Report: Elite Circuit Series Dumfries

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Report: BikeFest in Dumfries Town Centre

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Story posted May 28, 2010; by Larry Hickmott

The opening round of the British Cycling 2010 Elite Circuit Series was held in Dumfries (Scotland) on Friday night where many of the best male and female riders competed in their respective events. Part of the Dumfries Bikefest weekend of cycle events, the big winners on Friday were Ian Wilkinson (Endura Racing) in the Men's Elite Circuit Series event and Hannah Barnes (Motorpoint Marshals Pasta) in the Women's Circuit Race.

Slideshow from the night's racing

Reports

Women's Criterium

Scottish champion Jane Barr with Catherine Williamson, Hannah Barnes and Corrine Hall.

The night kicked off with the Women's Criterium over 30 minutes and a few laps around the town centre of Dumfries. With quite a few Juniors in the race, there were gear checks before these riders joined the likes of international Catherine Williamson (Rapha Condor CC) for their race which is part of the Women's National Series.

With only 30 minutes to race, there was no time for any rolling around to get a feel for the circuit and riders such as Catherine Williamson, Corrine Hall (Team Corridori) and Hannah Barnes (Motorpoint Marshals Pasta) were keeping the pace high. As the race went on,  the group started to get smaller as riders were dropped from the leading group but despite the aggression from some of the riders, no break was able to escape.

The three favourites, WIlliamson, Barnes and Hall, all at the front and attacking the race.

Each lap, spectators heard the riders coming before they saw them as the sound of carbon wheels bouncing on the cobbles rang out in the town centre's square.  The pace was relentless and soon the crowd was treated to the sight of a lone leader as Sarah King (Langdale Lightweights), tapping out a steady tempo came into view.

Behind her, the chasers bided their time but as the laps went by, and the gap remained between them and the lone leader, some in the chase group were growing impatient. As the race entered the final few laps, the lead for King continued to shrink until she was caught and another rider tried her luck, Kara Chesworth (Dysynni CC).

That break for freedom also failed to stick and with a handful of laps to go, the riders readied themselves for the gallop. The sprint though was seemingly a cakewalk for Barnes, who raised her arms in victory well before the line had even been reached, so quick was she up at sprinting up the cobbled hill to the finish.  Afterwards, Hannah spoke how much she enjoyed the event and wishing there were more like it. It was certainly a masterful performance from the junior.

Results for this race are below.

Elite Circuit Series race

A picture of a man who needed that win -- Ian Wilkinson beats Dean Downing and Ed Clancy for the first Elite Circuit Series event of 2010.

The second event of the night was the first round of the 2010 Elite Circuit Series over one hour and five laps of the town centre. Many of the riders had competed in the Tour Series the night before with many more coming into the race fresh.

The circuit was well thought of by the riders with its twists and turns and although it climbed a little, they were nothing more than small drags on paving stones rather than full blown cobbles. So unlike the race in Durham where there was a steady start to learn the course, in Dumfries the gas was turned on from the word go.

Within a lap or so of the start, the attacks started to come and kept on coming in what turned out to be an enthralling race in the centre of Dumfries. There may have not been the TV cameras and the glamour that goes with the Tour Series but the racing was every bit as hard, if not harder.

With the Elite Circuit Series being an individual race, the riders keen for a victory were let off the leash to go for the glory of the win and as Dean Downing explained later, whilst teams are working together more these days, that only goes to make these Elite Circuit races such hard races as riders take turns to attack for the benefit of teammates or themselves.

Sigma on the front row at the start.

Dean Downing’s teammates in Rapha Condor Sharp were certainly noticeable by their constant aggression but Endura too were keen to have a go at getting their first major victory of the year on British soil as was Will Bjergfelt of the Wilier Big Maggies Prendas team. In the mix too was perhaps the man of the moment, Malcolm Elliott who won the Tour Series in Durham and also Tony Gibb who won the Tour Series in London.

It made for the most fascinating of races and provided the proof that these races are ripe for being covered on TV because those not there in Dumfries missed a cracker.  It was a case of attack, attack and more attacks. Many of the moves were short lived but a lone dig by Ian Wilkinson (Endura Racing) was impressive as he opened up a healthy gap for a while. Soon the peloton, which had been shedding the odd rider here and there, split into two and many of the favourites were in the lead group.

Winner on Thursday Malcolm Ellliott was in the mix on Friday as well until a clash at the end finished off his hopes for another victory.

These included Malcolm Elliott and Ed Clancy (Motorpoint Marshals Pasta), Dean Downing, Graham Briggs and Darren Lapthorne (Rapha Condor Sharp), Ian Wilkinson, James MacCallum and Evan Oliphant (Endura), Will Bjergfelt (Wilier/Big Maggies/Prendas). 

But even after the split, still the attacking came and as one attack failed, another would be launched. It was non-stop and despite the frantic pace, the gap to the peloton led by Dave Clarke (Pendragon) never got very far. At one stage, it looked like Clarke was going to drag the peloton with the likes of Tony Gibb in it up to the break but a puncture a lap from the finish for Clarke ended his hopes of a top placing.

There was more drama to add to the incessant action when Malcolm Elliott and James McCallum came back to the pits having tangled on the top bend.  Unfortunately for them, whilst they were waiting to get back into the race, a break went up the road. Evan Oliphant, Will Bjergfelt, Dean Downing and Ed Clancy got away and on it quickly was Ian Wilkinson. Then Darren Lapthorne did likewise leaving Stephen Adams and Graham Briggs to be swallowed by up the Clarke train.

What a race it was as the riders entertained the spectators with a display of awesome agressive bike racing.

The attacks at the front continued apace with Darren Lapthorne especially doing his best to get clear of the break but nothing was getting away and it was going to come down to a sprint. With Lapthorne leading out Dean Downing, the Rapha Condor Sharp rider was in the box seat but a small mistake on the final bend was all Ian Wilkinson needed to go for the kill and the rider who was probably the hungriest for victory, flexed his muscles to kill off any challenge and scream in celebration as he notched up his third victory in two weeks and the team’s biggest win of the year so far in a National Series.

Post Race Reactions:

Ian Wilkinson: The Endura Racing rider loves to win but after the victory in Round 1 of the Elite Circuit Series, the Lancashire rider was clearly pumped up for this race and was still buzzing minutes later when British Cycling caught up with him. “We needed that win. There is a lot of investment in this team this year and up until now we’ve been knocking on the door but today that door opened. And to win in Scotland after missing out on the overall at the Tour of DoonHame, it is just awesome to win here for Jim and Endura.

The lads were great and we were all over it tonight as were Rapha. It was great to have them on the back foot after they’ve had it all their own way so far due to the quality of their riders and riding.  It was good once the split happened. We had Jimmy Mac who is an excellent sprinter and on form, Evan was closing everything down and sticking the digs in too, we just worked it real well.

Rapha had us on the back foot for a little in the middle but then it faltered a little and we went on the attack.” Asked to describe the sprint, he said “it was hairy; tight and hairy which is how I like it.  Evans closed it down round the back after Lappers led it out and we knew we had to be first or second into the last corner. There was a bit of a headwind so I opted for second. Deano went in a bit deep and clipped the barrier a little bit and I just rolled it out. I just wanted it really badly.”

If we can win on Sunday, that will be awesome”.

Podium for the Elite Circuit Series, Ed Clancy, Ian Wilkinson and Dean Downing.

Dean Downing (Rapha Condor Sharp): “I messed the last corner up right and proper. Lappers gave me a perfect lead out and our team rode fantastic tonight. Having had a rest from last night (Durham) I was really up for tonight. We went out there and attacked the race but so did everyone else. Team riding seems to be catching on and everyone is riding together which is making it interesting and making the race a lot faster and more aggressive.

All of us, Zak, Kristian, Briggsy and so on were attacking and if you can break the race up, it can gives you better numbers in the lead group. These are just as hard as the Tour Series races.

I knew I had to be first into the corner because it is so hard to come round a rider on cobbles and up hill as well and I got a perfect lead out into the corner off Lappers wheel but was going too fast round the corner and just clipped the barriers and had to freewheel out of the apex. I lost all my speed and if you give Wilko half a chance, he’s going to take it.

So I’m disappointed I didn’t take the win but second is a good start to the Elite Circuit Series.

 Asked why the attacks weren’t sticking and whether that was down to the strength in-depth in these races, he replied “The UK scene certainly has a lot more strength in-depth across the teams especially with more foreigners coming in like we have with our team. It is going to be an interesting year.

Ed Clancy (Motorpoint Marshals Pasta): After helping his team to a victory in the hilly round of the Halfords Tour Series at Durham, Ed Clancy got himself onto the podium despite suffering big time. To begin with when asked about the course, he replied cheekily “There are beautifully paved roads all over the country yet race organisers manage to find the roughest, unpaved roads they can find!

Everytime up the hill I kept getting dropped and when Bjergfelt was on the front for the final four or five laps riding a strong tempo it was enough to dump me out the back on the climb and I’d have to fight my way back through the corner at the bottom of the hill. So third was a great result for me today because right from the off, I was like ‘man this hurts’.

I made the front split of perhaps 15 or 20 riders early on, and I was like, this is okay, but I need Malcolm to make the split when it splits again so I can do my job to keep it together. I knew he was going well and he’d do them in the sprint, or at least have a good chance. But with people attacking I ended up in the front group when it split and I had a prayer that Malcolm would get across to the front. It didn’t happen and Malcolm had a close call and he had to go back to the bunch and was out of the game.”

Category 3/4s

The final race of the night was the one for category 3 and 4 riders over 30 minutes and two laps. With the light fading, Bill Nickson won the sprint for the win from a group of around a dozen riders.

Results

Elite Circuit Series Race

1.  Ian Wilkinson Endura Racing E 01:02:52
2.  Dean Downing Rapha Condor Sharp E same time
3.  Ed Clancy Motorpoint Marshalls Pasta E same time
4.  Evan Oliphant Endura Racing E same time
5.  Will Bjergfelt Big Maggies/Willier/Prendas E same time
6.  Darren Lapthorne Rapha Condor Sharp E 6
7.  Graham Briggs Rapha Condor Sharp E 12
8.  Andrew Tennant Motorpoint Marshalls Pasta E same time
9.  Stephen Adams Sigma Sport - Specialized E same time
10.  Tony Gibb CyclePremier.com - Metaltek E same time
11.  Kristian House Rapha Condor Sharp E same time
12.  Malcolm Elliott Motorpoint Marshalls Pasta E same time
13.  Stuart Reid Herbalife / Wheelbase 2 same time
14.  David Lines Endura Racing E same time
15.  James McCallum Endura Racing E same time
16.  Tom Murray Sigma Sport - Specialized E same time
17.  Andy Tinsley Kuota RoadsCC E same time
18.  James Moss Endura Racing E same time
19.  Gareth Montgomery Sigma Sport - Specialized E same time
20.  Tom Last Sigma Sport - Specialized E same time
21.  Callum Wilkinson Endura Racing 1 16
22.  Zak Dempster Rapha Condor Sharp E 23
23. Casey Monro Pendragon - Le Col - Colnago E 24

Women’s Circuit Race
1.  Hannah Barnes Motorpoint/Marshalls Pasta 2 28:25:00
2 . Corrine Hall Team Corridori 2 1
3. Catherine Williamson Rapha Condor CC E same time
4.  Kara Chesworth Dysynni CC 2 same time
5.  Leanne Thompson Vanillabikes.com 1 same time
6.  Hannah Waker GS Surosa 2 same time
7.  Sarah King Langdale Lightweights RT Jun same time
8.  Marianne Britten Max Gear RT E same time
9.  Jane Barr Stirling BC 3 same time
10.  Natalie Creswick Twickenham CC 2 same time
11.  Katy Winton Glentress Riders Jun at 1 Lap
12.  Victoria Wade VC Moulin 3 at 1 Lap
13.  Hannah Shenton Paul Milnes/Bradford Olympic Jun at 1 Lap
14.  Gabriella Shaw Bang & Olufsen / Chevin |Cycles Jun at 1 Lap
15.  Claire MacAulay Johnstone Wheelers 3 at 1 Lap
16.  Louise Eden MaxGearRT 2 at 1 Lap
17.  Laura Murray Deeside Thistle CC 3 at 1 Lap.

Men’s Support Race
1.  Bill Nickson Bill Nickson Cycles 3 28:45:00
2.  Neil Pearson Dumfries CC 3 same time
3.  Rob Nicholson Classic Walls 3 same time
4.  Kris Delaney Infinity Cycles/Breezeblockers  I same time
5.  Andrew Ralston Perth United CC 3 same time
6.  Chris Pritchard Dumfries CC 4 same time
7.  Terrence McMahon Glasgow Ivy CC 4 same time
8.  John Paterson Dumfries CC 4 same time
9.  Jack Taylor Drumlanrig / Ricks Bike Shed Jun 6
10.  John Moir Dumfries CC 4 7
11.  David Doherty Dumfries CC 4 same time
12.  Ewan Murray Deeside Thistle CC 4 at 1 Lap
13.  Steve McCreadie Classic Walls 4 at 1 Lap
14.  Aaron Wright Peebles CC 4 at 1 Lap
15.  Davie Graham Glasgow United CC 4 at 2 Laps

Related Links
Preview Elite Circuit Series
National Series Standings

Women's National Series Home Page

Great Britain Cycling Team kit 15/16