Success for Rapha Condor in Canada
The British Rapha Condor racing team competed in the Tour de Beauce (Canada) last week and with two stage wins out of six, it was a great performance from the men in black. Arriving back in the country on Tuesday (June 16), manager John Herety and rider Kristian House were at the Tour Series race in Stoke-on-Trent that evening and back into the swing of racing here in the UK.
John explained to British Cycling that although they went into the race to do something on the overall, like any other team, they also wanted to get as much from the race as they could and that winning two stages was a terrific result for the team.
"We're very very happy with the way things turned out. I'm more than pleased to have come out of the race with two stage wins especially after we decided not to ride for the overall on the last two days due to the marking out that was going on in the race."
Above: Darren Lapthorme, former Australian Road Race champion, leads teammate Dean Downing in a Tour Series circuit race this year.
"In two years time, or even six months time, no-one is going to remember 10th place overall but they will remember stage wins. After Darren's and Matt's stage wins, we tried again on the last two stages and had Simon in the break on the penultimate day and he rode for the win but ended up 7th on the day. Then, on the final day, Darren was extremely unlucky not win the stage again when he was caught with 10k to go."
"As it happens, the riders in the lower places on the classification were riding flat out to try and put distance between themselves and the yellow jersey and it meant they caught Darren who had won stage 2. That win was confirmation of what Darren is good at and he'll go on from here."
Meanwhile, Matt Conshaw (pictured below), a new rider in the Rapha line-up for 2009, was says the manager, particularly impressive in winning his second race overseas in 2009 after winning the Shay Elliott (Ireland) earlier this year. "I'm really really pleased with Matt. On the stage, Stage 4B Criterium, I was with the staff in the pits, and was unsure who where he was going to end up because of the quality in that break."
"He won the stage though like a seasoned professional. He never panicked at all despite there being two FlyV riders in the break including the Australian circuit race champion, so they were no slouches, and he got it tactically right and they got it wrong. He sprinted on the left of the road which although it was slightly longer, it was the smoother tarmac and faster and when he came past me with 150 to go, he was definitely the fastest."
The team now resume managing their time between the Tour Series and the other road races around the country as they look ahead to the British Road Race championships at the end of the year.
The race in Summary
Tour de Beauce, Canada - Stage 1
Tuesday's first stage was an undulating 160km and Ben Greenwood and Darren Lapthorne made the early break and once this was reeled back in, Tom Southam got himself into the stage winning break, coming in 6th, ahead of the second group. The rest of the team were safely in the second group.
Darren Lapthorne was away in a break for 140km with two other riders where the maximum lead was 5 minutes, but as the bunch closed it down to 30 seconds, Darren attacked his breakaway companions to win on his own by 10 seconds on a fast closing peloton. Tom Southam was still sitting high on GC in 6th place at 16 seconds.
Kristian House and Simon Richardson got themselves into the main break of the day, getting into a group of around 20 riders. There was a real sting in the tail on this stage as the finish was at the top of Mont-Megantic which is a fearsome climb.
Speaking afterwards, Kristian said when two Columbian riders took off from the front of the break on the climb he had never seen anyone go uphill so rapidly, and Kristian is no slouch when it comes to the mountains. Most of the boys moved up on GC whilst Tom slipped back a few places.
Stage 4A Time Trial
A fine performance by Tom Southam (pictured right), coming home in 11th place to keep hold of his top ten position overall.
Stage 4B Criterium
The team were looking forward to this one as there has been plenty of criterium practice back at home with the Tour Series in full swing. Matt Cronshaw, one of the team's younger riders who is out in Canada to learn, managed to get into a four man break which included the Australian Criterium Champion. He wasn't put off by this and duly beat his breakaway companions for the stage win.
On stage 5, Simon Richardson also made it into the main break of the day, finishing 7th and gaining some time to jump up to 17th overall.
Darren Lapthorne made a good break on the last stage of the Tour, but was unfortunately caught close to the finish.