As always in the fast paced series the action started from the moment the flag was dropped, with the peloton immediately strung out under the impetus of constant attacking. It wasn’t until almost forty minutes of racing had been covered that the winning move four-man move, that included Rapha Condor JLT’s Felix English, managed to escape.
With a concerted chase behind never allowing the four riders more than a slender 15 second lead, the pressure was on for the break, and eventually it was English who paid for his efforts, suffering from cramp and dropping out of contention. Remarkably, the Irish criterium champion still managed to hold off the charging peloton and claim 4th on the night and Rapha Condor JLT’s first counting place of the series.
Team manager John Herety was quick to praise English’s ride, “I’m pretty happy with Felix tonight. He was way ahead of where he was in these races last year, so that was a huge improvement. It was disappointing that he cramped, but it was a genuine issue and once we work out what caused it, I think with him Ed and Jimmy, we’re going to be right there all series.”
After Yanto Barker sealed the individual win from the remaining riders in the break, the action in the peloton behind heated up for the team victory. Following a lead out from House, Rapha Condor JLT placed Ed Clancy 9th and James McCallum 12th putting the team third on the night.
Team manager John Herety was satisfied with the team’s overall performance,
“It was a very positive night for us, we could have done better obviously, and had Felix not cramped, thing might have looked quite different. But it’s good to get the series underway and we can start working out what we are going to do from here now.”
The second round of the Tour Series takes place on Thursday on the tough Durham course, which was won last year by Kristian House.