On 14th May as the sun lowered after a warm sunny day, the competing teams took to the start-line in Motherwell, near Glasgow, for round two of the seven-race OVO Energy Tour Series.
The contest was over 40 laps of the 1.2km town centre circuit with each lap finishing at the top of the long drag up Hamilton Road.
After narrowly losing out to arch-competitors Madison Genesis in the first round at Redditch, Canyon dhb p/b Bloor Homes were clearly out for the win!
With largely a sub-set of the riders who rode so convincingly at the Chestnut Homes Lincoln GP two days previously: Jacob Hennessy, Alex Paton, Charlie Tanfield and Andy Tennant were joined by Matthew Bostock, the team deployed similar tactics by swamping the front of the peloton and attacking incessantly. Hennessy attacked immediately after the first neutralised lap but was brought back by the peloton, Tanfield strung out the bunch on lap 6 and Paton increased the pressure over the following three laps.
The key competitors Madison Genesis, Vitus Pro Cycling, Team Ribble and Swift Carbon Pro Cycling were largely left trying to cling onto the Canyon dhb p/b Bloor Homes shirt-tails although Steve Lampier (St. Piran) rode aggressively to defend his red Eisberg Sprints leader jersey by pulling back the leaders and took the first Intermediate Sprint on lap 11.
After a brief hiatus from leading, Paton was back on the front turning the screws on the opposition.
Hennessy attacked again on lap 15 to string out the peloton and with Paton and Tanfield on the front on lap 18 and all five Canyon dhb p/b Bloor Homes riders in the first twelve, the peloton began to fragment.
With Lampier held up by a crash which left Tobyn Horton (Madison Genesis) with a suspected broken collar-bone, Matt Nowell (St. Piran) rode strongly to take the Eisberg Intermediate Sprint on lap 20 to defend Lampier’s red jersey.
By lap 25 with the five Canyon dhb p/b Bloor Homes riders in the top eight and only 24 riders left in the stretched peloton, Team Ribble and Vitus Pro Cycling appeared to be in a stronger position than Madison Genesis.
On lap 29, John Archibald (Team Ribble) accelerated through to take the final Eisberg Intermediate Sprint and in doing so blew the field apart.
Only Paton, Hennessy and Joey Walker (Madison Genesis) could stay with the pace and this quartet rapidly pulled out a 30 second gap from the peloton.
By lap 35 Nowell had bridged across making a leading group of five and Bostock and Tanfield had moved clear of the peloton in the company of Mark Stewart (Team Ribble) and Tom Moses (Madison Genesis)
In Hennessy’s words…
“We set out with the goal of making the race as hard as possible, just like we had done at Lincoln, and we smashed it.
Causing the race to split up was the ideal scenario with Paton and I working well together.
I didn’t want to let Paton down after all the hard work he had done, so with two laps to go I asked him to go easy on the front as I knew the others would not come past and they would wait for us to make our move.
With two corners to go there was a bit of argy-bargy so I told Paton to go for it. He stormed through the last corner with about 200 metres to go and his pace stretching out the lead group.
It was the perfect lead-out as I kicked hard and unleashed the sprint to the line.”
To top his evening off, Hennessy also took the Brother Fastest Lap award to add to the one that he won at Redditch.
So another stupendous ride from Canyon dhb p/b Bloor Homes with the four-scoring riders in the top 10 giving a clear three minute win over Madison Genesis, who just held onto second place five seconds ahead of Team Ribble. This left the team on level points with Madison Genesis, but wearing the OVO Energy Tour Series leaders green jerseys on count-back.
The team are now looking forward to round three which is being held in Aberdeen on Thursday 16th May.
Full results can be found here.
Written by Paul and Marina Stedman.
Images – SWpix.com