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Event News

Monday morning news – 14/02/05

Armstrong’s lucky 7?
Lance admits he will go for seven tour wins but still remains vague on when this will be. Still refusing to say much during a interview with Oprah Winfrey(?!) the six time winner was asked: “Are you going to go for number seven?”, Armstrong’s reply of “Yes” didn’t tell us whether it would be this year or next.

Downing rides well in France
The second day of the Circuit Des Plages races held at St Jean De Monts was
another hard day as the race fragmented quite early on.
The main reason for the splitting was again the attacking riding of Russ
Downing. After a series of attacks the field was whittled down to 12
including four riders from a French team. On the finishing circuit Russ
continued with the attacks and reduced the group to 4 riders. Russ also got the combative jersey for the most aggressive rider. In a group of 10 which included two teams with 3 riders each in the break, Russ got ‘worked over’ but rode hard to finish eventual
4th. The race was held in very difficult windy conditions and was contested
by a quality field of 135 riders.

Then takes victory the following day…
Fierce Winds couldn’t deny Downing Victory in France the following day on the Circuit de Plages. Yesterday’s 135.5km stage from Vendeennes – St. Jean de Monts was described by Robin Sharman as the windiest day he had ever experienced on a bike, with the gale force gusts battering the race in North France, but it could not stop team captain Russell Downing from posting a superb lone win. 170 starters battled against the elements in a series of circuits finally ending with three laps around the town centre of St.Jean de Monts that incorporated a number of tricky roundabouts more hazardous by vicious cross winds. By the final 5km the leaders had been whittled down to just 12 riders and it was clear that it would be simply the strongest man on the day who took victory. A series of nervous attacks and counter attacks left all the riders watching each other and the leading 12 soon became just 4. With 3km to go Downing and fellow escapee, Belgian Steven Thijs (Jartazi-Revor), jumped again and this time no-one had the strength to go with them.

Results
1. Russell Downing R/MG-X/L 3h 23’ 28”
2. Steven Thijs Jartazi-Revor at 5”
3. Christophe Diguet U Nantes-Atlantique at 15”

Newton takes UK opener

Recycling.co.uk / MG X-Power / Litespeed got their domestic season off to a
fine start in the 40th Anniversary Perfs Pedal Race in Hampshire yesterday.
The 70Km traditional British opening road race of the season was held in
very cold conditions in the County of Hampshire. The recycling.co.uk / MG
X-Power / Litespeed squad had three riders competing in the event: Chris
Newton, Paul Manning & Rob Hayles. Hayles grew up in the Portsmouth area so
was a local crowd favourite at the event.
By the end of the third of the six laps, there was only four riders in
contention of winning the race it seemed at that point, as the bunch were
not able to make any time up on the leading quartet of Hayles, Manning,
Newton and last year’s winner Julian Winn.

Chris Newton launched an attack at blistering pace over his fellow breakaway
compatriots and stayed away on his own riding the last two laps by himself
to achieve a fine solo victory in this very well supported event.
Rob Hayles finished in second place 20seconds behind Chris Newton, Julian Winn third and
Paul Manning finished in fourth spot a further 20seconds adrift.

Result
1st 38 Chris NEWTON Recycling.co.uk / MG Xpower / Litespeed 70km in 1-49-50
2nd 36 Rob HAYLES Recycling.co.uk / MG Xpower / Litespeed @ 1-20
3rd 1 Julian WINN Pinarello RT/Pinarello/Assos/Corima/Rudy Project @ 1-40
4th 37 Paul MANNING Recycling.co.uk / MG Xpower / Litespeed st
5th 68 Chris BIRCH Evans Cycles RT @ 2-35

Good Friday track meet at Herne Hill is ON!
After weeks of speculation, rumour and indecision SCCU is pleased to announce
that they have concluded agreement with Dulwich Estates making available
Herne Hill Velodrome to the Southern Counties Cycling Union in order to
stage the Good Friday Meeting.

With the uncertainty removed Graham Bristow, the event’s organiser, is working hard to get the promotion back on track. This agreement between Dulwich Estates and SCCU is separate from the ongoing lease renewal negotiations, which still have to be concluded before the long term future of cycle racing at Herne Hill can be secured.
More on that here

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