The Premier Calendar resumes with a revamped Chas Messenger stage race in Buckinghamshire this weekend.

For those who were shaken to the core at the East Midlands Cicle Classic, it presents a very different test, with a short time trial on Saturday morning, followed by a road stage in the afternoon and a final road stage on Sunday.

The time trial climbs most of the way and is not an all-out prologue effort but will put climbing ability to the test. Time gaps earned here will be important but the real decisive factor could be the time bonuses on offer to the first three in each of the road stages. Rolling roads mean the two road stages will be a good chance for groups to get away.

Plowman Craven, the chief sponsor of the event, will be under pressure to get a good result in what can rightly be considered their Premier Calendar event. It?s also the only event in the series that?s in the south of England. Their hopes will rest with Tony Gibb and Evan Oliphant.

Corley Cycles is another sponsor of the race and their team will look to Roy Chamberlain. But the favourites will be the usual suspects ? the Downing brothers, Dean of Rapha-Condor-Recycling and Russell of Pinarello, together with his team-mate Malcolm Elliott. Rapha also field Chris Newton, who returned to racing at the Tour of Brittany this week after breaking his collarbone in a training crash last month.

The Route

Saturday May 3
Individual Time Trial 10.00am 5km
Granborough to East Claydon village hall.

Road Stage 13.00pm 120km
Start Winslow Adult Education Centre, Park Road, Winslow.
East Claydon ? Gawcott ? Charndon ? Botolph Claydon ? East Claydon

Sunday May 4
Road Stage 10.30am 140km
East Claydon ? Botolph Claydon ? Shipton Lee ? Quainton ? Oving ? East Claydon

TIME BONUSES
15, 10 and 5 seconds to the first three (excluding time trial)

Previous winners

2007 Race cancelled
2006 Malcolm Elliott (PCA)
2005 Kevin Dawson (Planet X)
2004 John Tanner (Planet X)
2003 Rob Enslin (VC Prestige)

2006 Podium

1 Malcolm Elliott (PCA)
2 Tony Gibb (PCA)
3 Neil Coleman (Agisko-Dart-Cycling.tv)

Who was Chas Messenger?

Chas Messenger was the man who established the Milk Race Tour of Britain has spent over 50 years as organiser, administrator, and team manager. As National Team Manager he was the man behind the same day World Championship road race victories of Beryl Burton and Graham Webb in 1967 in Holland.

He was one of the prime movers behind the construction of the Hillingdon circuit and still judges the Tuesday evening races. He is Senior vice Patron of British Cycling and President of Central Division.

Battle of the Brothers

downing brothers

With Deano getting DQ?ed at the CiCLE Classic for punching below the belt, Russell has opened a gap in the points table.

Russ quietly played with his Lego while Dean threw his toys out of the pram and got sent to the Naughty Step. We trust he has learned his lesson.

LATEST SCORE
Russell 2.5 Dean 1

Super Team Challenge

cycling weekly super team challenge
Rapha and Plowman are so preoccupied with each other that Pinarello have snuck up on the rails and edged into the lead. Malcolm Elliott was the only British rider to land any points last time out and his team now head the table, closely followed by RCR, with PC trailing.

1. Pinarello 29pts
2. Rapha-Condor-Recyling 27pts
3. Plowman Craven 10pts

RELATED LINKS
Chas Messenger 2008 start list
Premier Calendar 2008 review: results, dates, photos and more