Team Raleigh GAC scored their first Pearl Izumi Tour Series round win in 24 attempts since Edinburgh in 2014 as the team recorded a dominant performance in Durham in front of large crowds, undeterred by the unseasonably chilly conditions.

Lining up with a trio of Spaniards and a brace of Frenchman, the win made history as the first round victory for an entirely non-British line-up, with Matthieu Boulo, Morgan Kneisky, Sebastian Mora and Adrian Moreno at times performing like a four main team time trial at the head of the shattered peloton.

It wasn’t just the round winners making history, as JLT Condor’s Jon Mould swept to his fourth individual win of the 2016 Pearl Izumi Tour Series, moving him onto nine wins in total, one clear of teammate Ed Clancy.

Mould’s win was his third in a row and fourth in a season, both feats never before achieved by another rider.  The JLT Condor presented by Mavic team also continue their incredible sweep of every individual race win of the 2016 Series.

The Welshman’s victory though did owe a great deal to being in the right place at the right time, as Madison Genesis’ Tom Stewart looked set to cap a strong rider with the race win until on the final tour his chain came adrift at the foot of the South Street climb, allowing Mould and the Raleigh led chasing group to catch him

Stewart had been at the front throughout, first in a small group, then with just Chris Lawless for company as Durham’s testing circuit, famously described by Malcolm Elliott as “purgatory” once again took its toll on the peloton through a combination of crashes and mechanical bad luck.

With Stewart clear and in control, Mould was slowly reeling him in, but it looked a case of too little, too late, until the fateful final tour.  Heading onto the bell lap the Madison Genesis rider enjoyed around an 11-second lead, which Mould was undoubtedly shortening, but Stewart looked to have enough in reserve.

The dramatic mechanical, captured by crowds on the camera phones, at the tight hairpin, allowed first Mould to sweep by, and then the Team Raleigh GAC led peloton, such that it was, with an anguished Stewart crossing the line in fifth.

Fifth made Stewart the meat in a Team Raleigh GAC sandwich, behind Boulo and followed across the line by Mora, Kneisky and Moreno, whose performance gave Cherie Pridham’s team a comprehensive win by five seconds over JLT Condor presented by Mavic.  On paper seemingly not a lot, but in the closely fought 2016 Pearl Izumi Tour Series as dominant a winning margin has been seen.

Second across the line was Harry Tanfield, (pictured below)  from just down the road in Great Ayton, making his first appearance of 2016, who put in a strong ride to vociferous cheers from the North East crowd, heading home NFTO’s Johnny McEvoy.

As well as another race win, Mould moves to within 12-points of Rory Townsend in the Chain Reaction Cycles Points competition, with the Pedal Heaven riding not appearing in Durham.  One teammate who did appear for Pedal Heaven however was former British Hillclimb champion Jack Pullar, who set the Brother Fastest Lap with a 2:09.420 around the 1.4-kilometre course, on his was to 11th. 

The round win for Team Raleigh GAC moves them to within three-points of Madison Genesis who are second in the table, with the defending champions enduring a poor night off the pace to come fifth.

With JLT Condor presented by Mavic six points clear, a further six points separate Madison Genesis, Team Raleigh GAC and Pedal Heaven, with NFTO a further seven in arrears.

 

In the third round of the Guest teams competition for Northern teams, Wheelbase Altura MGD took the win to move to 14-points, just one ahead of Planet X Northside Pro Cycling going into Thursday’s fourth and final round in Stoke-on-Trent.  Their result was helped by another impressive ride by youngster Matt Nowell, who came home 14th in the second chase group.

For full results and standings from the Pearl Izumi Tour Series in Durham, please click here.

Highlights of the Durham round are on ITV4 at 2200 on Wednesday 1 June with a repeat at 0900 on Thursday 2 June.  All the 2016 Pearl Izumi Tour Series highlights are also available to view on demand via the ITV Player.

The Pearl Izumi Tour Series resumes on Thursday evening in Stoke-on-Trent, with Round Seven of the men’s competition alongside the third round of the women’s Matrix Fitness Grand Prix Series ad support events on the city centre circuit throughout the afternoon.