After their dominant win at Motherwell two days earlier where they captured the series-leader’s green jerseys, Canyon dhb p/b Bloor Homes took to the start of round three of the Tour Series in Aberdeen on Thursday 16th May with renewed vigour. The fast 1.3km circuit consisted of three long straights and a paved dog-leg through the city centre which would be ridden for an hour plus three laps.
The team was largely unchanged from Tuesday with Matthew Bostock, Alex Paton, Charlie Tanfield and Andy Tennant being joined by Rory Townsend, with Motherwell winner, Jacob Hennessy being rested for the next round in Durham.
Competition was expected to be fierce as Madison Genesis were bound to come out fighting to try and regain the green jerseys, and there were the usual strong squads from Vitus Pro Cycling p/b Brother UK and Ribble Pro Cycling.
The non-UCI Continental team St. Piran led by Steve Lampier had also made an impressive start to the series.
Canyon dhb p/b Bloor Homes were expected to make their trademark aggressive start to the race, but when the riders came round at the end of the first lap, the peloton was split with Tennant nowhere to be seen.
Unfortunately he was the victim of an early crash and a broken finger left him unable to control his bike and out of the race.
This put the pressure on the remaining four riders as all their finishing times would count towards the team’s position at the end of the race.
Over the next few laps all four riders were visible towards the front of the regrouped peloton with Townsend, Tanfield and Paton taking turns on the front to drive the pace.
On lap nine, Paton and Tanfield escaped from the peloton in a group of four along with Tom Moses (Madison Genesis) and Freddie Scheske (Vitus) and their advantage was rapidly increased to around 20 seconds in the contest for the Eisberg Sprint on lap 11 which was taken by Scheske. In doing so, Scheske also established the Brother UK Fastest Lap.
This group of four slowly increased their lead over a large following group which was led in turn by Madison Genesis and Ribble.
With this potentially race winning situation, it was not in Canyon dhb p/b Bloor Homes’ interest to support the chase, so Bostock and Townsend were content to maintain their positions within this group.
With three quarters of the race complete, the group of four including Paton and Tanfield were getting close to catching this second group who were in danger of getting lapped, with only Chris Latham (Vitus) and John Archibald (Ribble) safely ahead having broken away.
On lap 40 the catch was made and the finishing positions of this lapped group were recorded.
The group of four were left to sprint out the last few laps alone. However, in the melee of passing through the peloton, Scheske was squeezed into the barriers and crashed.
He gamely remounted and caught Paton, Tanfield and Moses on the last lap. However, having ridden another impressive and immensely powerful race, Paton was in no mood to settle for anything less than a storming sprint victory, with Scheske in second and Tanfield taking third place.
A typically modest Paton reflected on his, and the team’s win:
“The key for the evening was having Charlie and myself in the break giving us a secured team result, and the opportunity to attack the race and try and secure the individual win.
Charlie was super strong in the race and did the majority of the work between us”
In a post-race interview with Larry Hickmott of VeloUK, Paton stated:
“I’ll often be found towards the front of bike races but not very often at the finish.
It’s nice to take a win and it’s the first time I’ve ever won a Tour Series.
I’ve been trying for quite a few years, so it’s a really nice feeling.”
Tim Elverson tweeted:
“That’s four race wins in five days, couldn’t be happier for this one, (Alex has) been a close friend for a long time and works selflessly for the team.”
So another individual win, another team win and Canyon dhb p/b Bloor Homes will continue to wear the Tour Series leader’s jerseys into round four which will be held in Durham on Saturday 18th May.
Written by Paul and Marina Stedman.
Images – SWpix.com