Halfords clung on for overall victory by the narrowest conceivable margin in the final Round of the Tour Series in Southend, with a win by Rob Hayles.
Going into the night’s racing, Candi TV were level on points with Halfords, making the event effectively ‘winner takes all’.
In the event, after a 10 man breakaway established itself in the last quarter of the race, Rob Hayles edged out Candi TV’s Malcolm Elliott in a dramatic sprint along the Western Promenade to take the race by a matter of inches.
Given the way those two teams placed their other 2 riders, had the result of that duel gone the other way, so too would the team win, and therefore the entire series.
Hayles, who has competed in every round of the Tour Series, and whose wife is due to give birth to their second child this weekend, was delighted by the win. “It’s a fantastic achievement for all the team. We had to dig deep”, he told Cycling Weekly.
Malcolm Elliott was left to wonder, “what if?”, as Candi TV who had led for so much of the series fell agonisingly short. “To have come so close and not to come away with the win is galling,” he confessed. ”I’ve been saying that this would be my last year riding, but now I’m not so sure,” he added. “This Tour has given the sport a new lease of life.”
Rapha Condor, who had been on the attack throughout the final race, could only manage third place on the night, and third place overall.
You can watch the final round of the Tour Series in Southend-on-sea tonight on ITV4 at 7pm.
Team results – Round 10 – Southend-on-Sea
1. Halfords Bikehut
2. Candi TV-Marshalls Pasta
5. Team Corley Cycles
6. Sports Beans-Wilier
7. Sigma Sport-Specialized
9. Endura Racing
10. BMC UK Racing Team
Individual results – Round 10 – Southend-on-Sea
1. Rob Hayles (Halfords Bikehut)
2. Malcolm Elliott (Candi TV-Marshalls Pasta)
3. Wouter Sybrandy (Sigma Sport-Specialized)
4. Ian Wilkinson (Halfords Bikehut)
5. Marcin Bialoblocki (Sports Beans-Wilier)
6. Dale Appleby (Candi TV-Marshalls Pasta)
7. Stephen Adams (Madison.co.uk)
8. Matthew Higgins (Team Corley Cycles)
9. Kristian House (Rapha-Condor)
10. Tom Southam (Rapha-Condor)
Final team standings
1. Halfords BikeHut 96 points
2. Candi TV-Marshalls Pasta 94
3. Rapha-Condor 91
4. Madison.co.uk 84
5. Sigma Sport-Specialized 51
6. Sports Beans – Wilier 50
7. Team Corley Cycles 44
8. Endura Racing 28
9. Cyclingbargains.com 22
10. BMC UK Racing Team 20