Riders used social networking site Twitter to express their bewilderment after the lap counter board apparently developed a mind of its own at last night’s 3rd round of the 2010 Halfords Tour Series in Portsmouth.
Kristian House, of Rapha-Condor-Sharp, which lost its lead in the team competition to Motorpoint-Marshalls Pasta, tweeted: “Normally it goes 5,4,3,2,1 laps to go. Not 4, 5, 4,6,3,2,2,1. Some one sort it out please... We're trying to work here...”
Meanwhile his team-mate, Dean Downing, who punctured with what turned out to be two laps to go, asked: “Who was in charge of the lap board tonite? It can't be that hard, I did that job as a kid at races.”
And Yanto Barker of Le Col Colnago, who came second last night, said "We as riders work very hard in these races and for laps to be added or taken off willy nilly in the finale makes a mockery of our efforts!!!"
House, however, who retains the Boardman Bikes Sprints jersey, acknowledged that Motorpoint-Marshalls Pasta, which at one point saw all of its riders involved in or held up by a crash, had ridden well as a team to move to the top of the rankings, placing three of their riders in the top eight finishers, including last night’s winner, Ian Bibby.
The pace around the 1.3-kilometre circuit was high from the outset, meaning that there was no opportunity for attacks to get away until a crash broke up the peloton as it headed for the line for the first of the evening’s Boardman Bike Sprint Competition primes, also putting an end to Malcolm Elliott’s evening, the 49-year-old Motorpoint-Marshalls Pasta rider withdrawing as a result of hand and shoulder injuries.
The crash also meant frustration for Kuota-road.cc’s Dan Davies, who estimated the pile-up at between 15 and 20 riders, although he added that the evening had seen “gutsy rides” from his Dutch team-mates, Jefte de Bruin and Jeroen Janssen, both of whom completed the race on spare bikes after coming down.
There was better luck, however, for Jon Mozley, who got home second in the first sprint. As the race neared its end, Motorpoint-Marshalls Pasta moved to the front to assume leadership of the team competition, going six points clear, with the following five teams, including Rapha-Condor-Sharp who drop to fourth, separated by just three points in what is already proving to be an exciting series.
Highlights of last night’s race are on ITV4 this evening at 7pm, and live racing resumes tomorrow in Exeter. Full information is available at www.tourseries.com.
Halfords Tour Series Round Three Results
1) Motorpoint – Marshalls Pasta
2) Pendragon – Le Col – Colnago
3) Endura Racing
4) Team Raleigh
5) Sigma Sport - Specialized
6) CyclePremier.com - Metaltek
7) Team Corley Cycles
8) Kuota – road.cc
9) Rapha – Condor – Sharp
10) Team Ireland
1) Ian Bibby: Motorpoint – Marshalls Pasta
2) Yanto Barker: Pendragon – Le Col – Colnago
3) Ian Wilkinson: Endura Racing
4) Andy Tennant: Motorpoint – Marshalls Pasta
5) Tony Gibb: CyclePremier.com - Metaltek
The Halfords Tour Series Standings (after three rounds)
1) Motorpoint – Marshalls Pasta (28pts)
2) Endura Racing (22pts)
3) Pendragon – Le Col - Colnago (22pts)
4) Rapha – Condor - Sharp (21pts)
5) Team Raleigh (20pts)
6) Sigma Sport – Specialized (19pts)
7) CyclePremier.com – Metaltek (13pts)
8) Kuota – road.cc (9pts)
9) Team Corley Cycles (8pts)
10) Team Ireland (3pts)
Boardman Bikes Sprints Competition Results
1) Liam Holohan: Team Raleigh (11pts)
2) Kristian House: Rapha – Condor – Sharp (7pts)
3) Evan Oliphant: Endura Racing (5pts)
Boardman Bikes Sprints Competition Overall Standings
1) Kristian House: Rapha – Condor - Sharp (22pts)
2) Liam Holohan: Team Raleigh (21pts)
3) Graham Briggs: Rapha – Condor – Sharp (10pts)
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.