Team Bike Sale
Endura Racing extend lead in Peterborough
Endura Racing increased their lead in the Halfords Tour Series in Peterborough on Tuesday after getting two riders in the race's winning break and then finishing second as the peloton sprinted for the line to end up second on the night to Raleigh-GAC, with the width of a wheel separating the two teams.
There were two changes made un the line up as Dean Windsor was injured after his crash in Aberystwyth last Friday and to help strengthen the team, Russell Downing and Zak Dempster joined Jonny McEvoy, Scott Thwaites and Ian Wilkinson on the line in Peterborough.
After a night of bad luck in Aberystwyth on Friday, the team came into the very fast Peterborough round ready to take the race on from the front which they did from the start. Breaks came and went with one of the latter ones being a two up move from Jonny McEvoy and Kristian House (Rapha Condor Sharp). When this was caught, Scott Thwaites countered in a textbook move and took two riders with him. They opened up a small lead and were soon joined by three more including Zak Dempster, making his debut in this year's series.
Thwaites and Dempster helped by Bernie Sulzberger (Raleigh-GAC) drove the move hard to make sure it stayed away. That work didn’t help any of them in the final gallop won by Ed Clancy (Rapha Condor Sharp) but it was the team win they were after and they lost that by the smallest of margins. Despite losing Russell Downing who was taken out by another rider four laps from the end, Ian Wilkinson did his best to win the bunch kick but last year's winner in Peterborough, Graham Briggs (Raleigh-GAC) came off his wheel and piped Wilkinson on the line which was enough to give Raleigh-GAC the team win.
Despite being second, and losing a point to Raleigh-GAC, we increased our lead from six points to nine points over Rapha Condor Sharp in second with UK Youth and Raleigh-GAC in third, 10 points behind.
Jonny McEvoy had a go and when it came back, I had a dig and I looked behind and there were three of us (Dan Holloway and Matt Cronshaw) away and it was the three of us for a while out front. Then three more came across with Zak (Dempster) and Bernie Sulzberger and as we and Raleigh had two in the break, it was up to our two teams to ride.
We put a big effort in which took the edge off our sprint where it was 50/50 with us and Raleigh. Holloway was second, I was third, Zak was fifth and Bernie sixth and so it came down to the bunch kick. This circuit was a lot easier, it was not as explosive out of the corners, quite flowing but it was a hard race again. The pace was on all the time and so it was important to stay at the front.
I'm disappointed to get second in the team race as well as the individual but Ed had an advantage as he was the only Rapha in the break and it was up to us to ride. Canary Wharf on Thursday had better look out!
Someone hit a barrier they'd been past 45 times and decided to go over it with four to go. So I ended up on the deck right in the middle of the bunch. I didn't crash hard, just ran over and landed on a bike ...
The race was quick and I felt better in the last half, just peeved I crashed. It's totally different to the road racing I have been doing. The team were strong in the second half and had numbers in the break which was brilliant and we shut the chase down.
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.
Click here for results and series standings from the Halfords Tour Series
Report and photos by Larry Hickmott | www.VeloUK.net