Rapha-Condor-Sharp secured their first Tour Series title in Canary Wharf last night, as last year’s champions Motorpoint salvaged some last-minute pride by taking both the individual and team victory.
Jonny McEvoy soloed to the win around London’s financial district, having attacked a strong five-man comprising of Dean Downing (Rapha-Condor-Sharp), Stoke-on-Trent’s individual victor Scott Thwaites (Endura Racing), Magnus Backstedt (Team UK Youth) and Wouter Sybrandy (Sigma Sport-Specialized) that formed half-way into the race.
Representing the top two teams in the series, unsurprisingly Downing and Thwaites marked each other throughout, something which McEvoy and Sybrandy – whose respective squads were vying for third place overall – replicated.
However, when McEvoy attacked on the penultimate lap, he took advantage of a moment’s hesitation from his breakaway companions and held on to take a fine victory.
Jonny McEvoy celebrates his individual victory
Downing took second, with Thwaites third and Backstedt fourth. Paul Voss (Endura Racing) won the bunch sprint for sixth, but as McEvoy’s team-mates Tobyn Horton and Marcin Bialoblocki took seventh and tenth respectively, the round deservedly went to Motorpoint.
Trailing by six points at the start of the race, Endura’s second place on the night reduced Rapha’s final overall winning margin by five points, as John Herety’s team rode a trouble-free race to finish third.
Having led since round one, Rapha-Condor-Sharp finally enjoy the Champagne
Steve Lampier (Sigma Sport-Specialized) clinched the overall victory in the sprints classification, clinching maximum points on the first prime to jump ahead of Kristian House (Rapha-Condor-Sharp), who only started the opening four races.
Boardman Bikes sprints competition winner Steve Lampier (Sigma Sport-Specialized)
Rapha enjoy their Tour Series title
Rapha-Condor Sharp team-manager John Herety praised his riders after they secured a much-deserved series victory.
Speaking to Cycling Weekly, Herety said: “It’s nice to finally bring it home. This evening was all about staying out of trouble, and luckily we were never in difficulty.”
Despite dominating the early rounds, their tally of five race victories matched their total from 2010, when they only managed to finish third.
Reflecting on this, he said that the team had taken a slightly conservative approach for last night’s race.
“We just wanted to make sure we stayed out of harm’s way tonight – we were never looking at pushing too hard or targeting to win the round,” said Herety.
Praising his team, he stated why his team had won the event.
Herety and Clancy toast their achievements.
“The key factor was to give each rider targets in the winter. For example, we gave Jimmy Mac (James McCallum) a specific goal to target the event. Yes, he has other races to ride for the team but it was all about making sure he was ready for the series.”
Unsurprisingly, McCallum had a smile as big as the Canary Wharf skyscrapers
“It feels surreal that it’s all done, but wow, it feels incredible right now,” said the Scot.
“The guys have all worked so hard – not just the riders, but John, the mechanics, the backroom staff. Everyone has been going flat out over the last four weeks.”
McCallum added: “It seems strange that it’s all over with already, but it’s a brilliant feeling.”
Having won the 2009 crown with the Halfords team, and last year’s series with Motorpoint-Marshalls Pasta, Ed Clancy added his third title in the event.
The victory was even sweeter for the Olympian, as he was still feeling the side effects from a nasty crash in Woking on Tuesday.
“I think the overall the best team has won. Yes, Endura have finished strongly, but we started so well and that was crucial.”
Clancy was only passed fit to ride by Herety shortly before the race, and finished safely in the peloton.
Even so, he admitted that it wasn’t as easy for him as it may have looked.
“I didn’t feel that great tonight, I think I followed one move all night. The boys could have ridden it without me, as I was hanging on towards the end.
“The series shows it is never over until the final race, so the thought of a bad round can cross your mind. With Halfords I remember we finished ninth once, and obviously Rapha have had their bad experiences before.
“These things can happen, but the way we rode tonight was sensible. We knew what we were here for and we did a professional job tonight.
Finally on the podium, Motorpoint enjoy Tour Series success again at last
McEvoy restores Motorpoint pride
Despite clinching third overall, the series has been a difficult for Motorpoint, who rarely looked like repeating their 2010 victory.
Nonetheless, McEvoy rode brilliantly to ensure the team picked up their first success in this year’s series.
“I’m made up,” he said. “I went with two to go, as I didn’t want to lose in a sprint again like I did on Tuesday (in Woking). Scott (Thwaites) and Dean (Downing) are going so well I didn’t want get beaten at the end.
“Eight times out of ten a move like this wouldn’t have paid off, but I just went for it tonight.”
McEvoy was honest in his assessment of the series, saying: “We’ve been on the backfoot since the first couple of rounds, but it’s good to get the win at last.
Tour Series 2011, round eight: Canary Wharf, London
1. Motorpoint Pro Cycling
2. Endura Racing
4. Sigma Sport-Specialized
6. Team UK Youth
8. Team Raleigh
9. Pendragon-Le Col-Colnago
1. Jonny McEvoy (Motorpoint Pro Cycling)
2. Dean Downing (Rapha-Condor-Sharp)
3. Scott Thwaites (Endura Racing)
4. Magnus Backstedt (Team UK Youth)
5. Wouter Sybrandy (Sigma Sport-Specialized)
6. Paul Voss (Endura Racing)
7. Tobyn Horton (Motorpoint Pro Cycling)
8. James McCallum (Rapha-Condor-Sharp)
9. Ian Wilkinson (Endura Racing)
10. Marcin Bialoblocki (Motorpoint Pro Cycling)
Final overall series standings
1. Rapha-Condor-Sharp 75pts
2. Endura Racing 70pts
3. Motorpoint Pro Cycling 56pts
4. Sigma Sport-Specialized 49pts
5. Team UK Youth 41pts
6. CyclePremier.com – Metaltek 38pts
7. Team Raleigh 37pts
8. Twenty3c-Orbea 33pts
9. Pendragon-Le Col-Colnago 31pts
10. Wilier-GoSelfDrive.com 10pts
Final Boardman Bikes sprints standings
1. Steve Lampier (Sigma Sport-Specialized) 32pts
Tour Series 2011: Cycling Weekly’s coverage index