Above: A Motorpoint One-Two in the North East - Bibby leads Bialoblocki home.
Motorpoint Pro Cycling rider Ian Bibby took over the lead in the season long Premier Calendar Road Race Series with a superb victory in the Tour of the Reservoir in Northumberland on Sunday.
Previously second heading into the 144-kilometre race, Bibby takes over the lead after the Motorpoint team put on a strong show in the event based on seven laps of a circuit around scenic Derwent Reservoir, Hexham.
Heading onto the dam wall for the final 500 metres, the orange and black Motorpoint jerseys were spread across the road heading for the line with Ian Bibby being joined at the front by team-mates Marcin Bialoblocki, Peter Williams and Will Bjergfelt. But a trademark late sprint from Dean Downing (Rapha Condor-Sharp) stopped Motorpoint dominating the podium as Downing took third spot, one second behind Bibby and Bialoblocki.
The day had started off with over 120 riders rolling out from the medieval village of Blanchland onto the circuit that circles Derwent Reservoir. 140 km of hilly terrain lay ahead for the riders. Looking at the skies everyone knew it was going to be a wet and windy day and the huge peloton stayed compact until the beginning of the savage climb to the Manor House Inn.
Early in proceedings the race had not looked good for the Motorpoint boys with Sigma Sport's Tom Murray and Cycle Premier-Metaltek's Stephen Gallagher gaining a two-minute lead over the main field.
With Murray and former continental professional Gallagher gaining time it was down to the big teams of Motorpoint, Endura and Rapha Condor Sharp to do the chasing. On the next ascent of the Manor House climb Bibby and team mate Jonny McEvoy were on the front hunting down the escapees. Their efforts strung out the peloton and some top riders were left struggling at the back. Rapha Condor Sharp rider Graham Briggs was one of the first to go, probably wishing he could have been riding a flat criterium at which he excels. As predicted the heavens opened and the riders had to endure a heavy downpour, which made the descents treacherous, although there were no major problems, the riders benefitting from the skilful rolling road closure performed by the Police and NEG motorcycle riders.
HIGHLIGHTS VIDEO FROM ANDREW KENNEDY
It didn't take long for the race to come back together, but with a lap and a half remaining nine riders went clear - and this time Motorpoint didn't miss out, placing three riders in the break, Marcin Bialoblocki, Peter Williams and Will Bjergfelt. The break included Jack Bauer and Paul Voss for Endura, Rapha Condor Sharp rider Dean Downing, Tom Last, and Tom Murray for Sigma Sport, Matt Cronshaw riding for Raleigh, Rafa Rodriguez-Segarra and Mike Cuming for Twenty3c-Orbea. Although eventual winner Bibby didn't make the selection. It was a dilemma for the Motorpoints, unless Bibby could bridge the gap alone he had to stay in the peloton and let his team mates battle for victory.
A few miles further on and Bibby took his chance attacking off the front of the bunch - initially with Endura Racing's Evan Oliphant, but his Scottish rival couldn't maintain the pace and dropped back. Bibby powered across the minute wide gap joining his team mates.
Bibby made the break ten-strong, but shortly afterwards Murray's day was to take a turn for the worse. Having been in both the day's main breaks, and taking the majority of cash prize hill primes the Sigma rider suffered mechanical problems dropping back to finish 1 min 45 secs behind the winner.
Up front, Bibby was clearly the strong man of the break and with three team mates to help chase any attacks the Motorpoints dominated the final few kilometres. Wary of the presence of Endura Racing's in-form sprinter Paul Voss and Dean Downing from Rapha Condor Sharp the Motorpoints chased down every move. Onto the dam wall and 500 metres to the finish the Motorpoints looked as though they would dominate the the top four positions, Bibby was a clear winner but Dean Downing was fighting hard to salvage something for the boys in black and managed to claim 3rd place.
Tyne Valley Cycling club and organiser Mike Hodgson in partnership with Northumbrian Water and the British Cycling Go-Ride programme put together a great package of cycling events at Derwent Reservoir. There were time trials and MTB events for the youngsters all timed to allow everyone to see the exciting finish of the big race on the dam wall. A great day out for everyone, but especially Ian Bibby and Team Motorpoint.
IMAGE GALLERY FROM ANDREW KENNEDY
Above: Reservoir Dogs - Left to right; Dean Downing (Rapha Condor Sharp), Ian Bibby (Motorpoint Pro Cycling) and Marcin Bialoblocki (Motorpoint Pro Cycling)
Above: Bibby talks to the press after the race.
1 Ian Bibby (Motorpoint Pro Cycling) 3:35:44
2 Marcin Bialoblocki (Motorpoint Pro Cycling) @ same time
3 Dean Downing (Rapha Condor-Sharp) @ 1sec
4 Peter Williams (Motorpoint Pro Cycling) @ 3sec
5 Jack Bauer (Endura Racing)
6 Will Bjergfelt (Motorpoint Pro Cycling) all @ same time
7 Paul Voss (Endura Racing) @ 5sec
8 Tom Last (Sigma Sport) @ same time
9 Matt Cronshaw (Team Raleigh) @ 10sec
10 Rafa Rodriguez Segarra (Twenty 3C-Orbea) @ 30sec
British Cycling would like to thank the organising team, officials and everyone else who helped promote this event. Our sport could not exist without the hundreds of people, many of them unpaid volunteers, who put in many hours of hard work running events, activities and clubs.