Tour de Yorkshire 2016 – Stage 2 – Van Poppel Triumphs

©CyclingShorts.cc / Craig Zadoroznyj

Words Anna Magrath – Images Chris Maher & Craig Zadoroznyj

With many technical gremlins blighting day two of racing, both the men and women’s events being without TV coverage we all took to race radio and Twitter for updates, the media were as much in the dark as the public.

After the womens race it was then back to Otley for the men’s race which took the same route, flowing up through crowd lined routes in Thorner and Aberford and then onto Sherburn in Elmet where thousands of locals filled the centre.
There was more excitement in South Milford, Monk Fryston and Hillam, through to Pontefract and past Wentbridge House Hotel where a bride and groom and wedding guests came out to cheer on the peloton as it raced past.
And the crowds continued for both races through Sprotbrough and Cote de Conisbrough Castle, then Tickhill and Bawtry before riders headed for the finish at a heaving Doncaster.

©CyclingShorts.cc / www.chrismaher.co.uk

Over the first two climbs Richard Handley of OnePro Cycling group managed to stay away and and he mopped up the mountain points protecting the lead of his team mate Pete William’s in the KoM jersey for OnePro Cycling.

 

The breakaway of 6 riders; Richard Handley – , Lewis – , Bradbury & Edmondson of , Steels of Topsport SV and Morkov if  held a lead of around 1-2 minutes, they group was joined by  Edet  but it wasn’t to last. The lead group fragmented and only 4 riders survived (Michael Markov, Josh Edmondson, Nico Edet, Stijn Steels) before being swollowed by a peloton sprint finish.

The winner of the stage was Danny van Poppel from Team Sky winning by a whisker.

PhotoFinishTdY2

 

Tour de Yorkshire Stage 1 – Four Seasons in One Race Day

All images ©CyclingShorts.cc / Craig Zadoroznyj

Words by Anna Magrath

 

Stage details:
Start: Beverley
Finish: Settle
187km in length

Victory for the sprinters!

The unpredictable weather didn’t put a dampener on the first stage of the 2016 Tour de Yorkshire. The tough day culminated in a crowd pleasing sprint finish on the streets of Settle in glorious sunshine.

Olympian Rebecca Romero waved the riders off in Beverley town centre for the processional start, as the riders were finding their legs there was a pile up mid peloton, a Team Katusha rider face planting on a cattle grid with a tangle of riders on top of him, all but the the rider in red Sven Erik Bystrom made it back up.

The race proper got underway at Beverley Racecourse on the outskirts of the town. The attack came quickly, after his less than successful social media week Pete Kennaugh decided to redeem himself by taking it upon himself to push hard on the front for Team Sky to try to reel the six riders in (Pete Williams OneProCycling, Graham Briggs JLT Condor, Nils Pollit Katusha Cycling, Matt Cronshaw Madison Genesis, Jens Wallays Topsport Vlaanderen – Baloise, Sebastian Mora Team Raleigh GAC) escaping down the road and taking a good 1 minute 30 seconds out of the peloton without too much effort. The bunch let them yo-yo for the majority of the race with the group taking a 5 minute lead. They mopped up the first sprint points and the Kom’s with Skipton rider Williams taking the King of the Mountain maximum points and Mora winning the sprint.

Pete Williams had no intention of giving up the fight and after being caught he still tried to fight back but to no avail.

The route took riders through the Wolds, snaking through a sea of yellow and blue decorations to Tadcaster and into the Yorkshire Dales for an exciting finish in Settle. Dylan Groenewegen of the Netherlands, riding with Lotto NL Jumbo, took the win.

Just like for the Tour de France in 2014 and the inaugural Tour de Yorkshire in 2015, Yorkshire truly embraced the spirit of cycling, with towns and villages decked out in banners, bunting and bikes with crowds roaring as the peloton whizzed past.

On their way the riders passed many of the amazing land art installations created by local communities with designs at the top of the Cote de Greenhow Hill and Kelfield.

Action started to hot up at 15km to go, as One Pro Cycling, Orica GreenEdge and Team Sky began to mobilise their sprint trains but not long after, two French riders attacked; Turgis and Voeckler made a perfectly timed break to escape from the bunch. Aided by a tailwind, the French held their gap before British rider Steve Cummings caught the pair, breaking away on his own at 3km to go attempting to time trial to the finish. Cummings extended his gap on the final run into Settle before sitting up and being swallowed by the pack.

From there the technical finish created a fast paced sprint, with Lotto NL Jumbo placing Groenewegen well for the win with Orica GreenEdge’s Caleb Ewan narrowly missing first.

PhotoFinishSprint

Sir Gary Verity congratulated winner Dylan Groenewegen and praised the people of Yorkshire for their support for the race. He said: “Wow what a day for Yorkshire! The way that thousands of people came out to support the Tour de Yorkshire was just incredible. It is testament to true Yorkshire grit that the weather failed to dampen the spirits of the crowds with people of all ages – from school children to the elderly – cheering on the riders throughout the entire race. It was moving to see.

“The atmosphere at the start in Beverley was just electric and the excitement and energy continued throughout the communities lining the route all the way to the magnificent crowd at the finish in Settle. Yorkshire you should be proud! We promised to deliver a terrific event and the people of the county have helped us do just that. We can’t wait for another two days of exhilarating racing ahead”

Tomorrow’s stage marks an important landmark for women’s racing as world champion Lizzie Armitstead will line up on the start line in her home town for the Asda Women’s Tour de Yorkshire, alongside Great Britain teammate Emma Pooley, as well as Rio hopeful Dani King. One of the world’s top sprinters Kirsten Wild will also join a host of top flight international and domestic riders including our very own Team Jadan-Weldtite (Yorkshire based team) for the race which takes place over the exact same course as the men’s, is fully televised and at the time of racing has the largest prize pot in the world of any women’s race.

 

Top 10:
1 – Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo

2 – Caleb Ewan (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge

3 – Nikias Arndt (Ger) Team Giant-Alpecin

4 – Thomas Boudat (Fra) Direct Energie

5 – Danny van Poppel (Ned) Team Sky

6 – Floris Gerts (Ned) BMC Racing Team

7 – Christopher Lawless (GBr) JLT Condor

8 – Karol Domagalski (Pol) ONE Pro Cycling

9 – Dion Smith (NZl) ONE Pro Cycling

10 – Bert Van Lerberghe (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen – Baloise

For all race information, results & images visit www.letouryorkshire.com

Star line up for first ever Tour de Yorkshire

Sir Bradley Wiggins and Marcel Kittel have been confirmed as two of the stars who will take part in the first ever Tour de Yorkshire.  The 2012 Tour de France winner will lead his own Team WIGGINS developmental squad while the German sprinter will return to Yorkshire a year after wearing the first yellow jersey in Harrogate at the Tour de France 2014.

At Welcome to Yorkshire’s Y15 annual conference in Scarborough the race organisers, Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO) and Welcome to Yorkshire, announced the teams which will be taking part.  It was revealed that the new race has attracted significant interest from teams, following the massive crowds and challenging terrain which combined in July last year to make it a spectacular Grand Départ of the Tour de France.

Under UCI regulations as a 2.1 stage race, the Tour de Yorkshire has selected a field from five WorldTeams, six Professional Continental Teams, four Continental Teams and a Great Britain National Team.

Geraint Thomas TDF ©www.chrismaher.co.uk / CyclingShorts.cc

©www.chrismaher.co.uk / CyclingShorts.cc

In total, seven of the teams who raced in the Tour de France are returning to Yorkshire’s roads, and will be joined by an exciting mix of European and home-grown talent.  British cycling fans are expected to be delighted at the inclusion of top teams such as Team Sky and brand new Team WIGGINS.

The WorldTeams making a return to Yorkshire following the Tour de France, are: Team Sky, Team Giant-Alpecin, BMC Racing Team, Team Lotto NL-Jumbo, and IAM Cycling.

The Professional Continental Teams are: Cofidis Solutions Credits, Team Europcar (who both raced in July 2014), MTN-Qhubeka, Cult Energy Pro Cycling, Roompot Oranje Peloton, Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise.

Continental level teams are: Team WIGGINS, NFTO, ONE Pro Cycling and Madison Genesis.  The GB National Team will also field eight riders.

Christian Prudhomme, Director of the Tour de France, said: “We will be glad to return to Yorkshire after the huge success of the Tour de France 2014 Grand Départ, the grandest ever. The first ever Tour de Yorkshire will be another occasion to showcase the outstanding landscapes of the county, especially of the coast which we didn’t visit last year with Le Tour. Tour de Yorkshire will be a great opportunity to review young talents among British riders and enable them to ride with top Tour de France professional teams and cycling stars like Sir Bradley Wiggins and Marcel Kittel.”

It is now up to teams to decide their 8 riders for the race, over a route which was unveiled by Jean Etienne Amaury from ASO in Bridlington in January.  The three stages are each quite different, with a punchy route for 174km of Stage One from Bridlington to Scarborough; a tactically important sprinter’s day on Stage Two from Selby to York over another 174km, and a return to some of the climbs and challenges of the Grand Départ as the third day takes riders 167km from Wakefield to Leeds on 3 May.

Gary Verity, Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, said; “Today is a landmark moment for Yorkshire and it is a credit to every single person who played a role in the Grand Départ – whether they were a spectator, a rider, a Tour Maker – that we have attracted such a high calibre of teams to this first edition of our new race. The start and finish towns for the Tour de Yorkshire and everybody who has already picked out where they will watch on the day, and now, every member of these teams, will experience one of the greatest sports events in the UK in 2015.”

Riders will be selected by the teams and announced in April.  Stage one of the Tour de Yorkshire, on Friday 1st May, will start in Bridlington and finish in Scarborough. Stage two, on Saturday 2nd May, will start in Selby and finish in York and stage three, on Sunday 3rd May, will start in Wakefield and finish in Leeds.

The Tour de Yorkshire will be shown live on television in the UK, on British Eurosport and ITV, as well as to 70 countries around the world with a huge television audience expected.

Maps of the routes, timings and information for spectators can be found at; letouryorkshire.com/routemaps

A women’s race of four 20km laps of a York circuit will be held on day two of the race, Saturday 2nd May. Team and riders will be announced in April and one of the first major names confirmed as taking part is Dame Sarah Storey, one of Great Britain’s most decorated female Paralympians in history having won 11 Gold, eight Silver and three Bronze medals across six Paralympic Games. In 2014 Sarah and her husband established women’s team Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International, which dominated the UK domestic racing scene in their first season and, it has been announced today, will be racing the Women’s Tour de Yorkshire.

Stunning Alex Dowsett coup rewarded with Yellow Jersey

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Alex Dowsett grits his teeth for Yellow

 

Matthias Brandle of IAM Cycling chalked up his second straight stage win, but the story of the day was Movistar Team’s Alex Dowsett blowing the Friends Life 2014 Tour of Britain asunder with the ride of his life in one of the most dramatic ever stages of the modern day race.

A trio of Exeter winner Matthias Brandle, Alex Dowsett and Madison Genesis’ Tom Stewart rode in perfect unison for the best part of 160km to dominate the long stage from Bath to Hemel Hempsted, which many had expected to end in a sprint.

Through the rural lanes of Wiltshire, Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire they poured on the power and the pace and cheered on by the biggest crowds of the week the trio prevailed to pull off one of the most stunning coups you will ever see.

At the start of the day Dowsett, in 21st position overall at 1 minute 25 seconds behind, was seemingly out of contention for the Friends Life General Classification honours, although there was every chance he would climb a fair few places in Sunday’s short time-trial which suits him perfectly.

The Essex rider, 25,  has looked strong all week and but for a double puncture when pressing hard in the break on Stage Four might well have featured much higher up the rankings before now.

Mark McNally on Kop Hill

Mark McNally on Kop Hill

Equally Brandle, in relaxed mode after winning in Exeter on Thursday and trailing the Friends Life Yellow Jersey of Michal Kwiatkowski by 2 minutes 35 seconds, felt able to try something spectacular and not count the cost should it fail. As for Stewart, the Yorkshire man featured strongly in the break on the Tumble stage on Tuesday and when he suddenly found himself in such elite company so early in the stage he just strapped in and hung on for dear life, buoyed no doubt by the local knowledge of team manager Roger Hammond.

Whether it was because the leaders were absorbed with marking each other, tired from an unexpectedly brutal week or were mindful of a very tough 227-kilometre run from Camberley to Brighton tomorrow, they allowed to go out way beyond what the peloton would normally allow such talented riders.

Five minutes, seven minutes, nine minutes and finally nine minutes 15 seconds at 82km from home. The lead grew and grew and by the time the peloton realised that the trio were not noticeably tiring it was too late. At which point there was a massive red alert and panic.

Omega Pharma Quick-Step blew themselves to pieces riding for Kwiatkowski with Mark Cavendish and Niki Terpstra burying themselves on the Chiltern climbs.  At one stage members of other teams were hand slinging the seemingly tireless Julien Vermote to try and get him to the front to reinforce the chase, which was a remarkable sight.

Team Sky were shorthanded but also sent Ben Swift up the front on a do or die mission to trying a claw back some of the time and eventually Bardiani CSF, the team of second place Edoardo Zardini, bent their backs. But it was all too late. The escape was well and truly away

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Alex Dowsett post race press conference

“I’m in the form of my life but that was the hardest day of my life,” admitted Dowsett afterwards. “It was into a headwind most of the day and once I got into the break I was actually a bit hacked with myself to be honest because I had always thought I might have a good time-trial on Sunday and I was leaving a lot out there on the road. I thought I thought I might have given too much.

“But then the gap went up to seven minutes and I thought, that’s getting quite big. Then it went to eight minutes, nine minutes, and finally topped out at a bit over nine minutes.  That’s when I really started digging in and a bit later I sort of made an agreement with Mathias that he could win the stage as it looked like there was a good chance of taking yellow.

“It was a risk I was willing to take. And he gave me absolute everything, I couldn’t have done it without him and Tom at Madison probably had one of the hardest days of his life, he gave everything he could and I’m grateful to him and Roger Hammond in the car for his advice with his local knowledge, telling us exactly what was coming up. I was very grateful for that.

“For the last 100-kilometres, I was more or less flat out. I was buckling in the last 5-kilometres and I was relying heavily on Matthias. Before the Commonwealths, I was doubting myself a lot. So this is more proof to me that I’m able to compete at this level.

“It was also great to see all my family at the finish, it was a complete surprise, I didn’t expect to see any of them until the finish in Brighton. It was some day.”

Dowsett now has the Friends Life Yellow Jersey and a 34 second lead over second placed Kwiatkowski and with the two riders probably fairly evenly matched on the time-trial – Dowsett might just be favourite to edge that one – a huge mount now depends on the monster Sussex stage finishing in Brighton, which features two Category One SKODA King of the Mountains climbs in the last 17-kilometres – Ditchling Beacon and the sharp ramp of Bear Road up to the racecourse.

Royal Crescent, Bath

Royal Crescent, Bath

Much will depend on how his team mates can react to the various attacks that will inevitably come but Movistar Team arrived at the Friends Life Tour of Britain determined to challenge for overall honours and have supported Dowsett with a versatile team – Giovanni Visconti, Pablo Lastras, Sylvester Szmyd, Ion Izaguirre and Enrique Sanz Unze – capable of mounting a strong defence of the Friends Life Yellow Jersey.

“I will give it everything I have got. Obviously Kwiatkowski is going like a train so I need to rest up as much as I can and give it my all tomorrow and in the time-trial. It’s a nice positon to be in though.”  

Saturday sees the penultimate stage of the Friends Life Tour of Britain, and the modern Tour’s first visit to Sussex, for a leg starting from Camberley, in Surrey Heath, through West and East Sussex before the finish on Brighton’s Maderia Drive.

Highlights of Stage Six are on ITV4 at 2000 on Friday 12 September, with live coverage resuming from 1300 on Saturday on ITV4, for Stage Seven from Camberley to Brighton.  Full details of the television coverage of the Friends Life Tour of Britain, including British Eurosport’s live coverage, can be found here.

For full Stage Six results, click here.

 

 

Pearl Izumi Tour Series Final Round Jersey – Report

In a sundrenched Gorey on Friday evening, Rapha Condor JLT became Pearl Izumi Tour Series champions for 2014.

Having led the Series since Round Two in Barrow, Rapha Condor JLT became assured of the title mathematically after the afternoon’s hill climb, won by Team Raleigh’s French rider Matthieu Boulo.

Such was their advantage, and after winning the afternoon’s hill climb, John Herety’s team could afford to come third on the night, behind round winners Madison Genesis, and lose Felix English after a lap with a broken wrist sustained in Tuesday’s Woking event, and still finish 16-points clear of Madison.

There was on the night glory for Madison Genesis though, taking their second double of the week to follow their Woking success, with Tom Stewart claiming another solo individual win to help them to the night’s team prize.

Stewart was part of a ten rider group who worked their way clear early on around Gorey’s fast, but technical circuit. Repeated attacks from the leader’s failed to stay away, until Stewart’s move approaching the hour mark saw him rapidly build a 16-second advantage he would hold to the finish.

As in Woking three nights before, Node4 Velosure’s George Harper led the chase, but come the final sprint along Gorey’s coast road it was Morgan Kniesky edging Ed Clancy for second spot. Harper claimed fourth before fifth for Alex Paton, after another impressive ride by the Pedal Heaven Colbornes rider, and Guernsey’s Tobyn Horton sixth, in what was the closest the Channel Islander gets to a home round.

Stewart’s win helped Madison Genesis to their fourth team win of the 2014 Pearl Izumi Tour Series, with Node4 Velosure coming second thanks to top 10’s from Harper and Rob Partridge.
Rapha Condor JLT took third on the night to finish the Series with six team wins, their best ever haul in a season, while the young Great Britain academy team were celebrating having come out on top of the three-way battle for the wooden spoon, which went, narrowly, to Pedal Heaven Colbornes, in their debut season.

The final Costa Express Fastest Lap of the year went to a Great Britain rider too, with youngster Germain Burton following up on his seventh place in the hill climb with the fastest individual race lap.

There was another Sprint win for Kristian House, but it was Jon Mould winning the green jersey, which he’d taken on the opening night in Stoke-on-Trent, by 17-points.

Earlier in the afternoon Raleigh’s Boulo had taken the hill climb win above Gorey Harbour, high enough he joked afterwards that family in France would have seen his victory.

Behind Adam Blythe was runner-up, just over a second behind Boulo, with Harper, Jack Pullar and House all within five seconds of the winner in a closely fought affair.

The cumulative times gave the team win to Rapha Condor JLT ahead of Node4 Velosure and Madison Genesis, with Starley Primal unlucky to finish seventh, having placed both Pullar and long-time leader George Pym in the top nine fastest times.

The team title for Rapha Condor JLT was also momentous on several counts – the squad becomes the first to win the overall prize for a second time, following their success in 2011; John Herety becomes only the second team manager after Keith Lambert to win the title on two occasions; and Ed Clancy becomes the first rider to win the Pearl Izumi Tour Series overall in four years (2009, 2010, 2011 & 2014).

Saturday morning saw the Jersey Festival of Cycling continued on Saturday morning with the Pearl Izumi Tour Ride coastal sportive on Saturday, with just under 400 amateur cyclists taking on either a 50 or 100-kilometre route, starting and finishing from the picturesque location of Gorey Harbour.

Highlights of the final event of the 2014 Pearl Izumi Tour Series will be shown on ITV4 at 7pm on Monday 16 June, with a repeat at 11.50am on Tuesday 17 June, and will be available on the ITV Player for 30-days after broadcast.

The Pearl Izumi Tour Series
Friday 13 June 2014, Gorey, Jersey Festival of Cycling

Round Ten Hill Climb Team Result
1) Rapha Condor JLT
2) Node4 Velosure
3) Madison Genesis
4) NFTO Pro Cycling
5) Team Raleigh
6) Great Britain
7) Starley Primal Pro Cycling
8) Metaltek Kuota
9) Pedal Heaven Colbornes

Round Ten Hill Climb Individual Result
1) Matthieu Boulo, FRA, Team Raleigh, 3’09.62
2) Adam Blythe, GBR, NFTO Pro Cycling, 3’10.88
3) George Harper, GBR, Node Velosure, 3’11.87
4) Jack Pullar, GBR, Starley Primal Pro Cycling, 3’12.39
5) Kristian House, GBR, Rapha Condor JLT, 3’13.16
6) Jon Mould, GBR, NFTO Pro Cycling, 3’14.46
7) Germain Burton, GBR, Great Britain, 3’14.77
8) Jon Dibben, GBR, Great Britain, 3’15.60
9) George Pym, GBR, Starley Primal Pro Cycling, 3’16.78
10)Mike Northey, GBR, Madison Genesis, 3’17.55

Round Ten Criterium Team Result
1) Madison Genesis
2) Node4 Velosure
3) Rapha Condor JLT
4) Team Raleigh
5) Great Britain
6) Pedal Heaven Colbornes
7) NFTO Pro Cycling
8) Starley Primal Pro Cycling
9) Metaltek Kuota

Round Ten Criterium Individual Result
1) Tom Stewart, GBR, Madison Genesis
2) Morgan Kniesky, GBR, Team Raleigh
3) Ed Clancy, GBR, Rapha Condor JLT
4) George Harper, GBR, Node4 Velosure
5) Alex Paton, GBR, Pedal Heaven Colbornes
6) Tobyn Horton, GBR, Madison Genesis
7) Jon Mould, GBR, NFTO Pro Cycling
8) George Atkins, GBR, Team Raleigh
9) Rob Partridge, GBR, Node4 Velosure
10)Kristian House, GBR, Rapha Condor JLT

Round Ten Criterium Costa Express Fastest Lap: Germain Burton, GBR, Great Britain
Round Ten Criterium Sprint Winner: Kristian House, GBR, Rapha Condor JLT

Final Overall Team Standings, post-Round Ten
1) Rapha Condor JLT, 126pts
2) Madison Genesis, 110pts
3) Team Raleigh, 95pts
4) NFTO Pro Cycling, 84pts
5) Node4 Velosure, 81pts
6) Metaltek Kuota, 50pts
7) Great Britain, 47pts
8) Starley Primal Pro Cycling, 46pts
9) Pedal Heaven Colbornes, 45pts

Final Overall Sprint Standings, post-Round Ten
1) Jon Mould, GBR, NFTO Pro Cycling, 79pts
2) Kristian House, GBR, Rapha Condor JLT, 62pts
3) Graham Briggs, GBR, Rapha Condor JLT, 45pts
4) Tom Scully, NZL, Madison Genesis, 40pts
5) Mike Northey, NZL, Madison Genesis, 26pts

Race Report – Pearl Izumi Tour Series Woking – Men’s & Women’s

 

Tom Stewart leads Madison Genesis to double success in Woking
On the evening one Pearl Izumi Tour Series Yorkshire favourite bowed out for competition, another star from the same county was firmly launched in the Series.

Pre-race the news may all have been about five-time race winner and former Champion Dean Downing making his final appearance in the Series, but post-race the talk was of 24-year-old Tom Stewart, who clinched an impressive first victory in the Series.

Madison Genesis rider Stewart was to the fore throughout, first partnering NFTO rider Adam Blythe in a two-up move before being part of the race winning break, from which he flew with teammates Tobyn Horton and Andy Tennant keeping a watching brief that would ensure team victory too.

With a handful of laps remaining Stewart went clear from the small leading group, building an advantage he’d hold until the line.

The final two laps saw Blythe and George Harper in fast pursuit, but it was too little too late, with the only consolation for the latter being second spot individually, and third on the night for his Node4 Velosure team.

Stewart’s first win was also Madison Genesis’ second individual win on the bounce, following Horton’s Canary Wharf victory, with the Guernsey rider being another, along with Tom Scully, Madison Genesis rider prominent and aggressive throughout.

Their performances and the combinations of Stewart’s win with Horton’s fourth and Tennant’s sixth gave Madison Genesis the team win, their third of this year’s Series, but with Rapha Condor JLT coming second the deficit is still 16 points.

The Pearl Izumi Tour Series heads to Jersey for its final round on Friday as a part of the Jersey Festival of Cycling, with an individual hill climb and circuit race posing a double-header challenge for teams.  With 24 points left to score, only an unlikely disaster seems to be between Rapha Condor JLT and the feat of becoming the first squad to win the Series overall twice.

NFTO’s Jon Mould did enough in Woking to wrap-up the Sprints Jersey with a round to spare, sitting on top of a 22 point lead over Kristian House, with Graham Briggs a further two points in arrears.

Briggs himself was also a winner in Woking, taking the Costa Express Fastest Lap with a 1’43.298, in what is likely to for the second year in succession have been the Series’ fastest race, with at the halfway point the race having an average speed of almost 45 kilometres per hour.

For Downing, racing for the first time in the Series as teammate to brother Russell, who made his comeback from injury in Woking, there was to be no fairytale finish at the circuit where he was victorious in 2009.

There was one final top ten finish though to round out a six year spell in The Pearl Izumi Tour Series that has made him one of the stars and most feted riders, in a Series which focusses on the team.

Five wins (Exeter and Woking in 2009, Exeter and Peterborough in 2010 and Colchester in 2011) plus the Series title with, the then, Rapha Condor Sharp team in 2011, are what Downing leaves behind, plus a legion of fans at venues impressed by his showmanship and results over the past six editions of the Series.
 
Downing follows NFTO teammate James McCallum into Pearl Izumi Tour Series retirement, as the next generation of stars begin to make their mark, led by the likes to Woking one-two Stewart and Harper.

Highlights of the Woking round of The Pearl Izumi Tour Series are on ITV4 at 8pm on Wednesday 11 June, with a repeat at 12.50pm on Thursday 12 June.  All of the highlights programmes are also available to view online and catch-up via the ITV Player.

The Pearl Izumi Tour Series
Tuesday 10 June 2014, Woking

Round Nine Team Result
1) Madison Genesis
2) Rapha Condor JLT
3) Node4 Velosure
4) NFTO Pro Cycling
5) Team Raleigh
6) Starley Primal Pro Cycling
7) Pedal Heaven Colbornes 
8) Metaltek Kuota
9) Great Britain

Round Nine Individual Result
1) Tom Stewart, GBR, Madison Genesis
2) George Harper, GBR, Node4 Velosure
3) Adam Blythe, GBR, NFTO Pro Cycling
4) Tobyn Horton, GBR, Madison Genesis
5) Graham Briggs, GBR, Rapha Condor JLT
6) Andy Tennant, GBR, Madison Genesis
7) Matthieu Boulo, FRA, Team Raleigh
8) Chris Opie, GBR, Rapha Condor JLT
9) Morgan Kniesky, FRA, Team Raleigh
10) Dean Downing, GBR, NFTO Pro Cycling

Round Nine Costa Express Fastest Lap: Graham Briggs, GBR, Rapha Condor JLT, 1’43.298
Round Nine Sprint Winner: Jon Mould, GBR, NFTO Pro Cycling

Overall Team Standings, post-Round Nine
1) Rapha Condor JLT, 106pts
2) Madison Genesis, 90pts
3) Team Raleigh, 82pts
4) NFTO Pro Cycling, 73pts
5) Node4 Velosure, 61pts
6) Metaltek Kuota, 45pts
7) Starley Primal Pro Cycling, 39pts
8) Pedal Heaven Colbornes, 38pts
9) Great Britain, 36pts

Overall Sprint Standings, post-Round Nine
1) Jon Mould, GBR, NFTO Pro Cycling, 69pts
2) Kristian House, GBR, Rapha Condor JLT, 47pts
3) Graham Briggs, GBR, Rapha Condor JLT, 45pts

 



Win for Roe seals Matrix Fitness GP Series title in Woking
Eileen Roe clinched the 2014 Matrix Fitness Grand Prix Series title in style, winning the final race in Woking to head compatriot and best friend Charline Joiner at the top of the standings.

Roe outsprinted Redditch winner Amy Roberts and Grace Garner on the long drag to the Woking finish line to ensure she finished 13 points clear of Joiner at the top of the standings.
Joiner could only come in sixth, despite the best efforts of her Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International team, who worked tirelessly for her in the front group.

Roe, who has held the Series lead since her victory in Round Two in Peterborough, now moves on to the Commonwealth Games, where she will represent Team Scotland in Glasgow this Summer, alongside Joiner.

Consolation for the Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International team came in the team prize, having led the classification throughout the Series, thanks to the two victories of Katie Archibald and string of consistent placings from Joiner, Dame Sarah Storey and Gabriella Shaw.

After their first winless campaign in the Series, Matrix Fitness – Vulpine drew some consolation from taking the Sprints Jersey, with Helen Wyman winning the Sprints prize in Woking to seal victory in the classification over Archibald.

In a fast race, averaging 39 kilometres per hour, the front group was consistently whittled down until only a dozen or so riders remained.

Most notable for her aggressive riding was Tamiko Butler, riding for local Surrey squad WyndyMilla Reynolds, who enjoyed noisy partisan support in Woking, with the Combativity Award falling the way of Butler post-race.

Come the final sprint though it was Roe heading to the line first in a messy affair, as the leader caught a trailing group coming out of the final bend.  Behind Roe it was Roberts, whose second place on the night helped her into third overall in the Series, and Grace Garner, enjoying her best ever Matrix Fitness GP Series result at the circuit where elder sister Lucy has twice won.

Fourth spot on the night for Katie Curtis, who worked throughout for her Starley Primal teammate Roe, gave her fourth in the standings, with Clemence Copie fifth before Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International duo Joiner and Shaw.

Highlights of the final round of the Matrix Fitness Grand Prix Series will be shown as a part of The Pearl Izumi Tour Series highlights on ITV4 at 8pm on Wednesday 11 June, with a repeat on Thursday 12 June at 12.50pm.

Matrix Fitness Grand Prix Series
Tuesday 10 June 2014
Round Five, Woking

Race Result
1) Eileen Roe, GBR, Starley Primal Pro Cycling
2) Amy Roberts, GBR, Wiggle Honda
3) Grace Garner, GBR, RST Racing Team
4) Katie Curtis, GBR, Starley Primal Pro Cycling
5) Clemence Copie, GBR, Team MuleBar Girl – Sigma Sport
6) Charline Joiner, GBR, Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International
7) Gabriella Shaw, GBR, Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International
8) Laura Greenhalgh, GBR, Twickenham CC
9) Lydia Boylan, GBR, Velosport – Pasta Montegrappa
10) Jo Tindley, GBR, Matrix Fitness – Vulpine

Round Five Sprint Winner: Helen Wyman, GBR, Matrix Fitness – Vulpine
Round Five Team Winner: Starley Primal Pro Cycling

Final Overall Individual Standings, post-Round Five
1) Eileen Roe, GBR, Starley Primal Pro Cycling, 104pts
2) Charline Joiner, GBR, Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International, 91pts
3) Amy Roberts, GBR, Wiggle Honda, 69pts
4) Katie Curtis, GBR, Starley Primal Pro Cycling, 69pts
5) Helen Wyman, GBR, Matrix Fitness – Vulpine, 69pts

Final Overall Sprint Standings, post-Round Five
1) Helen Wyman, GBR, Matrix Fitness – Vulpine, 30pts
2) Katie Archibald, GBR, Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International, 20pts
3) Katie Curtis, GBR, Starley Primal Pro Cycling, 18pts

Final Overall Team Standings, post-Round Five
1) Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International, 227pts
2) Matrix Fitness – Vulpine, 169pts
3) Starley Primal Pro Cycling, 136pts
4) Team MuleBar Girl – Sigma Sport, 88pts
5) Velosport – Pasta Montegrappa, 73pts
6) RST Racing Team, 64pts
7) Epic Cycles – Scott WRT, 49pts
8) WyndyMilla Reynolds, 46pts
9) GBcycles.co.uk, 3pts

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