By Owen Rogers
Olympic team pursuit champion Ed Clancy won Tuesday evening's round of the Pearl Izumi Tour Series in Peterborough. The JLT-Condor rider won the sprint from a seven-man group which had escaped the clutches of the peloton with about 15 minutes left to race.
The team prize was taken by One Pro Cycling who edged Madison-Genesis into second place. The win puts the two teams level on points, though it is the former who will wear the leaders’ jerseys at Thursday’s final round as they have more outright race wins.
The race was tightly controlled by the two leading teams, who had representatives at the front of the group throughout, before posting one rider each in the decisive break. One Pro Cycling’s director, Matt Winston was clearly happy with the result and the momentum the team now has.
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“It was another solid performance,” Winston told Cycling Weekly “We’ve strung a few results together now, back to back, so we are building momentum and brought it into this evening. The victories have helped us get into the jersey going into the last round, but it doesn’t mater how many you’ve won, we’re level on points, so the first team across the line on Thursday is going to win the Tour Series. That should make for quite an exciting race.”
It was Clancy’s second victory in Peterborough and also his second of the year, making him the only rider so far with two victories. The result continues a rich vein of form which includes last Saturday’s London Nocturne and a second place behind NFTO’s Steele von Hoff in last week’s Canary Wharf Tour Series race. This time it was roles reversed with the Australian beaten into second place.
“I’m dead happy,” Clancy told us. “It’s always the plan to win, but it’s easier said than done. There’s been a lot of hard circuits this year, so there hasn’t been that many where I’ve had a real chance.
“I felt good from the off and it’s unusual for me to get in a breakaway and when I do it’s unusual for me to work in a breakaway. Today I felt good and I wanted to drive it, I wasn't confident I could beat Steele but I thought ‘ah, let’s have a go and even if he beats me again it’ll be a good laugh.’”
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French rider Morgan Kniesky (Raleigh-GAC) won the Chain Reaction Cycles points competition for the evening, meaning he is virtually certain of the winning the jersey overall. The team’s tactics worked perfectly, they dominated the sprints, taking 24 of the 60 points available, Kniesky winning 11 of those. His 11-point lead over second-placed Tom Stewart (Madison-Genesis) should prove unassailable with a maximum of only 20 available on the day.
Dame Sarah Storey won the women’s Matrix Fitness GP event, capping off a long lone breakaway, finishing 19 seconds ahead of second-placed Eileen Roe (Wiggle-Honda).
With two team mates joining Storey in the top ten, they have also nearly sealed the team prize, though with double points available, that could still change in the final round. “We have a very strong team. Joanna [Rowsell] was just firing off the front with Katie [Curtis] covering things, so it was only a matter of time until something stuck.
“The plan almost went a bit dodgy when they nearly came back to us. I spotted that and moved up to the front and launched one just as they were looking as if they would close that down.”
The final round of both the men’s and women’s series takes place this Thursday in Bath.
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