The Tour Series moves to Exeter tonight [Thursday] after last week?s opener in Milton Keynes.

CandiTV-Marshalls Pasta head the team standings with Graham Briggs winning the first race after Halfords Bikehut?s Rob Hayles was relegated to second for moving off his line.

National road race champion Hayles looked surprised when interviewed by James Cracknell following the race and told the leading two positions had been switched. ?That was how I found out, when Cracknell interviewed me afterwards,? he said. ?I didn?t even touch him [Briggs]. Anyway, I have been around long enough to know you get some decisions and not others.?

Will he be changing his ways for Exeter? ?No. I am going to race how I always race and it is up to them [judges] to decide whether I deserve it or not,? said Hayles.

The team format is taking a bit of getting used to for the 50-strong bunch. Dean Downing (Rapha Condor) could be seen frantically waving his arm around in search of team-mates during the closing stages at Milton Keynes. ?Obviously, you want to win the race as well,? explained Hayles, ?because there is a lot prestige with it, but it is about the team.?

Current leaders CandiTV-Marshalls Pasta seem to have the hang of it. ?The tactics seemed a big strange at first, but the rules certainly make the racing very lively,? said manager Phil Griffiths.

?We?ll be employing the same tactics again this week, so it?s all about the team of three [points scoring riders] rather than getting the sprint win, so we?ll really be taking it to the other teams?.

The city-centre circuit is based on Exeter’s High Street and the main event starts at 7pm.

imageHayles and Briggs: a tight squeeze?

CandiTV-Marshalls Pasta 12pts
Plowman Craven-Madison 10
Rapha-Condor 8
BMC Racing 7
Sports Beans-Wilier 6
Sigma Sport- Specialized-Sportful 5 4
Team Corley Cycles 3
Halfords Bikehut 2
Endura Racing 1

May 28 Tour Series criterium 2, Exeter
June 2 Tour Series criterium 3, Woking
June 4 Tour Series criterium 4, Peterborough
June 9 Tour Series criterium 5, Blackpool
June 11 Tour Series criterium 6, Southport
June 16 Tour Series criterium 7, Stoke-on-Trent
June 18 Tour Series criterium 8, Derby
June 23 Tour Series criterium 9, York
June 25 Tour Series criterium 10, Darlington


ITV4, 7pm, Friday, May 29


The criterium season is upon us and the races come thick and fast over the next couple of months, so there are plenty of points to be had.

Halfords Bikehut and CandiTV-Marshalls Pasta are pulling clear of the rest, but that could all change with a good run of results in June. Strength in depth could be the key with the punishing race schedule ahead, so expect more from Rapha Condor and Plowman Craven-Madison.

Halfords Bikehut 87
CandiTV-Marshalls Pasta 80
Rapha Condor 40
Sports Beans-Wilier 26
Plowman Craven-Madison 17
Le Col-Colnago 10
Corley Cycles 6

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