Superman flies to victory in Woking
Wilkinson leads Endura Racing to the win in Woking, but Rapha Condor Sharp keep lead
Ian ‘Superman’ Wilkinson completed his comeback from an early season injury to lead home teammate Scott Thwaites in an Endura Racing 1-2 in Woking, also handing the Scottish squad the team win on the night.
Wilkinson turned in an impressive performance, riding across a 30 second gap to join five leaders, who he then outsprinted in the Woking finale.
With teammate and Stoke-on-Trent round winner Thwaites taking second, Jack Bauer picked up ninth from the front of the main field to give Endura Racing their second successive round win in the unique team based Series. Leaders Rapha Condor Sharp picked up second on the night to ensure their advantage slipped to just six points going into the Canary Wharf final round on Thursday 16th June.
The popular Woking round proved to be the most tactical race of The Halfords Tour Series so far, with the big teams all closely marking the moves of their rivals.
When the main move did get away after around half an hour of racing it contained Endura’s Thwaites, Motorpoint’s Johnny McEvoy, Rapha Condor Sharp’s Dean Windsor and Sigma Sport – Specialized’s Simon Richardson.
The quartet smoothly pulled out a gap on the peloton, but behind one rider wasn’t content that he had missed the winning move.
Having already picked up the honours at the first Boardman Bikes Sprint of the evening, Steve Lampier set about riding across the gap, taking a handful of laps to join his teammate Richardson in the front group at their team’s home round.
Next to try his luck at bridging to the leading five was Wilkinson, with the Endura rider taking around four laps to ride himself across the half a minute gap. Several riders tried to follow Wilkinson, but each were marked by rival teams, as Sigma Sport – Specialized in particular did their best to limit any further riders joining Lampier and Richardson up front.
With five laps to go and pace behind slackening, Ian Bibby leapt clear from the field on the rise towards the finish line, quickly establishing himself in the no-man’s land between the leaders and the peloton. Bibby would close to within 20 seconds of the front six, but ultimately ran out of laps in his chase. Such was the nature of the race however, Motorpoint knew that any advantage on the bunch could be crucial when it came to calculating the team standings.
Come the final sprint and the Endura Racing pairing of Wilkinson and Thwaites were all over it, the pair comfortably heading their breakaway companions on the drag to the line, with Thwaites raising an arm in celebration as Wilkinson led him home for a perfect team performance.
Behind the rear wheels of the pair came last year’s Woking winner Windsor, with Lampier and McEvoy close behind for fourth and fifth respectively. Richardson crossed the line sixth, the mini-sprint not suiting him at all, with Bibby rolling across the stripe in seventh all by himself.
Dean Downing led in the peloton ahead of Bauer and Tobyn Horton, as Rapha Condor Sharp, Motorpoint and Endura did battle for the crucial team placings.
Endura Racing comfortably took the win, while Motorpoint and Rapha Condor Sharp tied on placings, with Windsor’s third place ahead of McEvoy’s fifth being the tie breaker that put the Series leaders second and last year’s Champions third.
A good home round for Sigma Sport – Specialized saw them come fourth, to cement that position in the overall standings, with Lampier also moving into the joint lead of the Boardman Bikes Sprints competition with Kristian House. With the Rapha Condor Sharp rider not riding at Canary Wharf, Lampier can take the title with just a solitary point, providing other results go his way.
Also a winner in Woking was Pendragon Le Col Colnago’s Chris Opie, who picked up a £100 cash prize for an additional sprint prime, donated on the night by an anonymous benefactor.
Following a testing month of competition, the ten teams of The Halfords Tour Series will go head-to-head for one final round of the unique team based Series in Canary Wharf on Thursday 16th June at 19.00
Raising the curtain on Round Eight of the 2011 Halfords Tour Series will be the Canary Wharf Corporate Grand Prix at 18.00, seeing eight household corporate names from the world famous business and shopping district, going head-to-head in a ProAm relay.
Round Seven, Woking, Results
- Endura Racing
- Rapha Condor Sharp
- Motorpoint Pro Cycling
- Sigma Sport – Specialized
- CyclePremier.com – Metaltek
- Team UK Youth
- Twenty3c Orbea
- Pendragon Le Col Colnago
- Team Raleigh
- Wilier GoSelfDrive.com
- Ian Wilkinson Endura Racing
- Scott Thwaites Endura Racing
- Dean Windsor Rapha Condor Sharp
- Steve Lampier Sigma Sport – Specialized
- Johnny McEvoy Motorpoint Pro Cycling
- Simon Richardson Sigma Sport – Specialized
- Ian Bibby Motorpoint Pro Cycling
- Dean Downing Rapha Condor Sharp
- Jack Bauer Endura Racing
- Tobyn Horton Motorpoint Pro Cycling
Boardman Bikes Sprints winner
- Steve Lampier Sigma Sport – Specialized
Team Standings, after Round Seven
- Rapha Condor Sharp 67pts
- Endura Racing 61pts
- Motorpoint Pro Cycling 46pts
- Sigma Sport – Specialized 42pts
- Team UK Youth 36pts
- Team Raleigh 34pts
- CyclePremier.com – Metaltek 32pts
- Pendragon Le Col Colnago 29pts
- Twenty3c Orbea 29pts
- Wilier GoSelfDrive.com 9pts
Boardman Bikes Sprints standings, after Round Seven
- Kristian House Rapha Condor Sharp 27pts
- Steve Lampier Sigma Sport – Specialized 27pts
- Marcel Six Twenty3c Orbea 18pts