CONFUSION REIGNS AT THE TOUR SERIES
Anyone who was in Southport watching the Tour Series last night will have gone home thinking that Rapha Condor Sharp had been the winning team on the night: indeed, Rapha was the team presented to the crowd as such at the end of the race.
However, owing to a mix-up with the scoring system, it was in fact Endura who should have been the winning team on the night and not Rapha.
Rapha team manager John Herety expressed to Cycling Weekly his frustration with the result, meaning his team will be omitted from the podium in the television coverage of the event tonight (Wednesday).
Results were skewed after a technical malfunction, meaning Endura and Rapha had actually drawn on the night, but the win was given to the former in light of Alexandre Blain's individual win.
"The race officials unreservedly apologise to the riders, team management and sponsors of both Rapha and Endura for this technical malfunction, and assure all those involved in the Tour Series, that an additional level of checking will be put in place for the remaining rounds thus ensuring that such a technical malfunction cannot reoccur," commented Chief Commissaire in Southport, Martin Bridgwood.
In fact, it is not the first time that this has happened in this year's Series.
In Durham, there was confusion over two of Rapha's riders who many believed had been lapped twice but were counted in the results as being on the same lap.
"There were two Rapha riders who'd been lapped twice," explained Motorpoint Marshalls Pasta manager, Keith Lambert.
"Everyone was saying they'd been lapped so it should have been Sigma who were second on the night.
"I'm only going on what people said because I wasn't there but it does seem very dubious. The consensus at the time was that Rapha were fourth, but they were moved up to second later on".
That decision - whether right or wrong - put Lambert's Motorpoint team in the lead of the series on the night, whereas based on the revised results it should have been Rapha, meaning another missed TV appearance for Herety's riders.
"It's done and dusted now," Lambert added. "We're just concentrating on the rest of the Series".
Rapha presented to the crowds but it was in fact Endura that had won
MOTORPOINT NEED TO KEEP PUSHING FOR TOUR SERIES WIN
The Motorpoint Marshalls Pasta team may have a four-point lead over Endura and Rapha, but team manager Keith Lambert insists the team needs to continue to work hard if they are to retain the Series lead at the half-way point in this year's calendar.
"We need to continue to extend the flow," said Lambert. "Ed [Clancy] punctured with two laps to go last night which was really unfortunate. Had he won the bunch sprint behind we might not have been third. He was quite poorly too," and is still recovering from a cold.
The team can also count on Malcolm Elliott who returns to the fold after crashing hard in Portsmouth.
"Malcolm's coming back in and he's nicely rested after his crash. As a team we rode better last night [Southport] than in Exeter, but it didn't work out, we were outmanoeuvred. The Series is more competitive though this year and that's healthy".
Wearing the leaders' orange jerseys may not be quite as satisfying as it may seem at times though says Lambert.
"Those jerseys are flapping about in the wind; compared to a skinsuit that's about a 40-watt difference, which can make the difference between winning and losing in a bunch sprint".
ARMITSTEAD THE STAR IN OTLEY CRITS
Lizzie Armitstead makes a welcome return to home turf in Otley to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Otley Cycle Races.
The Cervélo professional will contest the 2/3/4 and women's race after jokingly remarking after riding well in last year's event about the "lazy men" she'd competed against.
Armitstead will then drop the flag on the elite men's race, won last year by Jeremy Hunt ahead of strongman Ian Wilkinson.
Full fields of 100 riders are expected for both races.
Wednesday June 23, from 6.30pm. Circuit based on Bondgate, Otley town centre, West Yorkshire. Free to watch.
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