AFTER a year’s absence, the prestigious OVO Energy Tour Series rolled into Aberystwyth last Saturday, the seventh time in the event’s 10 editions that it has headed to the county of Ceredigion.
The Cambrian News reported “Canyon-Eisberg made it a clean sweep of the penultimate week of the Series as Commonwealth Games Silver medallist Harry Tanfield became the third rider from the team to take an individual victory at the fifth round.
It was dominant maiden win, with Tanfield crossing the line alone, hands aloft, to win by 24 seconds from ONE Pro Cycling’s Jacob Scott, who had chased alone.
This year’s visit to Aberystwyth also featured the first-ever Welsh round of the women’s series, and Anna Henderson took her first ever individual Tour Series victory for Team OnForm.
Despite the successes of their riders, with both winners also taking the respective Brother Fastest Laps, neither Canyon Eisberg nor Team OnForm were the team victors on the night, with defending champions JLT Condor and Trek-Drops taking the team honours.
The win for JLT Condor, thanks to the presence of Graham Briggs (third), Eisberg Points leader Matt Gibson (fourth) and Jon Mould (sixth) in the lead group of eight – who lapped the main field – moved them to second overall, three points behind Madison Genesis, who retained the Series lead.
“I knew I had to win, and the only way to win was solo, so that’s exactly what I did,” commented Tanfield.
“We were fortunate Hank (Lowsley-Williams) and Charles (Page) had a dig about 10 laps out, got away and made the JLT boys chase. Then we got held up by lapped riders and then it all came together, so I just whacked it straight up over the top and then I got away.
“The lapped riders held up the chase group so this week it worked out; Aberdeen went the other way, so I just think it comes and goes.”
Aberystwyth saw a first win for Trek-Drops in the women’s Series, the team having been missed recent rounds following injury and illness, but with Team Breeze coming second, the British Cycling development squad extended their lead in the Series to three points over NJC-Biemme-Echelon.
“Around the final corner, and one of the girls dropped the wheel, and I thought ‘take a risk’ and it paid off,” said Henderson at the finish.
“That’s a big effort from me – it was a pretty cool technical course that suited me and I really enjoyed that.”
The 19-year-old, who emerged as one to watch during last year’s Series, added: “I’m still very new, I’m learning every minute of every race and my team manager and my coach, everybody in the team is guiding me. And yeah it’s just a continuous upward spiral.”
Nikki Juniper finished second on the night, ensuring that Henderson only marginally trimmed her lead in the Eisberg Points Jersey, with the NJC-Biemme-Echelon rider still holding a 25-point advantage heading to Monday’s Bank Holiday event, held in Stevenage.
Juniper had chased with Trek-Drops’ Lizzie Holden, who took third, with freshly-crowned Welsh Criterium Champion Dani Rowe taking the bunch sprint for fourth from Ejay Harris.
The race formed part of the successful Aber Cycle Fest, a celebration of cycling that included criterium racing, downhill mountain biking, a time trial, uphill climb and a mass participation ride. Results in next week’s edition” here.