The 'cottages4you' Colne Grand Prix
Location: Pendle Leisure Centre, Colne, Lancashire
Event: 17 July 2013
Report and images: Andrew Kennedy
Ed Clancy MBE riding for Rapha Condor JLT timed his finishing effort to perfection with an awesome display of sprinting during the latest round of the British Cycling Elite Circuit Series at Colne on Wednesday evening.
The double Olympic Gold medallist and five times World Champion thrilled the massive crowds lining the Colne barriers on a warm and sunny summers evening.
The Cottages4You and Borough of Pendle sponsored races are a very popular night on the Criterium Race circuit, with supporting road races for local riders and a fun 'Chopper Event' there is something for all the family to watch and enjoy. The shops, cafes and bars do great trade on race night.
Ed Clancy was leading the Rapha Condor JLT squad who had already scored a win in the series when Felix English took the honours at Otley.
George Atkins riding in the colours of 100%ME was leading the series before Colne and was one of the riders to watch out for.
The elite race got off to a fast and furious start. With the town centre circuit being bone dry from the warm conditions the riders took faster lines into the corners than any of the preceding events.
The race was neutralised for a couple of laps when a Rapha Condor JLT rider clipped the barriers on a tight corner, causing a ripple effect down the peloton that saw a few riders hit the deck and retire with broken bikes and injury.
With several attacks from all the big teams being brought back it looked like it was going to be a full peloton sprint finish. Team Raleigh were looking to get their specialist criterium rider Graham Briggs, currently second in the series, into a race winning position.
With the bell sounding for the final lap Briggs was sat comfortably behind his lead-out train of three Raleigh men.
Into the final 200 metres and Clancy and English had disrupted the well drilled Raleigh train and with Madison Genesis rider Dean Downing flying down the outside Briggs and Raleigh were not only denied the win but failed to get a rider into the top three and onto the podium.
Yorkshireman Clancy was a popular winner and after the customary champagne spraying on the podium he was much in demand by the local radio and TV stations that had flocked to cover the race.
The Elite Circuit Series continues in Beverley, East Yorkshire on Friday evening.