Downing delivers in Peterborough

Rapha - Condor - Sharp moved back into the lead of The Halfords Tour Series after a dominant display in Peterborough that saw the men in black claim the team win on the night, while Dean Downing added the individual win and the Boardman Bikes Sprint prize to the team's haul.

Downing narrowly beat Endura's Ian Wilkinson as a small break threatened to lap the field, coming within seconds of catching the peloton in the closing laps.

The win takes Rapha - Condor - Sharp level on points with Motorpoint - Marshalls Pasta at the top of the standings, but John Herety's team have four round wins to the two of Motorpoint, giving them the orange Halfords leader's jersey and the place atop of the standings.

Behind Endura Racing remain close, just two points further back, ensuring the battle for the Bob Chicken Trophy and The Halfords Tour Series is tight going into the final three rounds.

Under sunny skies and in front of large crowds, the Peterborough race got off to a flying start, with the peloton instantly strung out as they toured the 1.1 kilometre circuit.

James Stewart, Chris Newton and Jack Bauer all took turns at trying to escape the peloton but to no avail. When a break did eventually go it was a high quality affair, with the big three teams represented by Downing, Ian Wilkinson and Malcolm Elliott. Accompanying them were Kettering escapee Simon Richardson of Sigma Sport - Specialized and Pendragon Le Col Colnago's Yanto Barker.

The quintet built an impressive 30 second lead by the halfway stage of the race, and with the leading three Halfords Tour Series teams represented the chase from the peloton was muted.

This was even more so when another five riders took off in pursuit after around 35 minutes of racing, with the same five teams again represented. Portsmouth winner Ian Bibby, Kiwi Champion Jack Bauer, Chris Newton, Rhys Lloyd and Wouter Sybrandy being the five names in pursuit.

The five couldn't get within 30 seconds of the leaders though, who steadily pulled away to threaten the rear of the peloton with the ignominy of being lapped. Meanwhile the second group of five saw their advantage eroded when Raleigh's Stewart and Pendragon's Steve Lampier attached from the main field to try and bridge the gap.

Their attempt only succeeded in speeding up the peloton, perhaps just enough to ensure they weren't lapped by Downing's group, and ensuring that the second group on the road never got too far away.

Both groups were soon whittled down to four riders apiece, as Sybrandy was tailed off from the second pack while an unfortunate pit infringement saw Barker removed from proceedings and the nights results, when a promising result had looked on for the Welsh international.

Within sight of the peloton on the long straights, a catch looked possible for Downing's group, but they ultimately ran out of laps.

Across the line with one to go Wilkinson attacked, but Downing immediately responded ensuring it came down to a four-way finish sprint. Just a tyre's width separated the two riders at the finish, as each went to a different side of the track and gunned for the line, but Exeter winner Downing proved the quickest, but only just.

In the second group on the road it was Downing's teammate Newton edging Bibby to take the sprint to help push Rapha - Condor - Sharp towards the team victory, with Graham Briggs taking second in the bunch sprint (11th on the road), one place behind Rob Hayles, who led the peloton home to secure victory for the men in black.


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#Rider Name (Country) Team
2Endura Racing
3Motorpoint-Marshalls Pasta
4Sigma Sport-Specialized
5Pendragon Le Col Colnago
7Team Raleigh
9Team Corley Cycles
10Team Ireland
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#Rider Name (Country) Team
1Dean Downing (Rapha-Condor-Sharp)
2Ian Wilkinson (Endura Racing)
3Malcolm Elliott (Motorpoint-Marshalls Pasta)
4Simon Richardson (Sigma Sport-Specialized)
5Chris Newton (Rapha-Condor-Sharp)
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Halfords Tour Series standings
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
2Motorpoint-Marshalls Pasta60Row 1 - Cell 3
3Endura Racing58Row 2 - Cell 3
4Sigma Sport-Specialized45Row 3 - Cell 3
5Pendragon Le Col Colnago39Row 4 - Cell 3
6Team Raleigh38Row 5 - Cell 3 6 - Cell 3
8Team Corley Cycles25Row 7 - Cell 3
9Kuota-road.cc16Row 8 - Cell 3
10Team Ireland7Row 9 - Cell 3
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Boardman Bikes sprints competition
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Dean Downing (Rapha-Condor-Sharp)10pts
2Malcolm Elliott (Motorpoint-Marshalls Pasta)8Row 1 - Cell 3
3Simon Richardson (Sigma Sport-Specialized)5Row 2 - Cell 3
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Boardman Bikes sprints competition standings
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Graham Briggs (Rapha-Condor-Sharp)43pts
2Liam Holohan (Team Raleigh)35Row 1 - Cell 3
3Kristian House (Rapha-Condor-Sharp)32Row 2 - Cell 3


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