By taking the individual win in the Portsmouth round of the Tour Series last night, Ian Bibby helped project his Motorpoint-Marshalls Pasta team to top spot on the overall leaderboard.
Even after Durham race winner Malcolm Elliott had crashed out mid-race, the riders in black and orange were able to place three riders in the top ten and leapfrog Rapha-Condor-Sharp who’d started the race one point ahead of them.
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Behind Bibby in first place, Andy Tennant finished fourth and Ed Clancy took eigth. Rapha on the other hand had a disappointing end to the race – compounded by misinformation on the lap board. Kristian House finished off the back while Dean Downing suffered a puncture with two laps to go.
On the results sheet, they finished just ninth in the evening’s team rankings, allowing Motopoint to move a firm six points clear at the top of the table.
Despite damp conditions and a simple and flat D-Shaped circuit on the Southsea seafront, the third round was an eventful affair. Not many riders were able to get much of a lead on the bunch – the most significant attack came from Pendragon’s Casey Munro who enjoyed not much more than one circuit out front.
Instead it was a handful of spills that spiced up the action. The big one came 20 minutes in on the long, sweeping, narrowing back bend of the circuit as the bunch felt the squeeze preparing for an intermediate sprint.
Amongst those going down were two Kuota team riders, Endura’s Kiwi road race champion, Jack Bauer, and Pendragon’s Richard Tanguy who had the misfortune of landing at the bottom of the pile.
This was also the crash that took Elliott out of the race. He was taken to hospital with cuts and bruises to his wrist and shoulder.
“I think it’s just superficial but I wasn’t going to take part in much more of the race,” he told Cycling Weekly.
Explaining how it happened, the 48 year old added: “It took me down from behind. I could tell it was going to pinch in and I thought I’d got clear of it. But the next thing I knew I was upside down with my head scraping down the road and my arm underneath me.”
A couple of laps later, having been held up by another incident, Clancy and House were circling back to the pits off the back.
25 minutes further on, it was the turn of Stephen Adams (Sigma Sport-Specialized), James McCallum and Rob Hayles (both Endura Racing) to enter the technical area for a lap out. While Adams and McCallum returned to the race, the latter on his reserve bike, his team mate had no such luxury. With an unhealthy crack in the top tube and no spare present, Hayles had to pull out.
“Someone hooked my bars and I was going through the bunch sideways,” the former world champion offered as explanation to the damage. “I didn’t come down but my feet came out and I landed on the top tube.”
Born and raised in the Porstmouth area, Hayles said he was “absolutely gutted” to withdraw in such circumstances. Then as his Endura team took to the front to set up the bunch sprint, he added: “Look what I’m missing!”
Endura’s effort appeared to have paid off with fast man Ian Wilkinson leading the bunch sprint into the final corner with 150m to go. Perhaps what he hadn’t counted on was the form of his fellow Lancastrian on his wheel. Like Wilkinson, Bibby is now focussing on the road after coming from a mountain bike background. This season he’s already won the national cross championships, prologue time trials and king of the mountains prizes. Now it was time to show what he could do in a gallop.
“I was second wheel along the back straight behind Wilky and I was going to stay there,” said Bibby. “But coming into the last corner, I thought if I didn’t go round him others were going to dive bomb me and I’d struggle. So I jumped him into that last corner, just about got out of it, and then the Pendragon rider on the inside line started to come round me. But I pulled back at him in the sprint.”
On the line, Bibby had moved securely enough clear of Yanto Barker and Wilkinson to venture a victory salute. Three places back Tennant did likewise – after all the Tour Series is principally a team game.
“The team is the main thing,” pointed out Bibby. “Last year was really good doing it with Halfords. It’s different racing for the team and it works really well. I think when everyone does the team thing, we all really pull together.”
National cyclo cross champion Ian Bibby takes the win in Portsmouth
Motorpoint Marshalls Pasta take the spoils on the podium
1) Motorpoint – Marshalls Pasta
2) Pendragon – Le Col – Colnago
3) Endura Racing
4) Team Raleigh
5) Sigma Sport – Specialized
6) CyclePremier.com – Metaltek
7) Team Corley Cycles
8) Kuota – road.cc
9) Rapha – Condor – Sharp
10) Team Ireland
1) Ian Bibby: Motorpoint – Marshalls Pasta
2) Yanto Barker: Pendragon – Le Col – Colnago
3) Ian Wilkinson: Endura Racing
4) Andy Tennant: Motorpoint – Marshalls Pasta
5) Tony Gibb: CyclePremier.com – Metaltek
The Halfords Tour Series Standings (after three rounds)
1) Motorpoint – Marshalls Pasta (28pts)
2) Endura Racing (22pts)
3) Pendragon – Le Col – Colnago (22pts)
4) Rapha – Condor – Sharp (21pts)
5) Team Raleigh (20pts)
6) Sigma Sport – Specialized (19pts)
7) CyclePremier.com – Metaltek (13pts)
8) Kuota – road.cc (9pts)
9) Team Corley Cycles (8pts)
10) Team Ireland (3pts)
Boardman Bikes Sprints Competition Results
1) Liam Holohan: Team Raleigh (11pts)
2) Kristian House: Rapha – Condor – Sharp (7pts)
3) Evan Oliphant: Endura Racing (5pts)
Boardman Bikes Sprints Competition Overall Standings
1) Kristian House: Rapha – Condor – Sharp (22pts)
2) Liam Holohan: Team Raleigh (21pts)
3) Graham Briggs: Rapha – Condor – Sharp (10pts)