PLOWMAN Craven?s preparations for the Girvan Three-Day next week took an unexpected twist when they had to settle for third in the Hounslow Spring Road Race on Sunday.

Sigma Sport?s Andrew Bye took victory, sprinting clear of Sports Beans rider Marc Perry, while third spot from Tony Gibb was all the Plowman Craven team could muster after being marked men for much of the afternoon.

Frustrated team manager Garry Beckett said afterwards: ?We were only allowed six riders in the race by the organiser, because he didn?t want us to dominate the race, but it fact it had the opposite effect because everyone else was sitting on our guys and waiting for something to happen.

?It was a hard day for us, because with three laps to go Alex Higham broke a spoke just before a difficult part of the circuit, and Neil Coleman, who had done a lot of chasing to bring back a break, went out the back around the same time.

?That left us with just four guys, and although Tony Gibb got third, it hasn?t been a particularly good day down south.?

But while his team-mates were suffering down south, Tom Barras rode the CDNW League event at Saighton, Cheshire, and took a convincing victory for Plowman Craven from under the noses of a strong lead group including three riders from Kinesis UK.