Last night in Portsmouth, riders from the men in black all but had to finish the race to be crowned victorious in the 2016 Tour Series, and they did, but not without animating the race first.
“The series was anything but easy, despite our dominance in race wins. Five weeks of racing and late nights really wore us down. We clicked as a team and once we had the momentum from the first few victories, that really spurred us on to keep attacking. Everyone rode as a unit and knew where they had to be and mark and when to counter.” explained the team manager, Dean Downing.
The final week of the national event saw teams compete in three races in Stevenage, Croydon and a finale in Portsmouth. On Monday night and Tuesday Jon Mould once again showed his sprinting calibre and took two more victories, making 2016 a fairy-tale series for the squad who racked up and impressive and unprecedented nine straight individual victories.
In the evening sunshine of Portsmouth city centre, JLT Condor p/b Mavic once again animated the race with Chris Lawless going clear forcing Madison Genesis to place five riders at the front to chase. After twenty minutes and Lawless neutralised Jon Mould counter attacked and forced the chase again.
In the closing stages of the event, Jon Mould crashed on a tight corner and it looked like the series strongest rider would be forced to leave the race. He resumed the race but behind the peloton.
In the Brother Fastest Lap there was further success for JLT Condor, with their New Zealand former World Track Champion Alex Frame clocking a 1:24.250 for the honours, averaging 51.28kph around the city streets.
The team’s victory also makes manager Dean Downing the first man to win the Pearl Izumi Tour Series as both a rider (2011) and manager (2016).
“I’m so delighted to take the overall series win but also with the nine straight victories. I think I am more tired as a manager, than as a rider.” explained the former National Champion, Dean Downing.
Highlights of the men and women’s races in Portsmouth will be shown on ITV4 at 20:00 on Friday 10 June with a repeat the following morning at 10:20. Programmes from all ten rounds of the Pearl Izumi Tour Series are available on demand via the ITV Hub catch-up service.