Dean Downing takes the win in Colchester (photo credit: Tour Series/VeloUK)

The only way is Rapha Condor Sharp

Dean Downing leads Rapha Condor Sharp to victory in Colchester

Dean Downing showed the rest of The Halfords Tour Series that the only way in Essex on Thursday night was Rapha Condor Sharp, winning the sprint from a five man break to help the team to a fourth win from four rounds.

Victory in Colchester was added to team wins at Durham, Aberystwyth and Peterborough to keep Rapha Condor Sharp at the top of the table, with 40 points from a possible 40, and crucially pull out a six point lead over nearest rivals Endura Racing, who could only finish fourth on the night.

Strong performances by Yanto Barker and Jeroen Janssen helped Pendragon Le Col Colnago and Team Raleigh to second and third on the night, elevating both teams in the standings, with just five points covering third to eighth with half the Series gone.

The ten teams of The Halfords Tour Series, plus guest outfit Team Corley Cycles, put on a fantastic evening’s racing in front of massive crowds in Colchester that lined the 1.6 kilometre town centre circuit.

The race kicks off in Colchester (photo credit: Tour Series/VeloUK)

Sigma Sport – Specialized’s Simon Richardson was the races’ first attacker to succeed, going it alone early on to soon be joined by Barker and Janssen.

Downing then powered away from the pack on the long drag through the line, followed by Team UK Youth’s Niklas Gustavsson.  After a couple of laps pursuit, the leading group became a quintet with their lead growing by every lap.  With 20 laps to go the lead stood at just over thirty seconds, which gradually grew until just under the minute mark.

Flying Dutchman Jeroen Janssen took the honours at the evening’s first two Boardman Bikes Sprints of the evening, and with his second place at the third and final sprint won the competition for Team Raleigh, and moved up to third in the Boardman Bikes Sprint standings.

With a Rapha Condor Sharp rider in the front group, Endura Racing came to the front in a bid to reduce the deficit, but as Ian Wilkinson tried to attack, Ed Clancy covered, and so on resulting in a stalemate.

Similarly from the front group, every time Richardson tried to attack in a bid to shed the sprinters from the break, Downing covered in the knowledge that he’d be the favourite should the outcome be decided in a sprint.

With six laps to go a crash approaching the line disrupted the chasing pack, ensuring that the front five would contest the win alone, and thanks to Downing’s persistence, no one was able to go clear.

At the sprint Downing took control, leading up the centre of the road, as Gustavsson just failed to pip on the near side with Janssen in close attendance and Barker and Richardson trailing behind.

Dale Appleby of the Metaltek team brought in the bunch sprint at the front of a Halfords orange clad peloton, with James McCallum’s eighth and Andy Tennant’s ninth ensuring that once again Rapha Condor Sharp took the honours.

With Endura Racing only claiming seventh, eleventh and twenty fifth at the line, the nearest challengers faltered to slip to six points in arrears.  Reigning Halfords Tour Series Champions Motorpoint endured another evening to forget, coming seventh to slide to sixth in the standings, twenty points off the lead.

Week Three of The Halfords Tour Series sees the Series visit Stoke-on-Trent on Tuesday 7th June and Oldham on Thursday 9th June, for the first round to take place in Greater Manchester.

Both events also see the Johnson Health Tech Women’s Grand Prix Series return to the Halfords Tour Series schedule for the second and third events of the four race series.

Round Four, Colchester, Results

Team Results

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

Individual Results

  1. Dean Downing                           Rapha Condor Sharp
  2. Niklas Gustavsson                   Team UK Youth
  3. Jeroen Janssen                         Team Raleigh
  4. Yanto Barker                             Pendragon Le Col Colnago
  5. Simon Richardson                   Sigma Sport – Specialized
  6. Dale Appleby                    Metaltek
  7. Scott Thwaites                           Endura Racing
  8. James McCallum                      Rapha Condor Sharp
  9. Andrew Tennant                      Rapha Condor Sharp
  10. Marcel Six                                   Twenty3c Orbea

Boardman Bikes Sprints winner

  1. Jeroen Janssen                        Team Raleigh

Team Standings, after Round Four

  1. Rapha Condor Sharp                         40pts
  2. Endura Racing                                     34pts
  3. Sigma Sport – Specialized                24pts
  4. Team Raleigh                                        22pts
  5. Pendragon Le Col Colnago              21pts
  6. Motorpoint Pro Cycling                   20pts
  7. Team UK Youth                                   20pts
  8. Twenty3c Orbea                                  19pts
  9. Metaltek          14pts
  10. Wilier                   6pts

Boardman Bikes Sprints standings, after Round Four

  1. Kristian House             Rapha Condor Sharp             27pts
  2. Marcel Six                    Twenty3c Orbea                       18pts
  3. Jeroen Janssen            Team Raleigh                           14pts

For more information from the Halfords Tour Series, visit: And for more images from the racing, visit Velo UK. The race report on Round 3 can be found here.

  1. […] race report on Round 4 can be found here. For more information from the Halfords Tour Series, visit: And for more […]

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