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Kristian House

Rapha Condor Sharp’s Kristian House

Despite the best efforts of Rapha Condor Sharp’s Kristian House, who rode away to an impressive solo victory, Endura Racing have stretched their lead at the top of the standings to five points after two rounds.

House broke clear at around half-distance, taking all three Boardman Bikes Sprints on his way to a comprehensive victory by over half a minute in Durham, with Endura Racing’s Kirkcaldy winner Scott Thwaites leading in the much depleted main field.

Thwaites’ second, allied to third for Ian Bibby and fifth for Johnny McEvoy gave Endura Racing their second team win of the week, to make it a maximum score from The Halfords Tour Series’ opening two rounds of the 2012 season.

Rapha Condor Sharp bounced back from a disappointing opening night to take second, thanks to House’s win, moving them up to second in the standings, level on points with Node4 – Giordana Racing.

In damp and grimy conditions, the tough Durham circuit took its toll on the riders from the offset, with several crashes disrupting the progress of others.  After only a handful of laps the field was fractured, with an elite front group forming from which all the evening’s main protagonists would emerge.

House jumped clear prior to the second Boardman Bikes Sprint, taking Peter Williams and National Circuit Race Champion Graham Briggs away with him initially.  House soon pressed on alone gradually building a lead which would see him home safely ahead of his pursuers.

“I’ve won the sprints here now for three years in a row and I’ve been top five here each year so it’s really been one I wanted to win,” said Kristian House. “It suits me, it’s quite a hard course with the cobble stones but I know how to ride it. I really enjoy that course. It’s tough but it’s tough in a way that suits me.

“I was really nervous about the steep course and the wet surfaces, especially after the first round where there were a lot of crashes. It was really key to stay at the front and out of trouble and it worked out well for me as an individual.

“I can’t get over the crowd at these races, especially here in Durham. The bottom corner had the biggest crowd I’d ever seen – everyone wanted to see the crashes but I am glad I disappointed them on that tonight!”

via Endura excel in tough Durham test.

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Round Two of The Halfords Tour Series pedals into action in Durham tonight (Thursday 17 May) and reigning series champions Rapha Condor Sharp are looking to get back on track after a disappointing finish to the opening round in Kirkcaldy.

Dean Downing – winner of five Tour Series events since it began in 2009 – was sitting at the front of the pack last night alongside eventual winner from Endura Racing Scott Thwaites – until a puncture 500m from the finish line ended his hopes of a top spot.

Downing will be making his first appearance in Durham tomorrow and is ready for the challenge. He said, “This is my first Durham outing and I am expecting quite a challenge. It’s going to be tough but it’s tough for everybody. From what I’ve seen of past years it splits up straight away so we’ll be trying to get to the front. There are some quite steep hills and sharp corners.”

Reflecting on the race in Kirkcaldy he said, “The top four teams last night were battling against each other. I had some terrible luck at the end with my puncture so it didn’t quite go to plan.”

With individual and team points up for grabs, the Rapha Condor Sharp team consisting of Downing, Kristian House, James McCallum, Ben Grenda and Ed Clancy will be going all out to get back in contention with Endura Racing and Team UK Youth who are currently in the top-two spots respectively on the team standings.
Just giving the cobbles a quick clean in preperation for toni... on Twitpic

via Downing aims to scale the heights of Durham.

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The thrills and spills of competitive cycling will once again return to the streets of Durham city when the Halfords Tour Series arrives in town.

The televised race, featuring ten teams of professional cyclists will come to Durham on the evening of Thursday, May 17.

And to mark the launch of the event two cyclists, Rob Partridge and Alex Bottomley, will visit Durham next week (Tues, March 13) where they will enjoy an early glimpse of the tough course they will face.

Rob Partridge is from the Endura Team. Rob won the Oldham round of The Halfords Tour Series in 2011 and finished in the top 10 overall of The Tour of Britain in 2010. Endura came second in last year’s Halfords Tour Series.

Alex Bottomley is from the Velo29 Team. Alex is from Whitby and was the Silver Medallist in the 2011 British Junior Road Race Championships.

The Durham leg of the race, which takes in steep hills, tight turns and cobbled streets, has been described in previous years as ‘purgatory’ by the cyclists taking part.

During the Halfords Tour Series the cyclists will take on 10 city centre courses, including Durham, and people are invited to come along and see the race as it passes through the city’s streets.

Cllr Maria Plews, cabinet member for leisure, libraries and lifelong learning at Durham County Council, said: “This is the third time Durham will have hosted the Halfords Tour Series and it is growing in popularity every year.

“We are expecting that an estimated 9,000 people will come along to watch the race this year to experience the excitement and atmosphere of the event.

“But cycling isn’t just for the professionals and in the lead up to the Halfords event this year the council will be promoting the wide range of cycling activities for everyone in County Durham, such as bicycle hire schemes to mountain biking in Hamsterley Forest.”

The race will take place on Thursday, May 17 at 7pm. The route will start and finish at Durham School and will take cyclists along Margery Lane, Crossgate Bank, South Street and Grove Street.

via Press Release-Durham County Council.

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