Britain’s elite cyclists will be in Blackpool on Sunday (July 6) for the second edition of the Tour of Blackpool.

It is the seventh race on the Premier Calendar this year, and the competition after the national championships is certain to be intense.

Last year?s race came down to a bunch sprint after 83 miles, with Tony Gibb of the Plowman Craven squad leading out Magnus Backstedt (Liquigas) and Chris Newton (Recycling.co.uk) for the win.

This year?s course is slightly altered from last year?s but the riders will still have to contend with an 87-mile race along the Blackpool sea front, where the cross winds from the sea are bound to cause splits in the bunch. After the riders enter the Blackpool circuit, they will be faced with five laps each of 16 miles.

Once again, the race organisers have scored a real coup in ensuring that there is a top-notch field lining up on Sunday. Fresh from his British national championship success is Rob Hayles, who is bound to be a factor. Tony Gibb, last year?s winner, will also be present along with a strong Plowman Craven squad to support him. Ian Stannard, a continental professional with the Belgian Landbouwkrediet team, will be hoping that the form he enjoyed during the Spring Classics will carry him to success on the sea front.

Rapha-Condor-Recycling will be placing their hopes on sprinter Chris Newton, who came within inches of victory last year.

Also supporting the main event are the national men?s and women?s elite circuit races on the Friday. The men?s race will feature a 59-rider strong field, all gunning for the £400 prize available on the line.

TOUR OF BLACKPOOL GRAND PRIX

Sunday, July 6
Distance: 140km/87 miles

RECENT WINNERS

2007 Tony Gibb

MY RACE

By organiser Ivor Armstrong
?This year we have changed the circuit, so although we run out of Blackpool the same way, the riders will do a 16-mile circuit which does not have full-road closure (unlike last year). The hardest thing about the race will be the absolute speed of it. It was run off last year at an average speed of 29.1mph. There are no hills to climb, so it?ll be very fast.?

As for favourites, ?Rob Hayles always looks good when the going gets fast. Chris Newton won at Rochdale on Wednesday night. Tony Gibb has got a very fast lead-out and he won the event last year and is a strong sprinter; last year he had a long lead-out train doing 40mph.

?Last year, the weather was quite calm but if there is a wind this time it?ll push the riders around a bit, but with a rolling-road closure they should be able to form echelons. If it is windy, it will make a difference?.

Last year
1st Tony Gibb
2nd Magnus Backstedt
3rd Chris Newton

HOW I WON…

By 2007 winner Tony Gibb
?I deserve about 180metres credit for that race and the team deserve the rest. The plan was for the boys to lead me out if the raced stayed together and it worked superbly?.

BATTLE OF THE BROTHERS
Our season-long competition that pits the two brothers, Dean and Russell Downing, against each other is heating up.

For most of the 2008 season, Russell has had one up on his brother Dean, but Dean scored a revenge point on Sunday winning a bronze at the Nationals. As the Premier Calendar heads into its seventh round, it?s all to play for.

Latest score
Russell 6, Dean 3

Who will come out on top in the CW Superteam Challenge this season?

We’ll be awarding teams ten points for first place, five for second and one for third in each Premier Calendar event. Slightly more points will be on offer for the two international road races and the National Championships. A stage win in a Premier Calendar stage race will be worth three points.

So far, Pinarello have been dominating the series standings but Rapha-Condor isn?t far behind. Nor is Halfords Bikehut, thanks to Rob Hayles? two recent wins in quick succession.

CW’S Superteam Challenge-latest standings
1. Pinarello 76pts
2. Rapha-Condor-Recycling 35pts
3. Halfords Bikehut 33pts
4. Team 100% ME 14pts
5. Plowman Craven 11pts

START LIST
Russell Hampton 100% ME

Lee Smith Agiscoviner.com

Simon Wilson Arctic Premier R.T.

Gary Adamson F.P. Mailing

Matthew Charity Go Sports Spex R.T.

Paul Oldham Hope Factory Racing

James Stewart KFS Special Vehicles / Sunday Bicycles
Dafydd Dylan KFS Special Vehicles / Sunday Bicycles

James Sampson Kinesis U.K.
Kit Gilham Kinesis U.K.
Matthew Cronshaw Kinesis U.K.
Jack Pullar Kinesis U.K.

Graeme Goulding Kuota/Biemme/Spinergy
Andy Guy Kuota/Biemme/Spinergy

Ashley Finn Lune R.C.C.

Harry Penn Mammoth Lifestyle R.T.

Liam Wild MK Cycles

Simon Baxter MTS cycle Sport / Inkland
Lewis Meadows MTS cycle Sport / Inkland

David Robinson Altura

Steve Gibson Peak R.C.

Jon Mozley Pearl Izumi/Planet X/high 5
Liam Holohan Pearl Izumi/Planet X/high 5
Jeroen Janssen Pearl Izumi/Planet X/high 5
Stephen Adams Pearl Izumi/Planet X/high 5
Matthew Jones Pearl Izumi/Planet X/high 5
Raphael Dienhart Pearl Izumi/Planet X/high 5
Andrew Tinsley Pearl Izumi/Planet X/high 5

Malcom Elliott Pinarello R.T.
Russ Downing Pinarello R.T.
Freddy Johansson Pinarello R.T.
Lee Davis Pinarello R.T.
Tom Murray Pinarello R.T.
Matthew Kipling Pinarello R.T.
Peter Williams Pinarello R.T.
Andy Roche Pinarello R.T.

Tony Gibb Plowman Craven R.T.
Simon Gaywood Plowman Craven R.T.
James Millard Plowman Craven R.T.
Tom Barras Plowman Craven R.T.
Evan Oliphant Plowman Craven R.T.
Neil Coleman Plowman Craven R.T.
James McCallum Plowman Craven R.T.
Alex Higham Plowman Craven R.T.

George Richardson Private Member

John Hollier Private Member

Martin Ford Private Member

Chris Newton Rapha-Condor /Recycling.co.uk
Dean Downing Rapha-Condor /Recycling.co.uk
Kristian House Rapha-Condor /Recycling.co.uk
Graham Briggs Rapha-Condor /Recycling.co.uk
Ben Greenwood Rapha-Condor /Recycling.co.uk
Tom Diggle Rapha-Condor /Recycling.co.uk
Dale Appleby Rapha-Condor /Recycling.co.uk
Rob Partridge Rapha-Condor /Recycling.co.uk

Matthew Stephens Sigmasport/Specialized/Sportful
Robin Sharman Sigmasport/Specialized/Sportful
Andrew Bye Sigmasport/Specialized/Sportful
Mike Harrison Sigmasport/Specialized/Sportful
Steven Golla Sigmasport/Specialized/Sportful
Dan Duguid Sigmasport/Specialized/Sportful
James Williamson Sigmasport/Specialized/Sportful
Neil Swithenbank Sigmasport/Specialized/Sportful

Marcin Bialoblocki Sport Beans-Wilier
Mark Thwaites Sport Beans-Wilier
Marc Perry Sport Beans-Wilier

James Wagstaff Sportscover / J.E. James
Nigel Brown Sportscover / J.E. James
Gav Evans Sportscover / J.E. James
Dieter Droger Sportscover / J.E. James

Stephen Ward Star Bikes R.T.

Robert Hayles Team Halfords – Bikehut
Tom Southam Team Halfords – Bikehut

David Clarke Team Lacuna
James Williams Team Lacuna
Thomas Collier Team Lacuna
Robert Orr Team Lacuna
Wayne Coombs VC Montpellier

Richard Hepworth Wakefield C.C.

Peter Hinchcliffe White Knight R.C.

Jimmy Froggatt Wills Wheels C.C.

Nick Shaughnessy Scienceinsport.com

David Williams Kuota/Biemme/Spinergy

Rob Pugh F.P. Mailing

Robert H. Adams Severn R.C.

Dave Collins Scienceinsport-Trek
Ian Wilkinson Scienceinsport-Trek
Richard Wilkinson Scienceinsport-Trek
Richard Kent Scienceinsport-Trek

Richard Kipling MTS cycle Sport / Inkland

Steve Lampier Bouwkantoor – Lippens

Andrew Magnier Brooks Cycles

Josh Varty Probikekit.com

Roy Chamberlain Team Corley Cycles

Ian Stannard Landbouwkrediet