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Report: Tour Series Round 4 - Colchester
Event: 2nd June 2011
Colchester Town Centre
Dean Downing leads Rapha Condor Sharp to victory in Colchester
Above: Dean Downing celebrates after winning the sprint in Colchester. (image: Tour Series/Larry Hickmott)
Dean Downing showed the rest of The Halfords Tour Series that the only way in Essex on Thursday night was Rapha Condor Sharp, winning the sprint from a five man break to help the team to a fourth win from four rounds.
Victory in Colchester was added to team wins at Durham, Aberystwyth and Peterborough to keep Rapha Condor Sharp at the top of the table, with 40 points from a possible 40, and crucially pull out a six point lead over nearest rivals Endura Racing, who could only finish fourth on the night.
Strong performances by Yanto Barker and Jeroen Janssen helped Pendragon Le Col Colnago and Team Raleigh to second and third on the night, elevating both teams in the standings, with just five points covering third to eighth with half the Series gone.
The ten teams of The Halfords Tour Series, plus guest outfit Team Corley Cycles, put on a fantastic evening's racing in front of massive crowds in Colchester that lined the 1.6 kilometre town centre circuit.
Sigma Sport - Specialized's Simon Richardson was the races' first attacker to succeed, going it alone early on to soon be joined by Barker and Janssen.
Downing then powered away from the pack on the long drag through the line, followed by Team UK Youth's Niklas Gustavsson. After a couple of laps pursuit, the leading group became a quintet with their lead growing by every lap. With 20 laps to go the lead stood at just over thirty seconds, which gradually grew until just under the minute mark.
Flying Dutchman Jeroen Janssen took the honours at the evening's first two Boardman Bikes Sprints of the evening, and with his second place at the third and final sprint won the competition for Team Raleigh, and moved up to third in the Boardman Bikes Sprint standings.
With a Rapha Condor Sharp rider in the front group, Endura Racing came to the front in a bid to reduce the deficit, but as Ian Wilkinson tried to attack, Ed Clancy covered, and so on resulting in a stalemate.
Similarly from the front group, every time Richardson tried to attack in a bid to shed the sprinters from the break, Downing covered in the knowledge that he'd be the favourite should the outcome be decided in a sprint.
With six laps to go a crash approaching the line disrupted the chasing pack, ensuring that the front five would contest the win alone, and thanks to Downing's persistence, no one was able to go clear.
At the sprint Downing took control, leading up the centre of the road, as Gustavsson just failed to pip on the near side with Janssen in close attendance and Barker and Richardson trailing behind.
Dale Appleby of the CyclePremier.com Metaltek team brought in the bunch sprint at the front of a Halfords orange clad peloton, with James McCallum's eighth and Andy Tennant's ninth ensuring that once again Rapha Condor Sharp took the honours.
With Endura Racing only claiming seventh, eleventh and twenty fifth at the line, the nearest challengers faltered to slip to six points in arrears. Reigning Halfords Tour Series Champions Motorpoint endured another evening to forget, coming seventh to slide to sixth in the standings, twenty points off the lead.
Highlights of Round Four from Colchester will be shown on ITV4 at 20.00 on Friday 3rd June, with a repeat on Thursday 2nd June at 10.45.
Week Three of The Halfords Tour Series sees the Series visit Stoke-on-Trent on Tuesday 7th June and Oldham on Thursday 9th June, for the first round to take place in Greater Manchester.
Both events also see the Johnson Health Tech Women's Grand Prix Series return to the Halfords Tour Series schedule for the second and third events of the four race series.
Round Four, Colchester, Results
1) Rapha Condor Sharp
2) Pendragon Le Col Colnago
3) Team Raleigh
4) Endura Racing
5) Team UK Youth
6) Sigma Sport - Specialized
7) Motorpoint Pro Cycling
8) CyclePremier.com Metaltek
9) Twenty3c Orbea
10) Wilier GoSelfDrive.com
1) Dean Downing Rapha Condor Sharp
2) Niklas Gustavsson Team UK Youth
3) Jeroen Janssen Team Raleigh
4) Yanto Barker Pendragon Le Col Colnago
5) Simon Richardson Sigma Sport - Specialized
6) Dale Appleby CyclePremier.com Metaltek
7) Scott Thwaites Endura Racing
8) James McCallum Rapha Condor Sharp
9) Andrew Tennant Rapha Condor Sharp
10) Marcel Six Twenty3c Orbea
Boardman Bikes Sprints winner
Jeroen Janssen Team Raleigh
Team Standings, after Round Four
1) Rapha Condor Sharp 40pts
2) Endura Racing 34pts
3) Sigma Sport - Specialized 24pts
4) Team Raleigh 22pts
5) Pendragon Le Col Colnago 21pts
6) Motorpoint Pro Cycling 20pts
7) Team UK Youth 20pts
8) Twenty3c Orbea 19pts
9) CyclePremier.com Metaltek 14pts
10) Wilier GoSelfDrive.com 6pts
Boardman Bikes Sprints standings, after Round Four
1) Kristian House Rapha Condor Sharp 27pts
2) Marcel Six Twenty3c Orbea 18pts
3) Jeroen Janssen Team Raleigh 14pts
For more information on The Halfords Tour Series, please visit: www.tourseries.co.uk. Follow The Halfords Tour Series on Facebook and Twitter www.twitter.com/TourSeries
The Halfords Tour Series is proud to be partnered with The Prostate Cancer Charity. For your chance to ride a Prostate Cancer Charity Tour Ride, replicating a stage of The Tour of Britain, please visit www.tourride.co.uk