Round five of the Tour Series takes the bunch north to the Golden Mile in Blackpool on Tuesday evening.
The new televised series is already a big hit with the host towns, with big crowds enjoying the fast and furious team format criteriums. The one kilometre circuit based on Blackpool?s promenade promises to pull in another bumper crowd as some of the six million annual visitors to the adjacent Pleasure Beach take advantage of the free entertainment.
HALFORDS TAKE PETERBOROUGH
A lacklustre start to the Tour Series from the Halfords Bikehut squad was laid to rest at Peterborough as Ian Wilkinson led the boys in orange and black to the team prize on the night.
Wilko?s win, with Ed Clancy and Rob Hayles third and sixth respectively, gave Halfords the edge over CandiTV?Marshalls Pasta in a close-fought finish between the two teams.
?Beating Russell Downing is always a scalp,? Wilkinson told Cycling Weekly, ?but to win the team prize couldn’t have been better.?
Halfords and CandiTV dominated the final sprint on the night, with Tony Gibb (Madison.co.uk) the first finisher from outside those two teams in seventh.
MADISON STILL GOING STRONG
Madison hold onto second overall after a good showing at round three in Woking. With the team facing financial problems after the withdrawal of title sponsor Plowman Craven, keeping the jerseys at the head of the bunch in the coming weeks takes on added importance. Two hours of television coverage per week will go a long way to attracting new backers.
?It?s no secret that the team have got a few problems at the moment,? said team captain Gibb, ?so to come up with a result like that [Woking] certainly helps.
?We have got quite a few people looking at the team from an investment point of view. We are there or thereabouts at the moment, so it is quite an attractive proposition for sponsors.?
Dean Downing?s solo victory in Woking backfired somewhat for Rapha Condor, and Madison took full advantage.
?Once Deano was away, it kind of played into our hands,? said Gibb. ?He was out of the equation and he would have been their highest sprinter anyway. All due respect to the other Rapha guys there, but they are not renowned for their sprinting, so we knew we had a good chance. CandiTV didn?t seem to be having a good night, and Halfords weren?t having a good night at all.?
Gibb leads his squad on Blackpool promenade on Tuesday, aiming to take those blue leaders? jerseys from CandiTV. ?We have got it sorted and we know how to ride them now, so we are just going to stick to that,? he said.
TEAM RESULTS: ROUND FOUR, PETERBOROUGH
1. Halfords Bikehut
2. CandiTV?Marshalls Pasta
4. Rapha Condor
5. Sigma Sport-Specialized-Sportful
8. Corley Cycles
9. Sports Beans-Wilier
10. BMC UK Racing Team
TEAM STANDINGS AFTER ROUND FOUR
1. Candi TV?Marshalls Pasta
3. Rapha Condor
4. Halfords Bikehut
5. Sigma Sport-Specialized-Sportful
6. Sport Beans-Wilier
7. Team Corley Cycles
8. BMC UK Racing Team
10. Endura Racing
THE TOUR SERIES: 2009 DATES
June 9 Tour Series criterium 5, Blackpool
June 11 Tour Series criterium 6, Southport
June 16 Tour Series criterium 7, Stoke-on-Trent
June 18 Tour Series criterium 8, Colchester
June 23 Tour Series criterium 9, Chester
June 25 Tour Series criterium 10, Southend on Sea
|TOUR SERIES ON TELLY|
ITV4, 7pm, Wednesday, June 10
|SUPER TEAM CHALLENGE|
We predicted there would be change at the top after three counting events in the space of a week, and so it proved. CandiTV finally overhaul Halfords thanks to Russell Downing?s two wins in one weekend.
But with just six points in it and another three races this week, it could all change again.
A new name hits the Super Team Challenge board: Sportcover?s veteran Kevin Dawson spent the entire 181km at the head of the race in the Ryedale GP and deserves more than eight points for his efforts. But rules are rules, so eight points it is.
CandiTV-Marshalls Pasta 126
Halfords Bikehut 120
Rapha Condor 67
Sports Beans-Wilier 26
Le Col-Colnago 10
Corley Cycles 6
Sigma Sport 1
Wilko wins in Peterborough
Downing claims second Tour Series win in Woking
Tour Series, Exeter – photo gallery by Paul Watson
Dean Downing wins in Exeter
Briggs wins first round of Tour Series
Cycling Weekly British team profiles
Tour Series: www.tourseries.co.uk