Motorpoint - Marshalls Pasta lead the series with four races to go Clancy’s men aim to Motor to victory tomorrow
CYCLING: WITH Olympic gold medallist Ed Clancy and fellow big name Malcolm Elliott in their side, Motorpoint - Marshalls Pasta lead the Tour Series with four races to go. Motorpoint have strong links with Peterborough and will be looking to strengthen the
Race One, Canary Wharf THE series got under way underneath the skyscrapers of the world famous business and shopping district and it was nine-time British champion Tony Gibb who took the honours.
Yanto Barker, a team-mate of Eyebased ride Steve Lampier with Pendragon - Le Col - Colnago, was one of the first to open a gap as several teams launched attacks.
And by the time the race reached the hour-mark, signalling five laps to go, the pace had really hotted up with some of the big names at the front.
But it was Gibb who edged out Motorpoint Marshalls Pasta’s Malcolm Elliott - still sprinting to great effect even though he is nearing his 49th birthday - in an exciting battle for the line with Dean Downing, who won two Tour Series events last year, in third.
Lampier found himself near the front on several occasions but was happy to finish mid-field in a high speed race. purgatory’ as riders faced a long cobbled climb and battled it out over narrow roads.
With two laps to go, Andy Tennant attacked for the Motorpoint - Marshalls Pasta team and only his team-mate Elliott and Rapha Condor Sharp pair Kristian House and Darren Lapthorne were able to go with him.
Elliott made his move coming out of the final corner and won impressively as House took second from Dave Clarke, who moved through impressively for the Pendragon - Le Col - Colnago team.
Opening race winner Gibb, Olympic medallist Steven Burke, Barker and city rider Lampier were all involved in crashes while the latter also suffered a puncture. Lampier did not finish as high as he hoped to but did well to cross the line in 15th.
Race Three, Portsmouth IAN Bibby celebrated individual and team glory as he led Motorpoint - Marshalls Pasta to team glory.
He held off Barker and Endura Racing’s Ian Wilkinson - winner at Peterborough 12 months ago - right on the line as his team won to take the lead in the series.
Elliott, winner five days earlier, retired with hand and shoulder injuries after coming off worst in a crash while opening race third-placer Downing suffered a puncture with just two laps of the 1.3k circuit to go.
Rain before the race made the course even more demanding and city rider Lampier again punctured but with team-mates Barker and Australian sprinter Casey Munro making the odd attack as Pendragon - Le Col - Colnago did well to finish second. Downing - whose younger brother Russell was runner-up in Peterborough 12 months ago - returned to produce the goods again.
Endura Racing made a determined bid and got five riders up at the front in a bid to set Wilkinson up for a sprint win, but Downing and teammate Zak Dempster just got the better of him.
City rider Lampier finished 20th in a bunch sprint as his side finished third on the night.
Race Five, Southport IT was Blain sailing for Frenchman Alexandre Blain as he blasted away with 500m to go to record Endura Racing’s first victory in the Tour Series.
A high-speed race saw Blain celebrate individual and team victory as they moved up to second in the standings behind Motorpoint - Marshall’s Pasta.
Rob Hayles, Dean Windsor, Ed Clancy and Munro had earlier built a 12 seconds lead and the latter pair plus Wilkinson also tried to get away later on but were reeled in.
Eventually it was third race victor Bibby, House and Blain who made the break with the latter jumping approaching a hairpin with 500m to go and clinching the victory.
Race Six, Kettering HOUSE went one better than he had two days earlier as he outsprinted Simon Richardson for victory.
The pair broke clear as the peleton appeared to switch off and as far out as two laps to go it was clear they were not going to be caught.
It was House who produced the better sprint on a great night for Rapha. Not only did they produce the individual and team winners but Graham Briggs won the Boardman Bike Sprints and now leads the series in that event by three points.
The sprint for third saw Zak Dempster hold off Wilkinson and Gibb, with Blain - the winner two days earlier - next over the line.
SERIES LEADERS: The Motorpoint - Marshalls pasta team with Ed Clancy on the right.
BACK IN THE CITY: Jason White (right) of CyclePremier.com - Metaltek rode well here last year. Picture: SplitSecondImages.co.uk