Sun shines on Kirkcaldy for Endura Racing as Halfords Tour Series kicks off

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| Location: Kirkcaldy, Fife
Event: 15 May 2012
Photography by Andy Whitehouse

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It was fitting for The Halfords Tour Series’ first ever Scottish round that Livingston based Endura Racing took the honours, with Scott Thwaites leading the team home with an individual victory to go alongside the team win and series lead.

After a fast-paced start to the 2012 season of team-based racing, Thwaites outsprinted an Antipodean trio of Bernard Sulzberger, Rico Rogers and Dean Windsor around Kirkcaldy’s tough 1.4km circuit. With teammates Windsor and Jonathan McEvoy placing fourth and eights, Thwaites’ Endura team also took the team honours to pull on the five orange Halfords leader’s jerseys.

A strong performance by Team UK Youth saw them place four riders in the top ten, but with Cornishman Chris Opie their highest rider in fifth, the charity backed team narrowly lost out to Endura.

The first round of the 2012 season saw action from the off, with the peloton lined out around the circuit. A brief escape containing Olympic gold medallist Ed Clancy and former British champion Kristian House of defending champions Rapha Condor Sharp, plus Endura’s Windsor briefly flourished, but were reigned in setting up a thrilling finale.

The final laps saw Team UK Youth to the fore of the lead group, with Yanto Barker leading out a well drilled team. Thwaites though entered the finishing funnel second wheel, jumping out of the slipstream with several hundred metres to go to power to victory.

Speaking afterwards, Thwaites, who also won last year’s Stoke-on-Trent round of the Series, said: “It’s a good race, the circuit’s really good. I think everyone was a bit shocked with it being the first crit of the season. It was tough so got the heart going.

“We (Endura Racing) said that we weren’t going to go for a leadout, as that automatically writes one guy off, so it was all four of us trying to stay on the front.

“I was second and thought I might as well take it up now, about 500 metres out. You’ve got to take a few risks to win, and I took a few. I absolutely ragged it all the way to the finish.”

Defending Halfords Tour Series champions Rapha Condor Sharp enjoyed a miserable start to their title defence, finishing fifth on the night, with Commonwalth Games Bronze medallist James McCallum their highest placed rider on the night in twelfth position.

In the Boardman Bikes Sprints Competition Marcel Six recovered from an early spill to win the first and third sprints, with it the lead of the season long competition after round one.

Results

Individual Result, Round One

1) Scott Thwaites Endura Racing

2) Bernard Sulzberger Team Raleigh - GAC

3) Rico Rogers Node4 – Giordana Racing

4) Dean Windsor Endura Racing

5) Chris Opie Team UK Youth

6) Yanto Barker Team UK Youth

7) Niklas Gustavsson Team UK Youth

8) Jonathan McEvoy Endura Racing

9) David McGowan Team UK Youth

10) Graham Briggs Team Raleigh – GAC

Team Result, Round One

1) Endura Racing

2) Team UK Youth

3) Team Raleigh – GAC

4) Node4 – Giordana Racing

5) Rapha Condor Sharp

6) Metaltek Scott

7) Team IG – Sigma Sport

8) Cycle Premier – Kovert

9) Team Hope Factory Racing

10) Herbalife LeisureLakesBikes

Team Standings, post-Round One

1) Endura Racing 10pts

2) Team UK Youth 9pts

3) Team Raleigh – GAC 8pts

4) Node4 – Giordana Racing 7pts

5) Rapha Condor Sharp 6pts

6) Metaltek Scott 5pts

7) Team IG – Sigma Sport 4pts

8) Cycle Premier – Kovert 3pts

9) Team Hope Factory Racing 2pts

10) Herbalife LeisureLakesBikes 1pt

Boardman Bikes Sprint Competition, Round Winner: Marcel Six (Metaltek Scott)

Boardman Bikes Sprint Standings, post-Round One

1) Marcel Six Metaltek Scott 10pts

2) Bernard Sulzberger Team Raleigh – GAC 8pts

3) Kristian House Rapha Condor Sharp 6pts

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