The Championship took a twist in Canary Wharf, when Tom Stewart (Madison Genesis) crashed early-on in round eight.
Dropping back by around half a lap, Stewart had put Series Leaders Madison Genesis under pressure, as close rivals ONE Pro Cycling, took advantage of the situation.
Being a five man team event this year, meant that all the riders finishing positions, accounted for the final tally on the day.
Madison Genesis took a gamble and sent the rest of their team back to help pace Stewart and themselves back into contention for the overall title.
ONE Pro Cycling turned up the heat, and all five team-members turbo-charged their way to victory for Round Eight. NFTO Pro Cycling’s Steele Von Hoff took the individual win.
This seemed like a great opportunity at the time, but had detrimental effect on the points tally for the evening. Because Madison Genesis has chased hard as a team to get back into the race, the other teams were less fortunate, as their men had been blown out of the race and ended the evening a lap behind.
Madison Genesis, hadn’t lost the leadership after-all. But ONE Pro Cycling had ebbed a little closer.
Going into the penultimate round in Peterborough, ONE Pro Cycling had closed the gap in the leadership battle to with-in one point.
The race got underway on a flat, fast 1.1Km circuit in Cathedral Square at 7.30pm.
ONE Pro Cycling’s Marcin Bialoblocki started the nights action after the two neutral laps and clipped off the front of the peloton, where he stayed, taking the first of the Chain Reaction Points that were on offer.
Pedal Heaven’s Alex Paton took-up the lead soon after, but didn’t get too far either.
The race settled down after that, where Team Raleigh GAC’s Morgan Kneisky took the next set of Chain Reaction Points with Jon Mould second, then former title holder Tom Stewart third.
Team Raleigh GAC then controlled the latter part of the race, with Steve Lampier gaining a hundred or so metres, as his team-mates defended Kneisky’s Points Jersey challenge sweeping up most of the points between them.
As the race approached the final five laps, a seven man group formed including Track Olympic Champion Ed Clancy, who’s team had won last seasons Tour Series.
Team Raleigh GAC’s Morgan Kneisky went for a long one, covering a couple of laps before been caught by Chris Lawless and Dave McGowan. The chasers then re-formed with a lap and a half to go.
Pedal Heaven’s Dave McGowen broke free once more, and looked like he would go all the way to the end. But JLT Condor presented by Mavic’s Ed Clancy had other ideas and sprinted past McGowan with only fifty metres to go. Clancy claimed his second win of this series, his third in Peterborough.
NFTO’s Steel Von Hoff took second, with Madison Genesis’s Tobyn Horton third.
ONE Pro Cycling’s Marcin Bialoblocki took the bunch sprint over half a minuet down.
A considerable amount of time went by before confirmation of the Championship lead was announced. It became evident that the top two positions were on equal points, so a count-back was in process to decide who would wear the Leaders Jerseys going in-to the final battle in round ten, in Bath.
ONE Pro Cycling were the new Championship Leaders.
1 Ed Clancy JLT Condor presented by Mavic
2 Steele Von Hoff NFTO
3 Tobyn Horton Madison Genesis
4 Yanto Barker ONE Pro Cycling
5 David McGowan Pedal Heaven
6 Morgan Kneisky Team Raleigh GAC
7 Chris Lawless Team WIGGINS
8 Marcin Bialoblocki ONE Pro Cycling
9 Mark McNally Madison Genesis
10 Jon Mould ONE Pro Cycling
Team Classification Overall
1 ONE Pro Cycling 102
2 Madison Genesis 102
3 Pedal Heaven 84
4 Team Raleigh GAC 70
5 NFTO Pro Cycling 60
6 SportGrub Kuota 52
7 Velosure Starley Primal 48
8 JLT Condor presented by Mavic 45
9 Team WIGGINS 31
Costa Express Fastest Lap, Yanto Barker, ONE Pro Cycling in 1:20.990
Chain Reaction Cycles Points Classification Overall
1 Morgan Kneisky Team Raleigh GAC 71
2 Tom Stewart Madison Genesis 60
3 Jon Mould ONE Pro Cycling 46
4 Kristian House JLT Condor 46
The epic battle for the Championship Win was over before the race had really began in Bath.
ONE Pro Cycling’s Yanto Barker’s mechanical failure saw him retire from the race soon after, in effect, relinquishing the Title to Madison Genesis.
Marcin Bialoblocki went on to win the race on the night, giving ONE Pro Cycling something out of the days racing.
Bath has proven to be a difficult and hard circuit to race around, with a beautiful backdrop for the Series finale. Should the Series return for another round next year, then a different approach may be required.
Mike Bennett, the race director said that he was pleased with the overall Series and new format. Saying that the team managers would need to re-think their strategy’s for overall contention.
All-in-all, the points system has proven to add additional impetus to the race dynamics and I think it will be retained for the 2016 Championship Battle!
1 Marcin Bialoblocki ONE Pro Cycling
2 Tobyn Horton Madison Genesis
3 Kristian House JLT Condor presented by Mavic
4 Steele Von Hoff NFTO Pro Cycling
5 Morgan Kneisky Team Raleigh GAC
Team Classification Overall & Pearl Izumi Tour Series Championship Title Holder 2015
1 Madison Genesis 112
2 ONE Pro Cycling 108
3 Pedal Heaven 93
4 Team Raleigh GAC 78
5 NFTO Pro Cycling 62
6 SportGrub Kuota 57
7 Velosure Starley Primal 55
8 JLT Condor presented by Mavic 49
9 Team WIGGINS 34
Costa Express Fastest Lap, ED Clancy, JLT Condor presented by Mavic, 1:53.864
Chain Reaction Cycles Points Classification Overall
1 Morgan Kneisky Team Raleigh GAC 84
2 Tom Stewart Madison Genesis 64
3 Kristian House JLT Condor 54
4 Jon Mould ONE Pro Cycling 48
5 Marcin Bialoblocki ONE Pro Cycling 40
Full Official Race Results http://www.tourseries.co.uk/home.php