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Dempster takes opening round of Halfords Series

Cycling News

Rapha Condor Sharp top team

Zak Dempster led a clean sweep of the awards for his Rapha Condor Sharp team as The Halfords Tour Series got off to a spectacular start in front of a large crowd in Durham.

Dempster, Kristian House (6th), and Andy Tennant in twelfth also gave Rapha Condor the lead in the teams competition edging out Endura Racing who took third, eighth and ninth through Scott Thwaites, Ian Wilkinson and Evan Oliphant.

Thanks to their team win the men in black are the first team to pull on the five Halfords orange jerseys as Halfords Tour Series leaders, their lead over Endura stands at just a solitary point going into round two.

How it unfolded

The tough cobbled climb at the heart of the Durham course took its toll on riders, splitting the field up and producing an entertaining start to the Series. Following a sedate few early laps the race quickly began to evolve, with a strong eight rider group going clear that included House, Ian Bibby and Thwaites, who took 1-2-3 at the opening Boardman Bikes Sprint of the season.

With the pace slackening off following the sprint, the front group grew in size as the race ebbed and flowed and riders bridged the gap. A number of riders including Thwaites, Liam Holohan and Wilkinson tried in vain to attack off the front of the main bunch but were ultimately unsuccessful.

This set up things up for a select group to contest the sprint finish after an entertaining evening of racing. Dempster proved the strongest, exiting the final corner expertly to edge Bibby and Thwaites on the line.

Despite packing the top ten with four riders, Endura Racing were unable to take the team win, with Tennant's twelfth place proving crucial in giving Rapha Condor Sharp the early lead in The Halfords Tour Series.

Defending Halfords Tour Series Champions Motorpoint got off to a mixed start to their title defence, despite Bibby and Jonny McEvoy being at the front throughout, the team could only take fourth on the night.

Round #2 of the Halfords series takes place Thursday 26th May in Aberystwyth.

Halford's Tour Round 1

# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
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)    
Teams Rankings
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Rapha Condor Sharp 10  pts
2 Endura Racing 9  
3 Team Raleigh 8  
4 Motorpoint Pro Cycling 7  
5 Team UK Youth 6  
6 Twenty3c - Orbea 5  
7 Wilier 4  
8 - Metaltek 3  
9 Sigma Sport - Specialized 2  
10 Pendragon Le Col Colnago 1  
Boardman Bikes Sprints winner
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Kristian House (Rapha Condor Sharp)