Report: Colne Grand Prix

Report: Colne Grand Prix

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7th Colne Grand Prix

Story posted July 14, 2010; Round 5 of the Elite Circuit Series | by Cheryl King and Larry Hickmott | Sponsored by Barnfield Construction and supported by Pendle Borough Council

VIDEO: Race footage plus video interviews with three of the riders -- click here to view

Dean Downing, back with a bang in Colne and only days before the National Circuit Race Championship in Beverly.

In the most nail biting finish of the series so far, Dean Downing (Rapha Condor Sharp) won the Colne Grand Prix ahead of local favourite Ian Wilkinson (Endura Racing) and Stafford winner, Ed Clancy (Motorpoint Marshals Pasta).

In front of thousands of people in Colne town centre, the Elite Circuit Series race was a cracker from the word go with Rapha Condor Sharp and Motorpoint Marshals Pasta doing their best to break the race up. Despite the all important National Championships being held on Friday, no-one was holding back and when a break got away with more than one or two riders from the big teams in it, it looked like race over. The peloton looked more than happy to let the break go but then the break split when Dean Downing and Ed Clancy got away.

Dutchman Jefte De Bruin of Kuota Road CC leads the chase after the two leaders. Behind him though are teammates of the two leaders and so this part of the break was quickly caught by the peloton.

Soon, what was left of the break behind Downing and Clancy was also sitting up and being caught by the bunch which was the signal for Endura to try and close the leaders down for their series leader, Ian Wilkinson. At first, the Endura push didn’t yield much but then Downing started to attack Clancy who has a formidable reputation earnt from being an Olympic record holder.

Bit by bit, the lead of the duo up front started to fall and as the bunch caught sight of them, the advantage for Downing and Clancy was in freefall. At the bell, the bunch could be seen almost within touching distance of the leaders and it was anybody’s guess as to whether the break was going to be caught. The answer was yes but so late was the catch, Downing threw his bike round the final corner in a do or die attempt at staying clear which he did all the way to the line to win by a length from Ian Wilkinson who sprinted past Clancy who held on for third.

Aussie Dean Windsor didn't hang round at the start and was soon on the attack to get things going in Colne.

More Slideshows from the event : Cheryl King  | Ian McVety 

Post Race Reactions
Dean Downing (Rapha Condor Sharp): Explaining what happened in the last few laps when it appeared he was trying to attack Ed and get away, Dean says “I just thought I was going to have to try and weaken him a little bit because you know what he’s like when he gets those 1800 watts or whatever it is wound up. So I put in some attacks with a few laps to go just to try and weaken his legs and it must have worked!

I went hard until the last corner because I knew if I could get in front of Ed for the last two corners, maybe I could hold Ed off because if he gets going, he’s hard to get round and he proved that in Stafford. So I attacked into the last corner and Ed tried to get up the inside. I came out of that corner with a gap on the peloton and went for it.

I was scraping my pedals on the last two corners! It was good to win tonight and it’s nice beating an Olympic Record holder” he said smiling as he looked at Ed being interviewed opposite him.

The team has been riding really well and we have had the men in the break and not pulled it off so tonight to get three in the break and keep attacking and get away before taking the victory was good for me but even better for the team and the sponsors.

Dean Downing leads sprint winner on the night Andrew Magnier. Also in the break were Jon Locke, Ed Clancy, Ian Wilkinson, Jefte De Bruin, Kristian House, Dean Downing, Malcolm Elliott and Pete Williams.

Before the start, Dean was talking about how he has been doing some hard training on the turbo to get some form for the Nationals this weekend and how that form was ‘in the post’. “I was hoping it would come a bit later like Friday at 8pm! It’s been an up and down couple of months. I had a win in Exeter and then had two weeks off with a bad back injury and then came back and had two races where my back went again.

I have been getting treatment on that and have been training now for a while and I am searching for some form but I seem to have found some tonight and hopefully I can hold on and see how we go on Friday in Beverly for the big one.

We’re in good shape. The team are doing well and hopefully we’re on a winning streak now. The confidence is there in the team and we’ll take that forward to Friday night.

Podium and something seems to have caught the eye of Ed Clancy, Dean Downing and Ian Wilkinson?

Ian Wilkinson (Endura Racing): “I said to the other lads when we got away, you have got the numbers here and I was going to struggle to win and I’ll be happy with some points.  Then Ed and Deano clipped off and I wasn’t too bothered and we were riding round and all of sudden the bunch had come back to us. Davy Lines was then absolutely brilliant and took us up with four and five to go and kept us at the front and then Rob did a lap before Scott Thwaites at the end gave us an awesome leadout last lap and we caught them on that last corner.

It all went bit crazy and them two (Ed and Dean) were just in front and it was a really good sprint all the way and I had good legs. Come round Ed at the end and Dean just hung on. It was brilliant here in Colne. I had some awesome support, Jayne, Mum and Dad and all my friends. I did a lot of PR for this locally so its good to show my face on the podium.

Ed Clancy (Motorpoint Marshals Pasta):  World and Olympic Champion Ed Clancy of Motorpoint Marshalls Pasta after the race explained how he hadn't planned to race so hard ahead of Friday's Crit nationals. “The idea was to try and save myself for this weekends racing. We are racing on Friday and Sunday and I don’t recover that well so I was going to stay in the bunch and take it easy”.

With both Rapha Condor Sharp and Motorpoint Marshalls Pasta keen for a win, Ed though found himself in a move with Dean Downing where the two riders opened up a sizeable lead on the chasing group. Asked did he think he could beat Dean if it came down to a sprint, he replied, “I was tired and the only chance I had to beat Dean was to try and slow him down on the finishing straight, make it almost like a track sprint”.

Olympic Champion Ed Clancy and former Circuit race champion Dean Downing try and stay clear of the rampaging group of riders behind them lead by the team of local favourite Ian Wilkinson.

But with the peloton closing in, there wasn't much time for cat and mouse. So did Ed think they would stay away? “I was tired so fair play to Dean. He took it up from the front and had the legs. He'd won the race from almost half a lap out. He got on the front with me on his tail and he just rode me off his wheel down the front straight”.

With the National Circuit Championships this Friday followed by a Premier Calendar race on Sunday, we asked Ed what his thoughts were about the coming races. “I’m pretty tired after tonight but Ian Bibby has been going well in the crits as has Johnny McEvoy and Malcolm Elliott. We’ll have to wait and see but as long as it’s somebody from the team, I'll be happy!"

Video of the race

Regional B Support Race (by Cheryl King)
(more photos from Cheryl King here)

The riders in the Support race are eager to be at the front as organiser Ivor Armtsrong talks to one of them on the left. Photo: Cheryl King.

A field of 55 riders lined up in the historic market town of Colne on Wednesday evening for the Colne Grand Prix Regional B Support Race. Looking on from the other side of the barriers, a large and enthusiastic crowd had gathered to watch the riders race for 45 minutes round the 900 metre town centre circuit.

Though rain had been forecast, as the riders took to the start line it was a warm and pleasant evening with a party atmosphere in the air. After being flagged away at 7pm, the early laps of the race saw the riders stay close together, however, it wasn’t long before riders began to test the legs of their competitors.

Early attacks by Luke Boulton (Teamwallis – CHH) and Mark Shackleton (Ellis Briggs R.T) saw the race liven up before Dave Haygarth (Wheelbase/Cannondale) and Craig Gath both made numerous attacks throughout proceedings.

After winning the event the year before, the Herbalife/Wheelbase team were on the attack again this year with Dave Haygarth the rider pictured. Photo: Cheryl King.

With 10 laps to go, dark clouds were gathering overhead and flashes of lightening could be seen lighting up the sky which all added to the tension of the race entering its final period. The change in the weather also saw the pace increase further in the race with some cracks starting to appear in the long line of riders. But, as often happens, the riders at the front sat up and the peloton were once again back together.

More attacks followed by Julian Judge (VC Lincoln) and Tom Armstrong (Ribble Valley Juniors) with Craig Gath still featuring prominently in the race. Despite many riders trying to make their mark on the race, nothing was getting away and the race came down to a big bunch kick on the downhill slope to the line where the winner in Dumfries at the end of May, Bill Nickson (Bill Nickson Cycles) claimed first place ahead of James Notley and Ashley Marshall.

Bill Nickson, winner of the support race in Dumfries, repeated that by winning again in Colne.

The Races in Photos

Once the peloton had caught what was left of the break, Endura Racing took up the challenge of bringing it back together.

Colne yet again came out in their thousands to watch the racing around the town centre.

Ashley Marshall (VS Cycles), Bill Nickson (Bill Nickson Cycles) and James Notley (Team Goldtec)

Two of the girls who were in the Men's and Women's Support race, Hannah Shenton (Paul Milnes/Bradford Olympic) and Katie Fearnehough (Rapha Condor CC).

The evening's racing started with some Go-Ride racing for the youngsters from Cycle Sport Pendle.


Elite Circuit Series Race (Provisional Result, Queries to

1. Dean Downing, Rapha Condor Sharp
2. Ian Wilkinson, Endura Racing
3. Ed Clancy, Motorpoint Marshals
4. Dean Windsor, Rapha Condor Sharp
5. Peter Williams, Motorpoint Marshals Pasta
6. Jonny McEvoy, Motorpoint Marshals Pasta
7. Jon Mozeley, Kuota Road CC
8. Matt Cronshaw, Rapha Condor Sharp
9. Malcolm Elliott, Motorpoint Marshals Pasta
10. Stuart Reid, Herbalife/Wheelbase
11. Steve Lampier, Pendragon, Le Col Colnago
12. Tom Murray, Sigma Sport Specialized
13. Jeroen Janssen, Kuota Road CC
14. Kit Gilham, Sigma Sport Specialized
15. Will Bjergfelt, Wilier/Big Maggies/Prendas
16. Paul Oldham, Hope Factory Racing
17. James Sampson,  Motorpoint Marshals Pasta
18. Richard Hepworth, Cycle Metaltek
19. Tom Barrass, Raleigh
20. Tom Moses, Glendene CC
21. Ian Bibby,   Motorpoint Marshals Pasta
22. Stephan Adams, Sigma Sport Specialized
23. Scott Thwaites, Endura Racing
24. Andrew hAwdon, Herbalife/wheelbase
25. Simon Wilson, Cycle
26. Andy Tinsley, Kuota Road CC
27. David Clarke, Pendragon Le Col Colnago
28. Steven Burke,  Motorpoint Marshals Pasta
29. Ian Field, Science in Sport
30. James Moss, Endura Racing
31. James Gullen Team Wallis CHH
32. Jefte de Bruin, Kuota Road CC
33. Jonathan Tiernan Locke, Rapha Condor Sharp
34. Richard Bott, Herbalife/Wheelbase
35. Evan Oliphant, Endura Racing
36. Tom Last, Sigma Sport Specialized
37. Rob Hayles, Endura Racing
38. Andrew Guy, Science in Sport
39. Rob Partridge, Endura Racing
40. Martin Woffindin, Sportcity velo
41. Ash Finn,
42. David McGowan, Kuota Road CC
43. James MacCullum, Endura Racing
44. Andrew Magnier, Cycle Metaltek
45. Kristian House, Rapha Condor Sharp
46. Andy Coupe, Team Wallis CHH
47. Chris Newton, Rapha Condor Sharp
48. David Lines, Endura Racing

Support Race
1. Bill Nickson, Bill Nickson Cycles
2. James Notley, Team Goldtec
3. Ashley Marshall, VS Cycles
4. Dave Haygarth, Wheelbase/Cannondale
5. Josh Penrice, Sport City Velo
6. Jonny Ratcliff, Team JD Cycles
7. Luke Boulton, Team Wallis CHH
8. Tom Armstrong, Ribble Valley Juniors
9. Dan Shoreman, Yorkshire Velo
10. Paul Woodrow, Team Aspire
11. John Hodkinson, All Terrain Cycles
12. Julian Judge, VC Lincoln
13. Andrew Mitchell, Ellis Briggs RT
14. Guy Laycock, GMP Racing Team
15. Jerrod Hartley, Cleveleys RC
16. Adrian Rudd, Dirtwheels Cycles
17. Paul Molyneaux, Bill Nickson Cycles
18. James Warren, Bill Nickson Cycles
19. Clive Davis, Lune RCC
20. Matthew Bulmer, Dirtwheels Cycles
21. James Drive, Cycle Sport Pendle
22. Craig Gath, Yorkworks
23. Daniel Walmlsey, Dirtwheels Cycles
24. Hamish Graham, South Dublin CC

Related Links
For more information, visit
Event Website:

More Picture Slideshows from the event : Cheryl King  | Ian McVety 

Round 1: Dumfries Bikefest
Round 2: Otley Town Centre Races
Round 3: Stafford Grand Prix
Round 4: Get Connected Wales Circuit races