Endura talent Thwaites reflects on first Tour Series
Endura's man-of-the-moment Scott Thwaites praised his team-mates
despite them failing to catch Rapha-Condor-Sharp at the top of the Tour
Thwaites won the individual round in Stoke-on-Trent, and never finished outside the top ten in the eight-race series.
His team trailed Rapha by nine points after five rounds, but Thwaites told Cycling Weekly that Endura never gave up the fight.
"We didn't do much wrong at the start of the series; we were always there and involved in the races.
obviously it's hard knowing that half-way through the series there was
pretty much no chance of getting back the points we needed.
good that we finished well and I'm glad we got the team on the podium
twice after winning the Oldham and Woking rounds, as it stopped Rapha's
He continued: "I've been developed through the team and the more experienced guys have helped me out.
whole team have been amazing in these last few rounds; Wilko (Ian
Wilkinson) for example has been brilliant and I was really happy to see
him win on Tuesday (in Woking) after everything he's done for me.
Thwaites wins in Stoke-on-Trent last week
Thwaites was in the thick of the action in Canary Wharf, the series' final round last night, forming part of a five-man group along with Dean Downing (Rapha-Condor-Sharp), Jonny McEvoy (Motorpoint), Magnus Backstedt (Team UK Youth) and Wouter Sybrandy (Sigma Sport-Specialized).
"It was a good group to be in - it had strong riders from the strong teams. I felt OK when I got into the move, everyone worked reasonably well," said Thwaites, who was caught in two minds when McEvoy attacked on the penultimate lap.
"I expected him to attack as I'd beaten him in the sprint on Tuesday (in Woking).
had played a really good race, which you'd expect him to do with all of
his experience, and he looked around at me as if to say ‘I don't want
to win this race, I just need to beat you'."
He added: "I was left with two choices; I could have either let everyone else ride off and
have a fight for fourth with Dean, or go and try and get a higher
position at the finish.
"I knew the series was pretty much
finished at that point as Rapha were never going to finish down in sixth
on the night, so I just tried my best to close Jonny down.
couldn't get near him and I knew Dean would beat me in the sprint as
he'd sat on my wheel for the whole of the last lap. That's how racing is
and they (Rapha-Condor-Sharp) raced it really well today."
Pooley winds up for the Giro Donne with Bira win
World time-trial champion Emma Pooley (Garmin-Cervelo) is back to full fitness after the broken collarbone that ruled her out of the Fleche Wallonne in late April.
After the "stupid accident" on a bike path that dumped her out of her target, she is now focusing on the Giro Donne.
One of the most prestigious races in women's professional cycling, it runs from July 1 to 10, with stages including the climbs of the Mortirolo, Valdidentro and Ceresole Reale.
"There's a team to back me up, I don't want to let them down," she said. "The Mortirolo stage will be crucial, but that 15-kilometres descent to the finish afterwards... I've lost count of the number of times I've done it in practise. There's no way I'm getting dropped down there."
Pooley at last year's National Championships
Pooley was fifth overall last year, and finished fourth in 2009, wearing the maglia rosa for two days.
She showed her growing form at the five-day Emakumeen Bira last week, winning Saturday's third stage time-trial and finishing fourth overall in the Basque stage race.
"I was pleased with how it went and how I felt, given how I hadn't raced in long. It felt strange being back."
However, with ever-exacting standards, Pooley was annoyed at herself from slipping to fourth overall. "I was disappointed with that, I should have been second on GC."
Marianne Vos (Nederland Bloeit) continued her current irrepressible form, taking three stages and the overall title.
British bunch fire up for Otley and Leazes criteriums
Adam Blythe (Omega Pharma-Lotto) and Lizzie Armitstead (Garmin-Cervelo) will be headlining the Otley Criteriums on Wednesday, with Mark Cavendish confirmed for the Leazes Criterium two days later.
Otley organiser Giles Pidcock is also hopeful that Cavendish and a number of Team Sky riders will turn up on the day for his event.
Blythe is riding the Otley elite race, with all the top British teams also represented.
"I'm hopeful that they'll come along," he told Cycling Weekly. "They're all doing a training camp for the Nationals that weekend, and I think it'll depend on how hard they've been going and what they feel like on the day. It's a bit of a risk for them doing it, I guess. They won't want to go too hard so soon before the Nationals."
Armitstead and Blythe at the 2010 Dave Rayner dinner
Lizzie Armitstead is lining up in the Otley support race (2/3/4) and will be joined by a Motorpoint lady's team, which includes Hannah Barnes and Lucy Garner in what Pidcock has billed as "an interesting boys vs girls contest."
Armitstead is an Otley local, and will be riding alongside her brother, Nick.
Kennaugh sixth in Route du Sud second stage
Pete Kennaugh grabbed his career best result in a Team Sky jersey today, finishing sixth in the Route du Sud's second stage.
The mountainous stage ascended the Col D'Aspin and the Col du Tourmalet, and Kennaugh bridged to a breakaway on the descent of the first of the two.
As the race climbed the Tourmalet he was caught by the peloton. Anthony Charteau (Europcar) and Vasily Kiryienka (Movistar) took first and second ahead of the bunch, but Kennaugh had enough energy to contest the sprint for third.
The team's director sportif Nicolas Portal said afterwards "it was a great performance all-round from Pete today and I've been
really impressed by his attitude. A lot of other riders would have sat
up when their group got caught, but he kept on going"
Kennaugh in good spirits during an impressive first full grand tour at the Giro this year
Fleeman impresses in Canadian stage race
Dan Fleeman (Team Raleigh) sits in seventh position on the GC of the 2.2-rated Tour de Beauce after three of six stages.
Fleeman finished the first stage in twelfth, twenty two seconds back on the winner after bridging to a breakaway that stayed clear and split late on.
He jumped from twelfth to seventh after finishing the third stage in an elite climbers' group that emerged at the end of what was the tour's queen stage.
As this article was published the riders had finished the fourth stage ITT.
Raleigh are the only British team in the race, and Liam Holohan and Richard Handley the other British riders in the peloton.
Fleeman might be considered an outside bet at the national road race championships on June 27 given his evident good form.
British news round-up, June 10: Riders head to London for the IG Markets Nocturne
British news round-up, June 3: Endura and Motorpoint vow to hit back at Tour Series
British news round-up, May 27: More details of London test event emerge
British news round-up, May 20: Rowe goes close in Holland
British news round-up, May 6: Brammeier:"The novelty will never wear off"