Kristian House and his Rapha team mates made a clean sweep of it in last night's 6th round of the Halfords Tour Series in Kettering, House crossed the line first, Rapha Condor Sharp took the all important team prize, and Graham Briggs won the Boardman sprint competition on a great night for the men in black.
House took the individual win after coming off best in a two man sprint with Sigma Sport Specialized's Simon Richardson. The two riders had battled away from the peloton to establish a commanding lead which the chasing pack seemed happy to let them have, this is a race that's all about top 10 placings after all. With two laps to go it was obvious that either Richardson or House would take the individual win. Richardson led out going for the line but House had the legs to get through on the inside. Rapha's Zak Dempster came home in third place to help his team put a lock on maximum points.
That House and Richardson got away was a feat in itself on a night where a technical course and a strong headwind did their best to keep the bunch together, and the race was at half distance before the first break established itself and just as in Southport the big three Halfords Tour Series teams were represented. Ian Bibby wore Motorpoint’s orange leader’s jersey, while Rob Partridge represented Endura Racing and House Rapha – Condor – Sharp.
Richardson ensured the rest of the peloton had representation, while after a couple of laps Pendragon Le Col Colnago’s Casey Munro crossed the gap from the peloton to make it a leading quintet. The peloton gradually began to ride the leaders down, with Munro and House staying clear as the catch was made by a stretched out main field. Next time round though and Munro was back in the field, with Richardson taking his place out front and joining House. With the pair away, the peloton seemed to lose interest in their pursuit, with the gap swelling out to fifteen seconds and then steadily increasing to such an extent that with two laps to go it was inevitable that either House or Richardson would take the win.
Last night's result moves Rapha Condor Sharp back in to second place overall in the table behind Motorpoint – Marshalls Pasta a slot they briefly occupied after Tuesday's race in Southport before the original result was revised. There is still all to play for in the final four rounds with the three top teams: Motorpoint; Rapha; and Endura all within three points of each other.
Further down the field it was an unhappy race for the Kuota - road.cc team who finished 9th overall, and and even worse one for Team Ireland rider Stephen Barrett who spent the night in hospital after crashing in the closing stages of the race.
The Kettering result will have erased the disappointing aftermath of Round 5 when Rapha were given the win only for the result to be over-turned when race official admitted that a technical issue had meant two of the minor placings had initially been awarded incorrectly.
The Tour Series now moves on to Peterborough for Round 7 next Tuesday night.
To see all the action from Kettering, tune in to ITV4 on Friday evening at 7pm for an hour’s highlights show. The Halfords Tour Series is back in action on Tuesday in Peterborough for Round Seven of the 2010 Series.
For more information visit www.tourseries.co.uk
Tour Series Round Six Results
1) Rapha – Condor - Sharp
2) Motorpoint – Marshalls Pasta
3) Endura Racing
4) Sigma Sport - Specialized
5) CyclePremier.com - Metaltek
6) Team Raleigh
7) Team Corley Cycles
8) Pendragon Le Col Colnago
9) Kuota – road.cc
10) Team Ireland
1) Kristian House Rapha – Condor - Sharp
2) Simon Richardson Sigma Sport - Specialized
3) Zak Dempster Rapha – Condor - Sharp
4) Ian Wilkinson Endura Racing
5) Tony Gibb CyclePremier.com - Metaltek
The Halfords Tour Series Standings (after six rounds)
1) Motorpoint – Marshalls Pasta 52pts
2) Rapha – Condor – Sharp 50pts
3) Endura Racing 49pts
4) Sigma Sport – Specialized 38pts
5) Team Raleigh 34pts
6) Pendragon Le Col Colnago 33pts
7) CyclePremier.com – Metaltek 30pts
8) Team Corley Cycles 23pts
9) Kuota – road.cc 13pts
10) Team Ireland 6pts
Boardman Bikes Sprints Competition Results
1) Graham Briggs Rapha – Condor – Sharp 7pts
2) Jack Bauer Endura Racing 5pts
3) Kristian House Rapha – Condor – Sharp 5pts
Boardman Bikes Sprints Competition Standings (after six rounds)
1) Graham Briggs Rapha – Condor – Sharp 38pts
2) Liam Holohan Team Raleigh 35pts
3) Kristian House Rapha – Condor – Sharp 32pts
Plucked from the obscurity of his London commute back in the mid-Nineties to live in Bath and edit bike mags our man made the jump to the interweb back in 2006 as launch editor of a large cycling website somewhat confusingly named after a piece of navigational equipment. He came up with the idea for road.cc mainly to avoid being told what to do… Oh dear, issues there then. Tony tries to ride his bike every day and if he doesn't he gets grumpy, he likes carbon, but owns steel, and wants titanium. When not on his bike or eating cake Tony spends his time looking for new ways to annoy the road.cc team. He's remarkably good at it.