Tour of the South
(4-day stage race)
Courteousy of British Cycling. Report and photos from Richard Robotham
Chris Newton Recycling.co.uk dominated the Tour taking all three Jerseys after the final stage. Chris stated "It was a well organised event with some distance between the stages. I am pleased though, as I suffered a pretty bad accident 6 weeks ago and have only been training and racing full on for two weeks and am surprised with my form. I'm feeling fresh and raring to go at this time in the season." Chris will be riding the Tour of Britain at the end of August.
Chris was also pleased with today's stage stating "that the team tried to get one person in the break and just let the race unfold and kept the race under control in the last 20 mile to the finish."
Final General Classification
1. Chris Newton Recycling.co.uk E 12:31:41
Points Competition Overall
King of the Mountains Overall
On a day with hot and dry conditions, it was the team of Recycling who dominated stage 1 around Crawley for the 2nd annual Tour of the South.
After a break of around eight riders went clear after 20 miles, the number of riders in the group were whittled down to just five by the finish with last years winner Kristian House 26th, more than 4 minutes back.
Winner was the recently married Chris Newton (pictured right with Robin Sharman), regaining top form after a crash in France, who crossed the line just ahead of teammate Robin Sharman. The pace of the race saw the last group on the road, finish over 20 minutes down.
1. Chris Newton Recycling.co.uk E 3:32:17
1. Chris McNamara South East Region E 3:00:26
1. Rob Hurd Composite 1 E 2:14:39
In cooler conditions from previous days, Stage 4 of the Tour of the South, started out on its undulating course from Tavistock along the edge of Dartmoor with Chris Newton (Recycling.co.uk) leading on all three of the classifications (Points, KOM & GC).
The newly laid road surface at the start of the race resulted in several riders, including Malcolm Elliott (Plowman Craven RT) and Central Regions Sean Brennan, to puncture but they soon caught the bunch on the climb to the first KOM prime at Blackdown.
Chris Newton continued his domination of the King of the Mountain competition and took the overall KOM Jersey by securing the first prime of the day from Fred Johannsen Plowman (Craven RT). Prior to the start of the first circuit, Diego Garavito (Eastern Region) and Ben Luckwell (GWR/Total Bike Swin) opened up a commanding lead of a minute from Arctic/Shorter-Rochford chasers James Dobbin and David Law with the main field two minutes behind.
Garavito and Luckwell continued to hold their lead to take the next KOM prime at Tanners Hill, with Dobbins and Law taking 3rd and 4th places. Maintaining their slight lead, Garavito and Luckwell worked well together at 30 miles, crossing the Roadford Lake dam. However, Dobbin and Law were caught at the dam by three chasing riders.
By the end of the feeding zone at Lewdown, the race had fragmented into many small groups but keeping ahead of the field, Garavito and Luckwell took the last KOM prime at Tanners Hill, chased by Craig Butland Plowman Craven RT, Alex Higham, Robin Sharman and Rob Partridge Recycling.co.uk.
By 53 miles, the main peloton had regrouped, a subsequent attack during a rainy spell by Kristian House Recycling.co.uk, Diego Garavito, James Dobbin, Adam Norris Surrey League and Andrew Gough Red Kite Cycles resulted in a gap of 3 minutes at the Sprytown turn (62 miles). Matt Talbot (Glendene/Bike Trax) and Henry Furniss (Composite 1) then bridged the gap in the last 10 miles to contest the sprint.
In a close finish, Matt Talbot Glendene/Bike Trax took the honours from last years Junior champion Adam Norris with Henry Furniss in 3rd place.
With the stage win confirmed by the photo finish, Matt Talbot said he definitely enjoyed the victory "I was looking for a win for a long time" and when asked about the Tour Matt stated "I've been feeling stronger throughout the whole tour and overall I am very pleased"
1. Matt Talbot Glendene/Bike Trax E 3:44:00