AFTER failing to secure a spot in the Great Britain Olympic Road Race Team for Beijing, National Champion Rob Hayles powered to victory in superb style in the Tour of Pendle in Lancashire
The day after all four British riders had failed to finish the Olympic road race, Hayles soloed to victory in the latest round of the Premier Calendar on Sunday, leaving everyone – even runaway series leader Russell Downing – in his wake.
All the main players were in a leading group which had gone well clear of the bunch, but Hayles appeared to be struggling and dropped back as they reached a climb.
But it was all smoke and mirrors, as the Derbyshire-based rider calmly stepped up a gear and ploughed through the group as they crested the climb, leaving them to battle for the minor placings as he extended his lead with every turn of the pedal.
Six miles later he crossed the line alone, 36 seconds ahead of Russell Downing (Pinarello RT) in second, while Ben Greenwood (Rapha Condor-Recycling) was third, another second behind.
PCA Ciclos Uno youngster Daniel Patten was top under-23 rider in fourth spot, while Will Bjergfelt (Felt Racing) was fifth and Matt Stephens (Sigma Sport RT) sixth as the event gave some different riders their chance to shine.
Tour of Pendle, Premier Calendar round eight (Barnoldswick, Lancashire).-
1 Rob Hayles (Halfords Bikehut) 3-31-38
2 Russell Downing (Pinarello RT) at 36sec
3 Ben Greenwood (Rapha Condor) at 37sec
4 Daniel Patten (PCA Ciclos Uno) same time
5 Will Bjergfelt (Felt Racing) at 41sec
6 Matt Stephens (Sigma Sport RT) at 51sec
7 Tom Murray (Pinarello RT) at 58sec
8 Robin Sharman (Sigma Sport RT) at 1-09
9 Mark Lovatt (Planet X) same time
10 Alex Coutts (Giant Asia RT) at 1-11