‘Riding the line’ – Race winner Kristian House powers up the tough climb that dominates the Durham circuit, a photo by mattmuir.co.uk on Flickr.
The 2nd round of the Halfords Tour series rolled in to Durham last night. In its 3rd year now, the series consists of 11 round, over the course of a month with races taking place twice a week. As the events take place on tight urban circuits the racing is always guaranteed to be fast and furious.
The durham round proved to be no different and takes place on what is probably one of the most challenging circuits in the series, taking in a punishing cobbled climb. What’s more, the main climb is taken with virtually no run up due to the almost hairpin bend at the bottom and was made even more treacherous by in the hours running up to the event.
It goes without saying that this sort of circuit suits a strong rider as opposed to the usual ‘pocket rockets’ that dominate criterium racing. Tonight was no different with Rapha Condor Sharp rider Kristian House attacking around halfway through the hour long race. Once he had dispatched with his fellow escapees he continued to pile on the pressure in his inimitable style. By the final bell lap, confident in his 30 second lead he was already celebrating and eventually crossed the line arms aloft to a thunderous cheer from the crowd.
finishing off the podium placings were the endura racing duo scott thwaite and Ian bibby, the latter being a former international level cross country mountain biker and so perfectly suited to a challenging course such as this. With team mate Jonny McEvoy in 5th it was inevitable that the Endura racing team would take the team classification in this round and thus extend their lead over Rapha Condor Sharp. Unsurprisingly Kristian House now leads the Boardman bikes Sprint competition, cleaning up all the bonus sprints during his solo to victory.
As per usual, click the photo below for more of my photos of the race. Highlights are also on ITV4 tonight (friday) at 8pm.