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Thwaites leads team to victory at Tour Series in Kirkcaldy
Scott Thwaites led Endura Racing to Individual and Team wins in the opening round of the Halfords Tour Series in Kirkcaldy last night.
It was a brutal start to the crit season with the riders lined out down the right hand side of the home straight each lap and the longer the race went on, the more the splits started to happen in the groups with riders one by one pulling out into the pit area.
A dangerous looking break containing Dean Windsor, Ed Clancy and Kristian House (both Rapha Condor Sharp) briefly flourished, but they were reigned in setting up a thrilling finale.
The final laps on the 1.4km circuit around Kirkcalcdy's town centre saw Team UK Youth at the front of the lead group, with Yanto Barker leading out a well drilled team but they were unable to prevent Scott Thwaites jumping out of the final turn onto the esplanade with 500 metres to go to go to power to victory, outsprinting an Antipodean trio of Bernard Sulzberger (Team Raleigh-GAC), Rico Rogers (Node4 - Giordana ) and Dean Windsor.
With teammates Windsor and Jonathan McEvoy placing fourth and eighth, Thwaites’ Endura Racing team took the team honours to pull on the five orange Halfords Tour Series leader’s jerseys.
It was a good race and the circuit was really good. Nice and technical circuit with some rain on that paving making it quite slippery. Everyone was a bit shocked at the start I think, the first crit of the season, it was really tough and it got the heart going.
UK Youth are a well drilled team and all credit to them, they massed at the front with a few laps to go and you could really see they were up for it. Yanto did a really good turn but we were also there. We said we weren’t going to go for the lead out because that automatically writes one man off so the four of us tried to stay at the front and with it being such a technical circuit, there wasn’t a lot of passing.
I just managed to get into second place round the back of the circuit and then out of the double left hander halfway round I just thought I might as well take it up now because the straights between there and the finish are very short so I hit out at 500 to go on my own and it was a bit wet but I thought on these sort of circuits, you have to take the odd risk to win so I did and I managed to open up a gap round the corners.
My legs were so tired at the end, it was such a shock with it being the first crit of the season so I got my head down and absolutely ragged it all the way to the finish. I’m happy with the win. It’s early doors in the series but it’s good to get a great start like this.
It was brutal at the start and Rapha put us under pressure with two of them getting away with Dean but we didn’t panic and worked hard to bring it back and that paid off .
I like to attack, that’s the way I like riding and I know that Endura Racing are a strong team and the harder the race is, the better chance we have at the end and I so I rode from the front. I found myself in a few good breaks. I also found myself in a horrible break with two Rapha but I had to mark that one, take a breather and as soon as that got caught, I could race again.
I love being out there, I love the series and the crowd, it’s really nice to be back for a third year and I like riding like that and it’s easier riding from the front than the back. The more you’re off the front, the more people are struggling behind.
On recovering well from the Lincoln GP, he says “I love Lincoln. I had a slow start to the year with sickness and now my form has come good I’m trying to move up the pointy end of the races and I’m hungry to get a win and it’s nice to have team win here tonight. I’m looking forward to the rest of the series.
I think it was good seeing other teams mixing it up tonight. We knew we had to play an attacking game. We talked about a lot of scenarios last night and they knew what they had to do. Early on I wasn’t too happy as they were on the back foot a bit as Dean was isolated out there. They sensed they had to shut it down and didn’t have time to sit and wait.
It’s a very good start to win in Scotland and the boys knew the sponsors were here tonight and were well up for it and did a good job.
You can catch all of the action from The Halfords Tour Series exclusively on ITV4 once again this summer - click here to see the up-to-date transmission schedule.
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Report and photos by Larry Hickmott | www.VeloUK.net