By Gerry McManus
Rob Hayles (Team KLR) currently leads the British Cycling Criterium series after the third counting event in Brentwood last Sunday, where he came sixth to winner Russell Downing (Team Health Net - Maxxis). Hayles had already secured victory in the Hillingdon GP race on the previous day. The series now takes a break but there is some good cash prizes on offer in non series counting events.
"I am quite happy with sixth at Brentwood," said Hayles. "The result was good for the series for me. There were certain moves that I couldn't let go and others that I could including the last one as it wasn't going to affect the series overall. I knew I had a good fifth or sixth place in me and in the end I can't do everything.
"I have just come to the end of an intensive block of training and racing and now I have got a couple of easy days ahead before I start again," he added.
Hayles is likely to return to Newcastle next weekend, still bearing the scars he received after crashing heavily and breaking his collar bone at an event there last year. The first prize on offer in the Elite/1st category event is £1,000 and Hayles still has time to confirm his entry.
The 34 year-old from Portsmouth has been unlucky with crashes in the past. He broke his collarbone in the Sydney Olympics while paired with Bradley Wiggins in the men's Madison. However he also has a strong record of bouncing back when it matters after he crashed heavily again in the Athens Olympic Madison event but remounted and the duo produced an amazing comeback to claim the bronze medal.
Hayles targets for this year include the National Criterium championship on June 20 in Otley, Yorkshire and the national road race championship in Beverley, East Yorkshire on July 1.