Graham Briggs takes the win (photo credit: Tour Series/VeloUK)

Graham Briggs leads Rapha Condor Sharp to hat trick

Rapha Condor Sharp keep up their unbeaten record in 2011 Halfords Tour Series

Rapha Condor Sharp added victory in Peterborough on Tuesday evening to wins at Durham and Aberystwyth as they made it three wins from three in The Halfords Tour Series.

It wasn’t just the team win heading the way of the men in black, who are rapidly becoming the men in Halfords orange.  Graham Briggs took the individual win on the night, joining teammates Zak Dempster and Ed Clancy who took victories in Rounds One and Two of the Series.

Briggs headed home teammate Dean Downing and Scott Thwaites of Endura Racing, who once again took the runners-up spot behind Rapha Condor Sharp, to keep themselves in the hunt for The Halfords Tour Series title.

Reigning Champions Motorpoint Pro Cycling endured an evening to forget, coming home a disappointing ninth, with their best placed rider Malcolm Elliott in 25th position, thus unable to replicate the victory by their women’s team earlier in the day in the opening round of the Johnson Health Tech Women’s Grand Prix Series,

With large crowds and sunny skies, conditions were far more benign than for Round Two in Aberystwyth, leading to a race run off at high speeds, meaning attacks had to work hard to stay away for just a handful of laps.

Team Raleigh’s Matt Cronshaw was the first rider to go it alone, being joined a lap later by Ed Clancy, Magnus Backstedt and two others, but next time around it was just Olympian Clancy a few lengths clear of the field, illustrating the ever changing complexion of the race.

Clancy was often towards the front during the race, which came all back together again for the final time with five laps remaining.  From then on Endura Racing and Rapha Condor Sharp kept the pace high to deter any last ditch attacks bringing the race down to a final bunch sprint.

There was plenty of Halfords orange at the front in the sprint, with Briggs narrowly heading home last year’s Peterborough winner Dean Downing for his first Halfords Tour Series win since the first ever Tour Series round, at Milton Keynes in 2009.

Behind Downing’s second place and Clancy’s sixth ensured a comfortable victory, with the fourth Rapha Condor Sharp rider in the top ten, James McCallum, not even having to come into play in the unique team based series, where a team’s result is calculated on the lowest finishing position for a team’s leading three riders.

It wasn’t all Rapha Condor Sharp on the night though, with the three intermediate Boardman Bikes Sprints falling to James Stewart (Team UK Youth), Peterborough rider Steve Lampier and Tom Murray (both Sigma Sport – Specialized).  Thanks to points gained on the night, Marcel Six moved into second in the standings in the Boardman Bikes Sprints, pulling on the yellow jersey of leader thanks to the absence of Kristian House.

Halfords Tour Series leaders Rapha Condor Sharp (photo credit: Tour Series/VeloUK)

Rapha Condor Sharp now lead the way in the overall Halfords Tour Series standings by three points from Endura Racing, with Sigma Sport – Specialized in third, eleven points behind.

Colchester returns to The Halfords Tour Series schedule on Thursday evening.  In 2009, the last time the Essex venue hosted Tour Series racing, Tom Southam won for Rapha Condor Sharp after an impressive attacking ride.  Rivals of Rapha Condor Sharp will hope that history doesn’t repeat itself in 2011, as they bid to put an end to their winning run.

Round Three, Peterborough, Results

Team Results

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

Individual Results

  1. Graham Briggs                      Rapha Condor Sharp
  2. Dean Downing                       Rapha Condor Sharp
  3. Scott Thwaites                      Endura Racing
  4. Marcel Six                               Twenty3c – Orbea
  5. Jason White                   – Metaltek
  6. Ed Clancy                                 Rapha Condor Sharp
  7. Ian Wilkinson                         Endura Racing
  8. Magnus Backstedt                Team UK Youth
  9. Rafa Rodriguez Segarra      Twenty3c – Orbea
  10. James McCallum                   Rapha Condor Sharp

Boardman Bikes Sprints winner

  1. Marcel Six                    Twenty3c – Orbea

Team Standings, after Round Three

  1. Rapha Condor Sharp                            30pts
  2. Endura Racing                                         27pts
  3. Sigma Sport – Specialized                    19pts
  4. Twenty3c – Orbea                                   17pts
  5. Motorpoint Pro Cycling                       15pts
  6. Team Raleigh                                            14pts
  7. Team UK Youth                                       14pts
  8. Pendragon Le Col Colnago                  12pts
  9. – Metaltek            11pts
  10. Wilier                        5pts

Boardman Bikes Sprints standings, after Round Three

  1. Kristian House              Rapha Condor Sharp
  2. Marcel Six                      Twenty3c Orbea
  3. Jonny McEvoy             Motorpoint Pro Cycling

For more information from the Halfords Tour Series, visit: And for more images from the racing, visit Velo UK. The race report on Round 2 can be found here.


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