EAST MIDLANDS INTERNATIONAL CICLE CLASSIC: RESULT
1. Ciaran Power (Irl) Pezula RT 157km in 4-03-08
2. Jan Bos (Ned) Ruiter De Kappellen same time
3. Malcolm Elliott (GB) Pinarello RT at 30sec
4. Michael Berling (Den) Glud & Marstrand same time
5. Russell Downing (GB) Pinarello RT at 59sec
6. David O’Loughlin (Irl) Pezula RT at 1-05
7. Rob Hayles (GB) Halfords Bikehut at 1-16
8. Tobyn Horton (GB) mixed team
9. Ian Wilkinson (GB) Science in Sport
10. Roman Bronis (Svk) Dukla Merida all same time
49 riders finished within the time limit

HOW THE RACE UNFOLDED

152km to go
Cameron Jennings (Pezula) ? a late replacement for Ryan Connor ? kicks it all off with a move that?s marked by Jan Bos (Ruiter De Kappellen) and is joined by Kevin Van den Eekhout of Belgian squad Profel-Prorace.

130km to go
The front group is swelled by the arrival of Ciaran Power, Derek Burke and David O?Loughlin (Pezula), together with Matej Vysna (Dukla Merida), Matt Jennings (BC East Midlands), Sierd Stiegenga (Ruiter De Kappellen) and Daniel Patten (PCA-Ciclose Uno). That made ten in front.

94km to go
Welcome to Hell, said the road sign as the race reached the first of 11 sectors of rough road, Stygate Lane. The ten leaders had a lead of 1-22 over five chasers ? Daniel Shand (Profel-Prorace), Marius Kim Nielsen and Jasper Odgaard of Glud & Marstrand, Gordon Murdoch (Pedalpower.org.uk) and Daniel Smith (Team Lacuna). The bunch was at 2-12.

73km to go
Second time through Stygate and Dean Downing (Rapha-Condor-Recycling) punctures for the first time.

62km to go
At the king of the hills summit at Burrough-on-Hill, the leaders were down to nine, having lost Matt Jennings. The lead, was holding at 2-05.

51km to go
First time over Somerberg and David O?Loughlin leads narrowly from his former breakaway companions.

48km to go
Sector five, Newbold, and Dean Downing punctures for a second time, putting him seemingly out of contention.

38km to go
Through Newbold for a second time (sector four) and Pezula?s aggression pays off. Power, Burke and O?Loughlin get clear with Bos the only opposition. The rest of the break had been swallowed up by a bunch whittled down to 35. The leading four led by just under two minutes.

27km to go
Second time through Somerberg (sector three) and the gap has come down to 1-40, only to go back out again when they get back onto smooth roads.

21km to go
With the riders from the big British teams more interested in watching each other than dragging back the foreigners up the road, the gap stays steady ? it was still possible to close it down, but was too big to bridge in ones and twos. Bos punctured but rejoined the leading four, who were tiring but still working together.

7km to go
Approaching Burton Lazers and Malcolm Elliott (Pinarello), Dean Downing (Rapha-Condor-Recycling) and Michael Berling (Glud & Marstrand) attack. It was just a fraction too late for them to catch the leaders.

4km to go
O?Loughlin attacks from the front group, forcing Bos to shut it down.

3km to go
The final sector, at Sawgate, Bos knows his options are limited.

2km to go
With Elliott and co closing in, Bos attacks but Power reacts. It?s just the two of them now.

Final kilometre
Power closes down Bos on the descent before the final right-hand corner, then beats him in the sprint.

Thirty seconds later Elliott takes third from Downing, who is later disqualified (scroll down for details). Rob Hayles (Halfords Bikehut) takes the sprint for what turns out to be seventh place.

Ciaran Power

WHAT THEY SAID

CIARAN POWER (Pezula) ? 1st

?We wanted to be as aggressive as possible today but we didn?t plan to put four men up the road. I don?t think you can plan to do that.

?Cameron [Jennings] went first, then I got across, then David O?Loughlin came. I was surprised so many of us were allowed to get away because each time someone got across we got stronger. I kept expecting someone from the British teams to come across but they never did.

?Once we were up there, we were committed and we knew we would have to do a lot of the work because of the number of riders we had. We were confident enough we could make it work and when it ended up the three of us and the Dutch guy we knew it was our race to lose.

?We didn?t feel too much pressure because we had options but we were tiring and we knew there were riders coming up from behind so we couldn?t mess around.

?In the final stages David tried first because he had the better chance from further out. The Dutch guy got him back and tried himself and that was my chance. I closed him down and beat him in the sprint. It was a classic move really.

?We?re really pleased. The aim was to try to win it and we gave ourselves a great chance early on. As a team we were really on it today.?

JAN BOS (Ruiter de Kappellen) ? 2nd

?I really enjoyed the race but I knew in the final I had a very small chance. It was just me against three from their team [Pezula]. I punctured and I was pleased to come back and still try to win.

?I was working with them but at the finish I knew they had three guys to attack me. I had no choice but to try to attack myself. I got back one guy and then attacked but he got me on the downhill, which was a bummer.

?I thought ?I probably won?t win this but I must try to do something because I should at least get fourth?.?

MALCOLM ELLIOTT (Pinarello) ? 3rd

?The first group of three went and it didn?t look too dangerous. Then four went, including a Slovakian and a Dutch guy and I really didn?t want that to go.

?Then I heard O?Loughlin had got across and I thought ?that?s not good?.

?But I felt the peloton was gripped by some sort of paralysis. No one wanted to commit resources to bringing it back. They were happy to let it thin out.

?When we started to race hard over the sectors the gap would come back in but then we?d get back on the bigger roads and start arseing about and it would go out again.

?There was a nucleus of guys who wanted to ride hard but when there?s 25 guys sat on the wheel it?s hard. There were guys I hadn?t seen all day just sat on and I thought ?what are you actually here for??

?In the end there was no point hanging around so I threw everything at it and hoped I?d last. I kept looking up and the remnants of the break were coming back to us but it was probably already too late. At Burton Lazers I rode really hard but it was impossible to close. We got to within 30 seconds, which showed that it could have come back.

?But it?s the first time all season I?ve been happy with my performance so perhaps some form is coming.?

DEAN DOWNING (Rapha-Condor-Recycling) ? Disqualified

?I crashed early and had two punctures. After my second puncture I had to wait two minutes for a wheel. I took a ?sticky bottle? on a climb, which everyone does, and Charlie [Jackson, driving the Rapha team car] got a warning on the radio, so we didn?t do that again.

?But I was sat behind the cars for perhaps 10 to 15 kilometres trying to get back in the convoy. It was impossible to overtake because the roads were so narrow.

?At the finish the commissaire said I?d got back to the race too quickly. Chasing for 15 kilometres is too quick is it??

But Downing strongly refuted the suggestion that he had not completed the whole course. ?I hold my hands up to the sticky bottle and I sat behind my car trying to get back, but I definitely didn?t cut out any of the course. No way.

?I only did what everyone does in that position. If you have a mechanical and you?re still in the race you can get back to the group you were in. You can either say ?I?ve had enough? or you grit your teeth and chase back through the cars. That?s what I did.
If you get dropped, it?s a different story.

?Okay, it?s a bit naughty but everyone does it. Some get caught, some don?t. I did wrong, I?ll take it on the chin, but it?s a bit harsh.?

RUSSELL DOWNING (Pinarello) ? 5th

?It was Brits at war. You go to Ireland and they all stick together. You come here and we don?t.

No one wanted to commit. Me and Malc tried to get something going but no one wanted to work with us. I went to SIS and Plowman Craven and said: ?we?re going to lose it here. Why are we letting three Irish up the road??

?It never got more than three minutes but we never got it down enough for someone to jump across. I was trying to get little moves going because you knew they were going to blow.

?It was like we were having our own race while the Irish were up the road. It was crazy they started racing that negatively that early. Not taking anything away from the Irish, they got up there, but we should have got them back.?

ROB HAYLES (Halfords Bikehut) ? 7th

?It was pretty frustrating really because I knew the break could have been dragged back but there was nothing I could have done about it.

?Usually I don?t mind getting on the front and doing a big turn, and I think if I?d done that at the right time I could have helped get it close, but at this stage of the year I need a win or at least a result, so I was relying on the teams who had more than one rider to do something. I didn?t mind helping but I wasn?t going to do it all myself and then get popped.

?When Malcolm went I thought ?I should go with that? but I didn?t quite have the legs because I?d been sitting in all day not doing a tap. If I had gone with that, we might even have got across.

?I was pleased to win the sprint but it was just a bit frustrating it wasn?t for a better place.

?This was my big target of the year but with the stress of the past month my training took a hit. This was only my third race back and although I felt good I needed a bit more.?

EVAN OLIPHANT (Plowman Craven) ? 22nd

?I punctured at exactly the wrong moment and had to take Tom Barras? bike. To start with the saddle was too low so I went back to the team car to get it raised. Then it was too high, and by then it was too late to get back on. We were in a strong position with a lot of guys up there but we had bad luck at the wrong time.?

RELATED LINKS
Results, reports and analysis
Analysis: How the Irish pulled off a coup
Report: Ciaran powers to East Midlands win
East Midlands International CiCLE Classic photo gallery

Previews
East Midlands International CiCLE Classic preview
East Midlands International CiCLE Classic start list

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