Men in black set early pace in eight-race series with Kristian House taking first sprint points too

Zak Dempster of Rapha-Condor-Sharp won the opening round of the 2011 Halfrods Tour Series in Durham last night, thereby helping his team become the first leaders of this year’s eight round event by just one point from Endura Racing. The latter’s Scott Thwaites finished third, behind Motorpoint Pro Cycling’s Ian Bibby. Highlights of the race will be broadcast on ITV4 tonight at 8pm and will be repeated tomorrow morning at 11am.

Series debutants Team UK Youth, Twenty 3c-Orbea and Wilier Go Self Drive all managed to put in solid strong first-time performances as the course’s cobbled climb took its toll, boding well for some close and exciting racing for the rest of the series. Kristian House of Rapha-Condor-Sharp meanwhile took the first Boardman Bikes Sprint of 2011, ahead of Bibby and Thwaites.

Tomorrow sees the second race in the series in Aberystwyth, the first time it has visited Wales, with a full supporting programme commencing at 2pm including the Category 2 and 3 Aberystwyth Seafront Criterium which starts at 5.15pm.

Local riders include Welsh Champion Gruff Lewis of Team UK Youth, led by Magnus Backstedt and designated home team for this round. as the team of Tour de France stage winner Magnus Backstedt prepare for their home round. Another Welsh rider who will be looking to put in a strong performance is Yanto Barker of Pendragon Le Col Colnago.

Full details of tomorrow’s event plus the remaining six races in the series can be found on the Halfords Tour Series website.

Halfords Tour Series 2011 Round One, Durham, Results

Team Results
1) Rapha Condor Sharp
2) Endura Racing
3) Team Raleigh
4) Motorpoint Pro Cycling
5) Team UK Youth
6) Twenty3c - Orbea
7) Wilier GoSelfDrive.com
8) CyclePremier.com - Metaltek
9) Sigma Sport - Specialized
10) Pendragon Le Col Colnago

Individual Results
1) Zak Dempster Rapha Condor Sharp
2) Ian Bibby Motorpoint Pro Cycling
3) Scott Thwaites Endura Racing
4) Jonny McEvoy Motorpoint Pro Cycling
5) Liam Holohan Team Raleigh
6) Kristian House Rapha Condor Sharp
7) Marcel Six Twenty3c - Orbea
8) Ian Wilkinson Endura Racing
9) Evan Oliphant Endura Racing
10) Dave Clarke Endura Racing

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.