Ex-Cofidis rder notches up Endura Racing's first win of 2010 series in Southport...

Frenchman Alexandre Blain of Endura racing claimed Endura Racing’s first win of The Halfords Tour Series in Southport last night, getting off the front of a breakaway inside the closing lap for what turned out to be a comfortable victory.

There was cause for celebration for Rapha-Condor-Sharp, too, who pipped Blain’s outfit to the team victory on the night, closing the gap on series leaders Motorpoint-Marshalls Pasta to just two points at the halfway point of the ten-round competition.

Or at least they they they had, until red-faced race officials reversed the top two places in the team standing to give Endura the win. You can read their statement below.

Following a rainy afternoon in the seaside resort, the weather had brightened by the time the race got under way, with a cracking pace set from the start on the long straight sections of the course, and while a number of riders tried to get off the front of the race, each escape was quickly reeled in.

That changed towards the end of the race when Blain, Rapha-Condor-Sharp’s Kristian House and Motorpoint-Marshalls Pasta’s Ian Bibby managed to get clear off the main bunch, and they were subsequently joined by four other riders, one from each of their teams, plus James Stewart from Team Raleigh, the designated home team for this round.

Blain, formerly with French outfit Cofidis, got away from his fellow escapees with 500 metres to go, with House second and Bibby third.

Highlights of yesterday’s race will be shown on ITV4 at 7pm tonight, and the next race takes place in Kettering tomorrow evening – and don’t forget, if you live near Northamptonshire, you can win VIP hospitality for two at that race by entering our competition here.

Statement from the Race Officials

Following representations made to the race officials at the conclusion of the Southport round of the 2010 Tour series a review of the finishing positions of all riders has been made.

This review has indicated that due to a technical malfunction, the finishing positions of two riders was reversed on the provisional result issued by the race officials.
The two riders concerned are Graham Briggs (Rapha Condor Sharp) and Ian Wilkinson (Endura Racing)

The consequence of the review is that both teams were equal on points at the conclusion of the event, however, by virtue of the fact that Alexandre Blain won the race Endura Racing should have been awarded best team on the night.

The race officials unreservedly apologise to the riders, team management and sponsors of both Rapha Condor Sharp and Endura Racing for this technical malfunction, and assure all those involved in the Halfords 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.

Halfords Tour Series Round Five Results

Revised Team result
1 Endura Racing
2 Rapha - Condor - Sharp
3 Motorpoint – Marshalls Pasta
4 SigmaSport – Specialized
5 Team Raleigh
6 Team Corley Cycles
7 Pendragon Le Col Colnago
8 CyclePremier.com – Metaltek
9 Kuota – Road.cc
10 Team Ireland

1) Alexandre Blain Endura Racing
2) Kristian House Rapha-Condor-Sharp
3) Ian Bibby Motorpoint-Marshalls Pasta
4) Dean Windsor Rapha-Condor-Sharp
5) Andy Tennant Motorpoint-Marshalls Pasta

The Halfords Tour Series Standings (after five rounds + revised result)
1) Motorpoint-Marshalls Pasta - 43pts
2) Endura Racing - - 41pts
3) Rapha-Condor-Sharp  - 40pts
4) Sigma Sport-Specialized - 31pts
5) Pendragon-Le Col-Colnago - 30pts
6) Team Raleigh - 29pts
7) CyclePremier.com-Metaltek - 24pts
8) Team Corley Cycles - 19pts
9) Kuota-road.cc - 12pts
10) Team Ireland - 5pts

Boardman Bikes Sprints Competition Results
1) Graham Briggs Rapha-Condor-Sharp - 7pts
2) Rob Hayles Endura Racing - 5pts
3) Simon Gaywood Team Corley Cycles - 5pts

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.