Downing takes first win in Stoke but Halfords lead
Russell Downing claimed his first individual win of the Tour Series in Stoke on Tuesday, but it was a night of mixed fortunes for his team Candi TV-Marshalls Pasta, who lost their blue jerseys to new series leaders Halfords.
There was something in the race for most of the "big four" teams, with a resurgent Rapha-Condor claiming the round win. Their trio of Dean Downing, Chris Newton and Kristian House placed third, fourth and eighth.
House’s achievement is all the more remarkable since it came only hours after he had landed back at Heathrow airport from competing in the Tour de Beauce in Canada.
Halfords also finished with three riders in the top 10, this time Ed Clancy and Rob Hayles sacrificing themselves to the benefit of the lesser names on the team. Mark McNally and Andy Tennant came in sixth and ninth behind Ian Wilkinson who was second; that was enough to edge out Candi TV in the overall standings,
Despite Russell Downing’s win, the team could only place two riders. Graham Briggs once more struggled to maintain his form of earlier rounds.
"I think everyone was happy tonight. Candi TV, Rapha and us, sharing the love," declared a delighted Rob Hayles. The Tour organisers might be the happiest of all, though. The league table shows the top four teams covered by just three points with three rounds remaining.
Highlights of Round 7 can be seen on Wednesday night at 7pm on ITV4.
Team Results – Round 7 – Stoke on Trent
1. Rapha – Condor
2. Halfords Bikehut
3. Candi TV – Marshalls Pasta
5. Sports Beans – Wilier
6. Sigma Sport Cycling Team
8. Endura Racing
7. Team Corley Cycles
10. BMC UK Racing Team
Individual Results – Round 7 – Stoke on Trent
1. Russell Downing (Candi TV – Marshalls Pasta)
2. Ian Wilkinson (Halfords Bikehut)
3. Dean Downing (Rapha – Condor)
4. Chris Newton (Rapha – Condor)
5. Malcolm Elliot (Candi TV – Marshalls Pasta)
6. Andy Tennant (Halfords Bikehut)
7. Stephen Adams (Madison.co.uk)
8. Kristian House (Rapha – Condor)
9. Mark McNally (Halfords Bikehut)
10. Marcin Bialoblocki (Sports Beans – Wilier)
Team Standings after Round 7
1. Halfords Bikehut 65 points
2. Candi TV – Marshalls Pasta 64 points
3. Rapha – Condor 63 points
4. Madison.co.uk 62 points
5. Sigma Sport Cycling Team 37 points
6. Sports Beans – Wilier 35 points
7. Corley Cycles 29 points
8. Endura Racing 19 points
9. Cyclingbargains.com 17 points
10. BMC UK Racing Team 15 points
Russell Downing lunges for the line and takes the win ahead of Ian Wilkinson
The Halfords team take over the lead in the team classification. They only have a three point lead with three rounds to go
Halfords notch up another Tour Series win in Southport
Hayles defies Downing to take Blackpool Tour Series
Wilkinson wins in Peterborough
Downing claims second Tour Series win in Woking
Dean Downing blasts to victory in Exeter crit
Briggs wins first round of Tour Series