Team Bike Sale
Late crash scuppers chances of win in Torquay
After another night where the riders from Endura Racing were at the forefront of the racing in the Halfords Tour Series, a crash on the final corner of the race took out Scott Thwaites and with it, the aim of a team and individual victory.
Prior to the race, sporting director Julian Winn said the team need to be guarded against complacency despite their eleven point lead and those words rang out in the final 200 metres of the race. Everything was looking good for the team. From the start, they had been aggressive and first Jonny McEvoy featured in a dangerous looking break that was away for a long time and then in the final ten laps, Scott Thwaites was part of a trio that went clear with a handful of seconds on a chasing peloton.
Into the bell lap, Thwaites with Chris Opie (Team UK Youth) and Marcin Bialoblocki (Node 4-Giordana) had enough of lead to carry to the finish but into the final corner with the bunch closing, Opie dived into the bend with too much speed, understeering wide and took both himself and Thwaites into the barriers on the outside of the last turn.
The only hope for the team victory was for our riders to pack them in at the front of the bunch and Zak Dempster certainly did that, finishing second and winning the bunch kick but with Jonny McEvoy in 7th and Ian Bibby in 15th, it wasn’t enough to bring the team another victory. Although the evening hadn't gone to plan we still increased our lead and now have a twelve point cushion over Rapha Condor Sharp with three rounds to go.
It’s racing, and Chris has been going well and up there in quite a few races and he wanted to go for the win which is fair enough. In a team event, second is better than nothing so I am really disappointed.
I went where I wanted to go, into the corner first, and I felt good for the sprint but there is nothing you can do if someone comes up the inside who’s unable to take the corner. It is one of those things but I can’t help but be very disappointed because I felt I had a good chance of taking the win with the way I rode.
I am going well and for sure, I would have podiumed again with three of us away. There are still three more rounds for me to try and get another win.
The race felt a bit slower than the other night (Canary Wharf) and a little bit more negative. We put people up the road and went with moves but the other teams, I’m not sure if everyone was really hurting but it did seem more calm tonight. I would have been happier had it been more aggressive but we ride to win the race.
I finished a three day block yesterday so I did a fair bit of riding [at home in Girona]. I went out riding with Ryder Hesjedal so that was pretty cool. I think I may be stronger on Thursday because of the hours I did on the weekend.
We went into it like every other one wanting to be aggressive rather than be on the back foot. I was quite active and I got away on my own for about two laps and then Matt Cronshaw (Node 4-Giordana) came across and it felt like we were away for a long time but we were caught as the bunch got going for a sprint. It put the pressure on the others though.
Breaks came and went and then Scott got away but unfortunately he got put into the barriers. The course was very good. It was a bit greasy early on, a bit sketchy, but after a while you got to find out where the grip was. I enjoyed it.
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