Frenchman Alexandre Blain and his Endura Racing team came out on top in the fifth round of the 2010 Tour Series in Southport on Tuesday night.
The circuit based on the seaside town’s Lord Street near the main promenade proved to be a fast, testing loop with the pace soon picking up as the evening’s action got underway.
There were numerous attacks that strung the field out but it was with around a quarter of the race to go that the main move of the night went. Blain, Kristian House (Rapha-Condor-Sharp) and Ian Bibby (Motorpoint-Marshalls Pasta) pulled out a significant gap on the fast moving field.
The tension built as within the final five laps Andy Tennant (Motorpoint-Marshalls Pasta), Jack Bauer (Endura), James Stewart (Raleigh) and Dean Windsor (Rapha-Condor-Sharp) broke away from the main field and managed to bridge the gap to the leading three.
With a lap to go, the now lead group of seven had time to play a bit of cat and mouse and it was Blain that attacked with about 500 metres to go, making sure he was first in to the final dead hairpin turn that brought the riders in to the finish straight and to the line.
Blain’s strength proved too much as he powered out of the turn and comfortably held his sprint to win from House and Bibby.
Afterwards Blain gave CW his take on the race, “We had a good break with about twenty minutes to go. The problem was there was just the two of us to ride – Kristian House and me because Motorpoint’s Bibby did not want to ride with us – so it was a bit complicated.
“At the end before the split came back to us, we both attacked one after another to try and put Bibby in a bit of trouble. So, when I saw the split come back I said, ok Alex you have one lap to recover and I got to the back of the group and waited for a good time to attack.
“I’m not a fast sprinter but a strong sprinter, so I knew I must attack before the last corner. So I did with maybe 500 metres to go but I have strength and in the last lap when you are in front you must put everything in to it and I did it.
“It’s a good result for the team because the team are becoming stronger day after day. We won on Sunday (Ryedale GP) with Rob (Partridge) – we did a great, great race with all the team there. And tonight, we were everywhere, on every wheel and every break and to conclude with a win is a great result. I don’t know what we did for the team placing but we are here for the Tour Series win.”
After an initial mix-up due to a ‘technical glitch’ that saw Rapha-Condor-Sharp awarded team honours on the night, it was Endura that was later confirmed round winner. Motorpoint-Marshalls Pasta safely continue to top the series standings.
Round six of the 10-date 2010 Tour Series takes place on Thursday (June 10) evening in Kettering.
Individual Result Tour Series Round 5 Southport
1. Alexandre Blain (Endura)
2. Kristian House (Rapha-Condor-Sharp)
3. Ian Bibby (Motorpoint-Marshalls Pasta)
4. Dean Windsor (Rapha-Condor-Sharp)
5. Andy Tennant (Motorpoint-Marshalls Pasta)
Result Tour Series Round 5 Team Winners
3. Motorpoint-Marshalls Pasta
Overall Tour Series Team Standings after Round 5
1. Motorpoint-Marshalls Pasta
Alexandre Blain leads Kristian House and Ian Bibby
Ed Clancy in orange leading team jersey
Alexandre Blain takes the individual win ahead of Kristian House