Location: Canary Wharf, Docklands, London
Event: 31 May 2012
Endura Racing bounced back into winning form at Canary Wharf, led by Australian Zak Dempster, to win both the individual and team honours, extending their lead at the top of The Halfords Tour Series to 11 points.
Dempster outsprinted breakaway companions Mike Northey, Chris Opie and World Track Champion Andy Tennant at the end of the hour long race, to take his second ever Halfords Tour Series win, following his Durham victory in 2011.
Behind Peterborough winner and Olympic Gold medallist Ed Clancy led in the bunch sprint for fifth, but with Endura’s Scott Thwaites and Russell Downing taking seventh and ninth the victory went the way of Endura, their fifth of the 2012 season.
Downing had kick started the evening’s success, leading his Clifford Chance team to victory in the IG Markets Canary Wharf Corporate Grand Prix ProAm relay
“It was pretty easy for me”, said Downing, “The guys had done all the hard work so it was pretty cruisey. It’s very windy out there tonight so all these guys did awesome out there.”
Yanto Barker took the honours in the evening’s Boardman Bikes Sprints competition, but once again it was Australian Bernard Sulzberger of Team Raleigh – GAC who kept hold of the yellow jersey and now enjoys a ten point lead over Metaltek Scott’s Marcel Six.
With Endura Racing out in front with five points scoring opportunities left (Stoke-on-Trent round includes two events), the chasing pack are all jostling for what looks like being the runners-up spot. Rapha Condor Sharp currently occupy second, despite not winning a round yet, two points ahead of Team UK Youth.
Team Raleigh – GAC are fourth, a point ahead of Node4 – Giordana, before a fifteen point gap down to Cycle Premier – Kovert in sixth.
At the bottom of the standings, the gap has closed up so the three lowest placed teams, Team Hope Factory Racing, Herbalife LeisureLakesBikes and Metaltek Scott are separated by four points, with a maximum of fifty still available.
Dropping the flag for The Halfords Tour Series’ London round was World Champion Mark Cavendish, who later made an appearance to present the winning Endura team on the Canary Wharf podium.
“It’s wicked to be here and to see the racing,” said Cavendish. “When Mick (Bennett) explained the format it is really good. I’ve been watching on TV so I wanted to come down and watch it and it’s been really good.”
Highlights of Round Seven are on ITV4 on Friday 1 June at 8pm, while Torquay welcomes The Halfords Tour Series back to the South West after a year’s absence, hosting Round Eight on Tuesday 5 June, the first round of the Series to take place in Torbay, South Devon’s Beautiful Bay.
IG Markets Canary Wharf Corporate Grand Prix winners: Clifford Chance and Russell Downing (Endura Racing)
Round Seven Individual Result
1. Zak Dempster, Endura Racing
2. Mike Northey, Node4 - Giordana Racing
3. Chris Opie, Team UK Youth
4. Andy Tennant, Rapha Condor Sharp
5. Ed Clancy, Rapha Condor Sharp
6. Rico Rogers, Node4 - Giordana Racing
7. Scott Thwaites, Endura Racing
8. Stephen Adams, Cycle Premier - Kovert
9. Russ Downing, Endura Racing
10. James Stewart, Team UK Youth
Round Seven Team Result
1. Endura Racing
2. Node4 - Giordana Racing
3. Rapha Condor Sharp
4. Team UK Youth
5. Cycle Premier - Kovert
6. Team Raleigh - GAC
7. Team IG - Sigma Sport
8. Team Hope Factory Racing
9. Metaltek Scott
10. Herbalife Leisure Lakes Bikes
Overall Team Standings, post-Round Seven
1. Endura Racing, 66pts
2. Rapha Condor Sharp, 55pts
3. Team UK Youth, 53pts
4. Team Raleigh - GAC, 50pts
5. Node4 - Giordana Racing, 49pts
6. Cycle Premier - Kovert, 34pts
7. Team IG - Sigma Sport, 28pts
8. Metaltek Scott, 18pts
9. Herbalife LeisureLakesBikes, 16pts
10. Team Hope Factory Racing, 14pts
Boardman Bikes Sprints winner Canary Wharf: Yanto Barker (Team UK Youth)
Boardman Bikes Sprints standings, post-Round Seven
1. Bernard Sulzberger, Team Raleigh - GAC, 65pts
2. Marcel Six, Metaltek Scott, 55pts
3. Kristian House, Rapha Condor Sharp, 32pts