Dempster takes opening round of Halfords Series

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) TeamResult
1Zak Dempster (Rapha Condor Sharp)  
2Ian Bibby (Motorpoint Pro Cycling)  
3Scott Thwaites (Endura Racing)  
4Jonny McEvoy (Motorpoint Pro Cycling)  
5Liam Holohan (Team Raleigh)  
6Kristian House (Rapha Condor Sharp)  
7Marcel Six (Twenty3c - Orbea)  
8Ian Wilkinson (Endura Racing)  
9Evan Oliphant (Endura Racing)  
10Dave Clarke (Endura Racing)  
Teams Rankings
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Rapha Condor Sharp10 pts
2Endura Racing9 
3Team Raleigh8 
4Motorpoint Pro Cycling7 
5Team UK Youth6 
6Twenty3c - Orbea5 
7Wilier GoSelfDrive.com4 - Metaltek3 
9Sigma Sport - Specialized2 
10Pendragon Le Col Colnago1 
Boardman Bikes Sprints winner
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Kristian House (Rapha Condor Sharp)  
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