City of Preston Circuit Races
There was non-stop action through out the day in Preston today as cycle racing took over the city centre with two major events among the many races held.The big winners on the day were Hannah Barnes and Kristian House. Below is a video of the Elite Circuit Series race and following that are reports on the two major events (Women's Circuit Race Championship and the Men's Elite Circuit Series race) as well as photos and results.
Women's Circuit Race Championships
Junior Hannah Barnes, wiped away her disappointment at not being selected by the Great Britain Cycling Team for the Junior Worlds by adding the senior title to the youth one she won a few years ago whilst Corrine Hall was second and former world champion and record holder Joanna Rowsell third.
A senior title for Junior Hannah Barnes who wins the Women's Circuit Race Championship. Hear what Hannah and the medallists had to say afterwards by clicking here.
Race Report -- First Year Junior, Hannah Barnes (Motorpoint Marshalls Pasta), is the Women's National Circuit Race Champion. The 17 year old rider kept her cool in the company of Joanna Rowsell, Corinne Hall and Kara Chesworth as the four of them battled for the three medals on offer on the tight town centre circuit based around Preston Market.
With the sun shining and crowds lining the barriers, the bunch of twenty two women got off to a very fast start which immediately saw riders out of the back. Soon, the lead group of a dozen was lapping riders and it was here, according to multi-paralympic champion Sarah Storey, that a split happened in the lead group. With lapped riders getting mixed up in the leaders for a short distance, a rider let a wheel go and soon a gap of 10 seconds opened up which saw riders such as Storey in the wrong half of the split.
Within a few laps, the select group of Rowsell, Chesworth and youngsters Barnes and Hall were working well together and holding the chase group lead by Storey at bay. World championship medallist Joanna Rowsell looked to be the most aggressive of this small group, attacking every time up the short drag of Orchard Street leading to the finish area in the covered market.
Welsh Commonwealth Games selected team rider Kara Chesworth displayed all the form from her superb season by keeping the pace high on the fast descent of the Ringway onto Friargate, with Corinne Hall working well to keep the leading group up the road. Joanna Rowsell made a couple of attempts to ride clear but the other three were quick to respond and stuck to her wheel.
Into the final couple of laps and it was a nail biting contest. Not only to see who could stay the pace in the front group under the pressure of Rowsell, but also whether the Storey lead chase group, still only 10 or so seconds behind, could bridge the gap in time for the finish. Alas, no, they couldn't despite the leaders beginning to watch each other with the pace dropping considerably on the final lap.
It was Corinne Hall who was first into view at the bottom of Orchard Street, and first into the final corner but Barnes and Rowsell had her covered. Kara Chesworth was off the pace as the top three flew up towards the finish spread across the cobbled road. Into the covered Victorian Market, Rowsell and Hall had no answer to Hannah Barnes sprint and she took victory with enough time to milk the applause from the Preston crowd. A superb win for this very talented young woman.
Champion! Hannah Barnes (centre) is presented with the British Cycling championship winners jersey as well as a Gold medal. Left is Silver medallist Corrine Hall and right, bronze medallist Joanna Rowsell. The victory for Barnes was all the more special as it came on the sixth day straight of racing after she competed in the Assen Youth Tour last week and won the Junior Women category before returning the next morning to make the start of the Women's Championship thanks to some sterling work from her injury father! Photo: Andrew Kennedy
British Cycling Men's Elite Circuit Series (Final Round)
After his win in the Premier Calendar last week, Rapha Condor Sharps Kristian House wins yet another race in the Preston GP ahead of teammate Dean Windsor. Hear what Kristian and the other riders had to say afterwards by clicking here.
Race Report - A gladiatorial battle took place on the streets of Preston for the final round of the Elite Circuit Series. With only 32 points separating leader Ian Wilkinson (Endura) from arch rival Dean Downing (Rapha Condor Sharp) and 70 points on offer during the race, the team of Rapha Condor Sharp were intent on doing everything they could to snatch series victory from Wilkinson's Endura squad.
As race commentator Hugh Porter introduced the riders, Downing and Wilkinson kept their distance from each other and you could feel the tension in the air. It was obvious to the large crowd they were going to be treated to an exciting race.
Hostilities began as soon as the flag was dropped. Graham Briggs (Rapha Condor Sharp) attacked into the first corner and by the time the race had completed the first lap, the large field of riders were in one long line. With Briggs back in the peloton, it was the turn of Dean Windsor and Kristian House to launch the second wave of Rapha Condor Sharp's frontal attack. These two pulled away gaining 3 seconds a lap on the splintered field, lapping riders until they could see the back of the main peloton. With very little prospect of anyone catching House and Windsor, the race for the Elite series overall was taking place in the peloton.
Elite Circuit Series Race: Dean Windsor and Kristian House got away in the very early stages of the race and stayed away despite many attacks from behind.
Overall leader at the start, Ian Wilkinson, was in all sorts of trouble. The Rapha Condor Sharp attacks had left him looking weak and vulnerable at the back of the race as he was dropped on more than one occasion. In the Rapha pits, the manager John Herety could see the prospect of Wilkinson not even finishing and urged his riders on at the front while Wilkinson's team mates had to give the series leader a helping hand just to get him back into the race. Endura riders Scott Thwaites, Rob Hayles and James Moss took on the job of looking after Wilkinson at the back as Rob Partridge, Alex Blain, Jack Bauer and David Lines covered all the attacks at the front.
The Rapha Condor Sharp plan was simple and involved keeping the race as fast as possible. Chris Newton and Dean Downing took on the job and with the help of Dan Craven, Ben Greenwood and Graham Briggs they dominated the front end of the peloton. Rob Partridge and David Lines for Endura tried to disrupt the flow and helped keep their man Wilkinson in contention.
Ian Wilkinson is a living legend in this part of the country, a full time builder up until last year, he has a reputation as a hard man, a battler, rugged in appearance and a no nonsense approach to cycling. What ever happens, he can never be written off. With a huge part of the crowd shouting for him, he managed to claw his way back into the race. With the Preston race tied up, with either House or Windsor taking the victory on the day, the battle for the series continued in the peloton.
Three laps to go and incredibly Wilkinson was back up in the middle of the main group surrounded by his team mates. Dean Downing and his squad had worked hard to drop Wilko and all their efforts looked to be wasted. On the bell and the Rapha Condor Sharp duo of Kristian House and Dean Windsor were getting ready to fight for the win whilst 45 seconds behind Wilkinson had suddenly found his wings and was rapidly moving through the group up towards the front of the race.
It was Kristian House who took a great and deserved win at Preston from team mate Dean Windsor, but their manager John Heretys' smile soon disappeared when Wilkinson flew up Orchard Street at the head of the sprint to claim 5th spot ahead of rival Dean Downing. Jeroen Janssen (Kuota Road CC) benefitted from the battle of the top two teams to secure a brilliant 3rd place at Preston.
In an example of the international flavour of the Elite Circuit Series, Dutchman Jeroen Janssen of Kuota Road CC beats Frenchman Alexandre Blain (Endura Racing) to the line for third. An Australian, Dean Windsor was second. Photo: Andrew Kennedy.
Wilko had done it and won the season long Elite Circuit Series, but the Rapha Condor Sharp team were not happy. Manager John Herety approached chief commissaire Peter Deary to voice his dissatisfaction about the conduct of the Endura team in getting Wilkinson back into the race. After Deary had consulted with judges around the circuit and spoke to a number of riders, he made the decision that the result would stand.
The British Cycling Elite series had again proved to be exciting, aggressive, and exhilarating to watch, with heroes and villains, winners and losers and a touch of controversy, just what the cycling public wants to see. Fantastic.
Final Standings in Series
1. Ian Wilkinson, Endura Racing 334
2. Dean Downing, Rapha Condor Sharp 298
3. Dean Windsor, Rapha Condor Sharp 235
4. Ed Clancy, Motorpoint - Marshalls Pasta RT 217
5. Matt Cronshaw, Rapha Condor Sharp 159
6. Kristian House, Rapha Condor Sharp 156
7. Jeroen Janssen, Kuota - road.cc 155
8. Jonathan McEvoy, Motorpoint - Marshalls Pasta RT 139
9. Graham Briggs, Rapha Condor Sharp 120
10. Peter Williams, Motorpoint - Marshalls Pasta RT 93
National Series Home Page
Hear what the riders had to say afterwards ... After both races, British Cycling was on the spot to talk to the riders from the two big events. Click here to see the interviews
Kristian (I have to buy a motorbike now')House with his present from Fiat for winning the Preston Grand Prix. On the left, Dean Windsor concentrates on getting the champagne open and on the right is Jeroen Janssen. Photo: Andrew Kennedy.
Photo slideshow of the day's racing
Photos of the Women's Championship and Elite Circuit Series Race
Elite Circuit Series Race (interviews)
Dean Downing puts the hammer down in the peloton as he chases the victory in the series. Photo: Andrew Kennedy.
Andy Magnier of CyclePremier/Metaltek on the charge. Photo: Andrew Kennedy.
Dan ''this is a road race right' Craven keeps up the pressure in the bunch to try and dislodge series leader Ian Wilkinson from the chaser group. Photo: Andrew Kennedy.
Team Endura's very strong team were kept busy chasing the break at first and then making sure their rider Ian Wilkinson stayed in the chase group to protect his series lead. David Lines leads the chase here. Photo: Andrew Kennedy.
After a brilliant series, winning three of the first four, Ian Wilkinson had an awful day, being dropped several times as the peloton strung out and splits ocurred. He did though have a strong Endura Racing team behind him all the way and held on to take the series. Photo: Andrew Kennedy.
Rapha Condor Sharp put men at the front when they saw the series leader from Endura in trouble and did their best to try and drop Wilkinson but found the local man to far too stubborn and he held on to win the series with 5th in the Preston finale. Photo: Andrew Kennedy.
Rob Partridge attacks as Endura try to get men up the road to prevent Dean Downing having the opportunity to score enough points to take the series of Ian Wilkinson. Photo: Andrew Kennedy.
The big group that started the Elite race was soon loosing riders as the course which climbed up to the finish every lap (950 metres long) was found to be a lot tougher than many expected. Less than a quarter of the starters finished. Photo: Andrew Kennedy.
Women's Circuit Race Championship (interviews)
Women's National Series winner Kara Chesworth leads the break of four through the Victorian Market building. The other riders were Hannah Barnes, Corrine Hall and Joanna Rowsell.
Joanna Rowsell on the attack... Photo: Andrew Kennedy
Start of the Women's Circuit Race Championship: Photo: Andrew Kennedy
Hannah Barnes pulls on the British Champion's stripes, not for the first time, as the Gold medal awaits her. Photo: Andrew Kennedy
Elite Men's Circuit Race
1. Kristian House, Rapha Condor Sharp
2. Dean Windsor, Rapha Condor Sharp
3. Jeroen Janssen, Kuota Road CC
4. Alex Blain, Endura Racing
5. Ian Wilkinson, Endura Racing
6. Dean Downing, Rapha Condor Sharp
7. Will Bjergfelt, Wilier/Big Maggies/Prendas
8. Tom Murry, Sigma Sport Specialized
9. John Tanner, Sportscover
10. Matthew Gee, Raleigh
11.Scott Thwaites, Endura Racing
12. James Moss, Endura Racing
13. Tom Last, Sigma Sport Specialized
14. Jack Bauer, Endura Racing
15. Paul Oldham, Hope Factory Racing
16. David Lines, Endura Racing
17. Jefte de Bruin, Kuota Road CC
18. Dan Craven, Rapha Condor Sharp
19. Rob Partridge, Endura Racing
20. Andrew Magnier, Cyclepremier.com/Metaltek
21. Ben Greenwood, Rapha Condor Sharp
Elite Circuit Series Overall
1. Ian WIlkinson, Endura Racing
2. Dean Downing, Rapha Condor Sharp
3. Dean WIndsor, Rapha Condor Sharp
British Women's Circuit Race Championship
1. Hannah Barnes, Motorpoint Marshals Pasta
2. Corrine Hall, Team Corridi,
3. Joanna Rowsell, West Pennine CC
4. Kara Chesworth, Dysynni CC
5. Nicole Juniper, PCA Ciclos Uno
6. Sarah Byrne, Motorpoint Marshals Pasta
7. Sarah King, Langdale Lightweights
8. Sarah Storey, Horizon Fitness RT
1. Johnny Ratcliffe Team JD Cycles Ilkley
2. Thomas Armstrong Ribble Valley Juniors
3. Chris Lawless Sportcity Velo
4. David Abram Southport C.C.
5. Alex Minting Planet X
6. Paul Molyneux Bill Nickson Cycles
7. Tom Dalton Bill Nickson Cycles
8. Dan Higham Lancashire R.C.
9. Hamish Graham South Dublin C.C.
10. John Crellin Manchester Wheelers
Category A Boys
1 Jacob Scott Holme Valley Wheelers
2 Chris Lawless Sportscity Velo
3 Ryan Mullen Planet X
Category A Girls
1 Hannah Layland V.C. St. Raphael
2 Jessie Walker Dinnington
3 Eve Dixon Salt Ayre Cogset
Category B Boys
1 Jack King Langdale Lightweights
2 Fabio Close Sub7bikes R.T.
3 Dylan Kerfoot-Robson Rhos on Sea C.C.
Category B Girls
1. Harmonie Waterman Holme Valley Wheelers
2. Mellissa Lowther Wakefield Junior Tri Club
3. Ffion James Abergavenny R.C.
Category C Boys
1. Reece Wood AireValley R.T.
2. Leighton Sharman Eastlands Velo
3. Archie Stewart Mossley CRT
1. Solomon Kerfoot-Robson Rhos on Sea C.C.
2. Tom Stuart Southport C.C.
3. Megan James Abergavenny R.C.
4. Tiras Waterman Holme Valley Wheelers
1. Matthew Egglestone Border City Wheelers
2. Bejamin Peatfield Bolton Hot Wheels
3. Adam Hathaway Bolton Hot Wheels
Round 1: Dumfries Bikefest
Round 2: Otley Town Centre Races
Round 3: Stafford Grand Prix
Round 4: Get Connected Wales Circuit races
Round 5: Colne Grand Prix
Round 6: Blackburn Grand Prix
Round 7: York City Centre Races