The 'cottages4you' Colne Grand Prix
Location: Pendle Leisure Centre, Colne, Lancashire
Event: 17 July 2013
George Atkins (100% ME) leads the Elite Circuit Series at the halfway mark ahead of Wednesday’s Colne Grand Prix.
Three different winners in the competition so far – Felix English in Otley, Atkins in Stockton and most recently Mike Northey at the Wales Open Criterium – has been at a contrast to Graham Briggs’ dominance last year.
Atkins’ consistency has allowed the 21-year-old to build a total of 143 points, a 52 point lead over Briggs (Team Raleigh) who has accumulated 91 points after third and fourth place finishes in Stockton and Abergavenny respectively.
Both riders will start in East Lancashire with Briggs eyeing a first win in this year’s series as he continues to find his form after returning from injury.
With 60 points available to the winner a number of riders remain in the hunt. Northey (Node4-Giordana Racing), who completed a double in Abergavenny with victory in the Premier Calendar Grand Prix of Wales on Sunday, lies in sixth on 72 points and will hope his double win can be a catalyst for the remainder of the season.
Two-time Olympic gold medallist Ed Clancy (Rapha Condor JLT) is further back in seventh after leaving Wales pointless and will need a strong showing if he is to remain in overall contention.
Clancy’s teammate in London Steven Burke (Node4 - Giordana Racing) starts in his hometown and will no doubt receive an excellent ovation as an Olympic champion.
Despite having no victories between them, Tobyn Horton (Team UK Youth), Andrew Hawdon (Herbalife - LeisureLakes Bikes) and Tom Murray (Metaltek - Knights of Old Racing Team) all occupy the top five and a victory for any would see them emerge into the top three.
The 850 metre course starts and finishes on Market Street with the Elite Circuit Series race set to begin at 8pm.