series
If nothing else tonight’s round showed that the Tour Series is a team event, and with five laps left it was great to see a small break of six riders containing riders from the Sigma Sport, Sport Beans, Halfords, Endura, Corley Cycles and Rapha-Condor teams. The finish was to be a multiple rider, and multiple team affair.
With two laps to go Evan Oliphant tried desperately to ride out to the finish, however with four Halfords riders on the front of the chasing group this was always going to be a big ask. The team of the last three rounds had left it until the final 2 kms to show their hand but Candi TV were going to make a fist of it as the whole field rounded the last corner.
200m to go and Russell Downing, Ian Wilkinson and Dean Downing were spread across the road, and the Candi TV- Marshalls Pasta rider was not to be denied, as he took the win in front of the ‘home’ crowd of the Potteries based squad.
Team Results – Round 7 – Stoke on Trent
- Rapha – Condor
- Team Halfords Bikehut
- Candi TV – Marshalls Pasta
- Sports Beans – Wilier
- Sigma Sport Cycling Team
- Team Corley Cycles
- Endura Racing
- BMC UK Racing Team
Individual Results – Round 7 – Stoke on Trent 16.06.09
- Russell Downing CANDI TV – MARSHALLS PASTA
- Ian Wilkinson TEAM HALFORDS-BIKEHUT
- Dean Downing RAPHA-CONDOR
- Chris Newton RAPHA-CONDOR
- Malcolm Elliot CANDI TV-MARSHALLS PASTA
- Andy Tennant TEAM HALFORDS BIKEHUT
- Stephen Adams MADISON.CO.UK
- Kristian House RAPHA-CONDOR
Mark McNally TEAM HALFORDS BIKEHUT
- Marcin Bialoblocki SPORT BEANS-WILIER
Team Standings after Round 7
- Team Halfords Bikehut 65 points
- Candi TV – Marshalls Pasta 64 points
- Rapha – Condor 63 points
- Madison.co.uk 62 points
- Sigma Sport Cycling Team 37 points
- Sports Beans – Wilier 35 points
- Team Corley Cycles 29 points
- Endura Racing 19 points
- www.cyclingbargains.com 17 points
- BMC UK Racing Team 15 points
Tour Series dates
Round eight: 18 June, Colchester
Round nine: 23 June, Chester
Round 10: 25 June, Southend-on-Sea