Tour Series leaders Wiv SunGod lost their 100% record but continued to top the overall standings after round three in Sunderland on Tuesday.

However, an eventful night saw them lose key rider Thomas Mein, winner of the opening round in Guisborough on Bank Holiday Monday, to a late crash seconds after the third sprint.

Despite this misfortune, team owner and sports director Tim Elverson is confident the team will continue to succeed in the series’ later rounds.

“It’s a shame to lose Thomas,” said Elverson. “He’s been doing really well; he saw an opportunity there to attack through the sprint and it was the right thing to do. It was just a racing incident. Not ideal, but we’re still leading, we’ve still got a buffer and we travel with a reserve rider so he can slot straight in on Thursday.”

Having won the opening two rounds, Wiv SunGod finished third in Sunderland. Defending champions Ribble Weldtite claimed victory, ahead of the impressive TRINITY Racing team who took a one-two in the individual result courtesy of Blake Quick and Luke Lamperti.

“We’re still in the leader’s jerseys, but we’ve lost a couple of points, so not ideal. TRINITY rode well, they set out obviously to ride as a sprint and this is literally the only Tour Series [round] that that can work in.

“Last year we saw it was very hard to break it up and the wind, the way it was positioned today, kind of helped that as well. I was hoping the wind was going to play a bigger part, but it didn’t really, apart from make it easier to control. We had a few gos and realised it wasn’t going to happen, then obviously we lost Thomas in that crash. He would have been a key part of our lead-out so we had to wing it a little bit.

“The lads did well, but were a little bit out of position in the last two corners because the other guys did a good job. So we’ve lost a couple of points. We’ve still got buffer and at least we don’t have to worry about winning every round now.”

Highlights of the Sunderland event will be broadcast on ITV4 at 7pm on Wednesday 11 May.

Racing continues on Thursday (12 May) with a return to Scotland for round four in Stranraer on the west coast of Dumfries & Galloway. Action gets underway with the women’s race (4pm) followed by the men’s race (6pm); both events streamed live on the series’ website with no geo-restrictions.

[Words: Sarah Abbott]