Rapha Condor Sharp on a wind swept podium (photo credit: Tour Series/VeloUK)

Rapha Condor Sharp blow the opposition away

Ed Clancy the winner in Aberystwyth, as Men in Black complete another complete sweep

Rapha Condor Sharp mastered the blustery conditions in Aberystwyth to take another clean sweep of the honours at Round Two of The Halfords Tour Series on the Welsh coast.

Olympic Champion Ed Clancy took the individual win on the night, out sprinting a select five rider group that formed in the latter stages of the race, containing second and third placed riders Chris Opie and Jonny McEvoy.

The Aberystwyth circuit (photo credit: Tour Series/VeloUK)

Endura Racing once again took second place on the evening, to stay in the hunt just two points behind Rapha Condor Sharp in the standings, with defending Halfords Tour Series Champions Motorpoint moving up to third place, following a second successive fourth placed finish.

With The Halfords Tour Series’ first ever visit to Wales getting underway after a brief to delay to allow for the running of support events that were temporarily suspended because of high winds, the action soon rewarded the hardy spectators on Aberystwyth’s sea front.

Repeated riders attempted to escape the peloton, which soon became stretched out on the circuit that combined a technical back section over a slight rise, with an open sweeping seaside section, albeit one where the riders switched from headwind to sidewind to tailwind in the blustery conditions.

Endura Racing’s Scott Thwaites was one notable attacker, while Team UK Youth’s James Stewart spent several laps out in front alone, but ultimately to no avail.

A six rider move eventually stuck as the race progressed, containing Clancy, Opie, McEvoy, Welshman Dale Appleby, Marcel Six and Evan Oliphant, with the sextet building a race winning advantage over the peloton.

With a lap to go Oliphant made his move to try and secure and help Endura overhaul Rapha Condor Sharp, but after jumping away on the leeward side of Aberystwyth Castle, Clancy made good use of the tailwind to drag himself and his companions back to the Scotsman’s rear wheel.

Having made the catch, Clancy then slowed things down in the knowledge that he was arguably the best sprinter from the bunch.  And so it proved, with the Olympian comfortably outsprinting Opie on the seafront, with McEvoy, Six, Oliphant and Appleby coming in just behind.

Ed Clancy takes the win (photo credit: Tour Series/VeloUK)

With all at stage behind it was Endura Racing and Rapha Condor Sharp leading in the main field, with Ian Wilkinson taking the bunch kick from Andrew Tennant. Kristian House’s presence in ninth secured a second team win for Rapha Condor Sharp, and a third on the bounce taking into account the final round of the 2010 Halfords Tour Series, which the men in black also won.

Pendragon Le Col Colnago enjoyed one of their best ever Halfords Tour Series events, with second on the road through Chris Opie helping them to third on the night in the team competition, a tremendous improvement on their tenth place at Durham.  Aberystwyth’s home team, containing local rider and Welsh Champion Gruff Lewis came home seventh, but remain fifth in the Series standings.

TV & Next Round

Highlights of Round Two from Aberystwyth will be shown on ITV4 at 20.00 on Friday 27th May, with a repeat on Saturday 28th May at 09.50.

Week Two sees The Halfords Tour Series make its third visit to Peterborough, on Tuesday 31st May for Round Three, before the team based Series moves onto Essex, and Colchester for Round Four on Thursday 2nd June.  Peterborough sees the return of criterium specialists Dean Downing, Dean Windsor and James McCallum to the Rapha Condor Sharp line-up, making the task of Endura Racing and the others even harder, as they seek to topple the team of John Herety from the top of the podium.

Peterborough also plays host to Round One of the new for 2011 Johnson Health Tech Women’s Grand Prix Series, which will see Britain’s top female cyclists competing in a four round city centre race series.  The Women’s Grand Prix gets underway at 17.00, with the men’s Halfords Tour Series race beginning at 19.00.

Round Two, Aberystwyth, Results

Team Results

  1. Rapha Condor Sharp
  2. Endura Racing
  3. Pendragon Le Col Colnago
  4. Motorpoint Pro Cycling
  5. Sigma Sport – Specialized
  6. Twenty3c – Orbea
  7. Team UK Youth
  8. CyclePremier.com – Metaltek
  9. Team Raleigh
  10. Wilier GoSelfDrive.com

Individual Results

  1. Ed Clancy                  Rapha Condor Sharp
  2. Chris Opie                  Pendragon Le Col Colnago
  3. Jonny McEvoy            Motorpoint Pro Cycling
  4. Marcel Six                  Twenty3c – Orbea
  5. Evan Oliphant             Endura Racing
  6. Dale Appleby              CyclePremier.com – Metaltek
  7. Ian Wilkinson              Endura Racing
  8. Andrew Tennant          Rapha Condor Sharp
  9. Kristian House            Rapha Condor Sharp
  10. Scott Thwaites            Endura Racing

Boardman Bikes Sprints winner

  1. Kristian House             Rapha Condor Sharp

Team Standings, after Round Two

  1. Rapha Condor Sharp                          20pts
  2. Endura Racing                                   18pts
  3. Motorpoint Pro Cycling                       14pts
  4. Team Raleigh                                     10pts
  5. Team UK Youth                                  10pts
  6. Twenty3c – Orbea                               10pts
  7. Pendragon Le Col Colnago                  9pts
  8. Sigma Sport – Specialized                   8pts
  9. CyclePremier.com – Metaltek               6pts
  10. Wilier GoSelfDrive.com                        5pts

Boardman Bikes Sprints standings, after Round Two

  1. Kristian House             Rapha Condor Sharp                27pts
  2. Jonny McEvoy             Motorpoint Pro Cycling            11pts
  3. Ian Bibby                     Motorpoint Pro Cycling            8pts
  1. […] For more information from the Halfords Tour Series, visit: http://www.tourseries.co.uk And for more images from the racing, visit Velo UK. The race report on Round 2 can be found here. […]

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