Tour DoonHame (Premier Calendar)

Courtesy of British Cycling. Report & Images: Joolze Diamond


Fresh from the World Track Championships, Chris Newton won the opening stage of the Tour DoonHame after he, Evan Oliphant and Dutch rider Wouter De Groot got away late in the day, just when a bunch sprint seemed the most likely conclusion.

The Tour DoonHame replaces the Girvan stage race, its change of name reflecting the change of location, from the West coast of SW Scotland, to a base in Dumfries, just over the border from England. The race's opening stage took riders on a big opening loop SW of Dumfries before skirting the town of Dalbeattie and back along the coast and into Dumfries again. Two more loops on a smaller circuit followed, before a final short finishing circuit.

From the off, the action was predictably frenetic and there were numerous attempts to make an early move stick. However, the relatively benign weather conditions and a stage profile which won't have frightened the poor climbers, meant the race largely stayed together.

There were some moments of drama, nonetheless, with Peter Williams (Motorpoint Marshalls) and Dan Craven (Rapha/Condor/Sharp) making a threatening move, gaining 20 seconds on the main field half way round the first big loop. However, they were soon pulled back and with the race speeds very high, breaks became difficult to start and, more importantly, make stick.

It may have been those high race speeds or just bad luck which caused first a small crash, which had no long-term victims, and then shortly afterwards a much more serious incident as the race approached the second climb of the day. A number of riders, maybe as many as 12 of 15, tangled in a big crash and Metaltek's James Millard and Dutch Global team rider Thijs Poelstra seemed to come off worst. Both sustained a number of injuries and were taken straight to hospital. Andy Tennant was also seen in some pain at the roadside soon afterwards and appeared to have sustained an shoulder injury in the same incident. He withdrew from the race there and then.

However, that was the end of the twitchy riding for the day and things settled down into a regular pattern of attempted breaks being pulled back before they could really become dangerous. David Clarke (Pendragon-Le Col-Colnago) was one rider who tried his luck on the smaller second loop, but he too was soon pulled back into a peloton which was very attentive throughout. Everything seemed to be building for a bunch sprint in Dumfries.

Then, to everyone's surprise, with the race well into the small finishing loop, Evan Olpihant (Endura) and Chris Newton (Rapha/Condor/Sharp) managed to slip away. They soon had 20 seconds and were joined by the Dutch rider Wouter De Groot. Once De Groot had joined them, the three of them settled down to working well together, conscious that they would need to push all the way to the line to hold off the main field.

Their lead duly began to fall, but with two miles to go they still had 13 seconds and were safe. In the sprint for the line, it was GB star Chris Newton, riding in the distinctive black of Rapha/Condor/Sharp who managed to slip away a couple of hundred yards from the line and he took the win with some comfort, without having to resort to a full-on sprint.

To wrap up a good day for the Rapha/Condor/Sharp team, who had an uncharacteristically quiet Tour of the Reservoir last week, National Road Champion Kristian House now leads the Endura Hot-Spots Sprints competition and will start stage two in the leader's green jersey. He was battling with Raleigh's James Stewart for much of the day, with Ian Wilkinson of Endura also showing an interest in the competition.

Motorpoint Marshalls rider Ian Bibby won the right to wear the J&B Print Ltd King of the Mountain Jersey following an active day on all the main climbs and he will be looking to defend the jersey, which he reported to us is his main goal of the race.

Rider Interviews

Chris Newton - stage winner: "It was looking to be a team lead out at the end with Endura, maybe Motorpoint all looking for that win. I saw Endura get into formation with 1 lap to go and I knew it was quite narrow the other side of the circuit so I knew I had to be near the front. Evan went and then with a team mate up the road Endura held back a bit, so I jumped across and kind of committed then and put a lot of effort into that 3 man break to make sure it stayed away. I thought I'm not going to put all this in and not get the win, so I made sure I got the win!
I still have the speed from the track but you never know if you've used it all before you get to the finish as it was pretty fast out there today: it's always a danger and at one point I could feel a cramp coming on. But I think I used my speed to lead out the sprint so early and managed to snatch the win.

On this sort of rolling terrain you can expect big bunch, fast racing like we had today but tomorrow, there'll be more tired legs and people wont be so eager to stay so long on the front so there will be a lot more splits. I guess we're all trying to find our feet too on this new course. If it was the Girvan you'd know when to hold back and when to go hell for leather on the climbs but here its all new so people are pretty much undecided on when to attack, which makes the race so fast and pretty good. We felt we had to go for a few sprints too, so Kristian getting that jersey was just part of the plan where we thought if it comes to a bunch kick it's good to have a few extra points in the bag. Now we just have to try to hang on to the end!"

Kristian House: "That was a really good race, really fast, very aggressive and we came out with two jerseys today so we're pretty happy with that. We hadn't planned for me to tackle the sprints, I was going to lead out one of our other sprinters for the hot spots but for the first one no one came round so I ended up taking it so we changed priorities and you have to be flexible when out there, so we just changed our plan and I just went for them. Once I got the first one it was a case of keeping on top of the others and it wasn't so much for the jersey more for the time bonuses.

Also we are still getting used to not having rider radios, but to be honest that is playing to our advantage as we have a good unit of riders, we're good at communicating and that's what you have to do: ride closer, talk more and your team meetings prior to the race are more important as you have to figure out the team plan but keeping in mind you have to be flexible when you're actually out on the road. So things like writing the sprints down on my handlebar stem are important now and I haven't had to do that since I was a junior and it's all things like that, that you have to rethink. It's the same for everyone so you just have to deal with it.

A great start to a new race, the Girvan was great as well, but today the roads were pretty good, the traffic was decent but it was just so fast today, it was good. The course did seem a bit easier and even stage 2 is not mega difficult so it lends itself to more attacking racing so that should be pretty good, hopefully there'll be a lot more to come form the Rapha squad!"

Ian Bibby - KOM: "Keith {Lambert, his team boss} mentioned it at the start of the race that I might want to pick up the King of the Mountain points. I guess its become a bit of a tradition now as well. Other years I have had injuries and stuff I've not been going that well for the overall race so I've always gone for the KOM, so today Keith was quite happy for me to get the jersey and told me to go for them if I'm there. There were a few good sprints for them; Rob Partridge was going for it so it made it interesting. None of them were easy! A few of the primes were more like sprints, the climbs were quite steady. The first one rolled pretty steady so it was just a quick sprint over the top so it made it quite hard really. I have to say I prefer a really hard climb than a sprint! They were only cat 3 today but we should be seeing a few more hills tomorrow so we'll see how that goes. Hopefully I'll be in the mix at the front tomorrow and picking up a few more KOM points. Going for the points sort of ensures you're at the front so if it splits over the climbs I should be in a good place.

The race didn't really get going, there were a few little splits but they kept being brought back - there were no big hills to sort it out. Then towards the end those 3 chipped off, I tried to jump across towards the end but a Rapha guy came with me and he wasn't going to ride across as Chris was in front, so them 3 got away, it could easily happen again tomorrow. I think anything could happen in this race, it's so wide open but those time bonuses could make it a lot more interesting."

Evan Oliphant - 2nd: "The plan in the last few years has to do a ride on my own turf but I've always seemed to have mechanical issues or I've been knocked off. I've been second in a couple of stages but I've never got the win, yet. All day I was chasing all the moves, I was involved with most things that went. I have to admit I was actually suffering a wee bit when we came through the finish straight with 1 lap to go. That's the first time I'd been so far down the bunch. Everyone went for the sprint and I managed to move up just after the finish line and more or less just rolled off the front I didn't even attack and Chris (Newton) came across to me and we started riding and then the Dutch boy came across.

I knew Chris would more than likely be fast at the end coming from the track Worlds so I was making him do the majority of the work, I was holding back a bit as I knew that would be my best chance of reserving some power to get past him. To be honest I was hoping some ways that the bunch would catch us, as I knew the boys would win the sprint so I didn't want to commit a 100% out there. However I also knew if I did manage to stay away I'd have the chance to take the stage, but Chris jumped me at the end when I was watching the Dutch guy and got the gap. So I didn't get the win but the team did pretty well overall, I think they'll be quite high up in the classifications.

It was good that it was so different to the usual Girvan as no one knows what's coming up which makes it quite interesting but I reckon those time bonuses that they are throwing into the mix will make the whole race interesting too. That's going to be a crucial thing especially on the last stage I think it'll all come down to those precious few seconds. Now I just have to concentrate on moving up to first overall, I don't have to win a stage I just have to concentrate on those time bonuses. So now we'll all attack Chris and see where we go."

Stage 1
1 Chris Newton Rapha- Condor- Sharp E 2:49:43
2 Evan Oliphant Endura Racing E st
3 Wouter De Groot Global-Cycling E st
4 Alexandre Blain Endura Racing E at 0:04
5 Malcolm Elliot Motorpoint - Marshalls E st
6 Ian Wilkinson Endura Racing E st
7 Peter Williams Motorpoint - Marshalls E st
8 Simon Gaywood Corley Cy-Cervelo-Pro E st
9 Zak Dempster Rapha- Condor- Sharp E st
10 Matthew Kipling Glasgow Wheelers E st


Chris Newton made it two from two in a thrilling bunch finale on stage two of today's Tour DoonHame. Following a day of breakaway attempts over the several major climbs of this 96 mile stage, Raleigh, Sigma, Endura and Rapha all spent time in the ascendency, with yesterday's escape act just metres from the finish line still fresh in the memory of all riders.

Approaching the flamme rouge a huge bunch finish was guaranteed, despite tireless work from both Endura and Rapha to set a decisive break free. Across the line, Newton had time to celebrate in style, however the lack of any clear leader on time now leaves every team on red alert for what is set to be a thrilling last day at the Tour DoonHame.

The Stage As It Happened

Day two of the Tour DoonHame started cold, breezy and overcast as the peloton departed from Dumfries, with only a snow-dusted horizon and - for some - painful memories of the previous day of racing for company. Crashes and a late, late escape underlined an indifferent day for the peloton on the opening day of the Tour, so today there was always going to be an increased attentiveness within the bunch from the start.

Despite decreased numbers, a total of 108 riders left the neutralised zone and entered the race proper. Most notably missing was Andy Tennant who exited the race ill, while a broken collarbone and two further head injuries were amongst the walking wounded who would not continue on day two.

Early Attacks

Almost immediately breaks began to form and after some basic moves, a group of thirteen riders went clear as the sun broke over southern Scotland. Containing Grant Bayton, Ian Bibby, Zak Dempster, Dan Craven, Rob Hayles, Rob Partridge, James McCallum, Kit Gilham, Wouter Sybrandy, Yanto Barker, Liam Holohan, Ashley Brown and Colin Parry this group worked well to gain good time. But as this break gained 59 seconds, Team Raleigh hit the front and took responsibility, policing the gap until the second major climb of the day, where the peloton would reform.

This hard work only resulted in a brief respite however, and once on the climb a group of 40 riders distanced themselves, only to be caught on the following descent. At this stage the race was already well ahead of schedule, travelling at a 27mph average - the only casualty Alex Blain who retired at the second feed following a crash.

For the remaining riders the pattern of sprinting for points and chasing breaks would continue; Endura and Rapha again heading the race until eight riders slid clear in sight of the closing stages. With both teams represented by Ian Wilkinson and Tom Southam and Jon Teirnan-Locke respectively, and a lead of 1 minute 20 seconds accrued with thirty minutes of racing remaining, most presumed no chase would take place and the final day would result in a two way battle between the largest teams in British domestic road racing.

But running into the finish - and much to the surprise of the photographers - there was to be a sprint finish from which Chris Newton would emerge with his distinctive yellow jersey. Making it two wins in as many days, Malcolm Elliott would come closest to Newton's wheel, followed by teammate, leading second category rider and leading under-23 Jonny McEvoy.

Post-Race Shakedown

Following the podium and provisional results being released, there was still a delay on any official result being published. Late last night we got word this was due to the disqualification of Endura rider Alex Blain who, following a mechanical was helped back to the bunch by the team car.

During this period of towing, Blain crashed heavily on one of the roads many potholes (which were the cause of many punctures in the peloton), only to get up and receive the same help again.

All of this was done in front of the race officials, who promptly disqualified Blain and would later decide to relegate the Endura team car to the back of the corsage - something which could dramatically effect tomorrows result should bad luck strike the Endura team.

Stage 2
1 Chris Newton Rapha- Condor- Sharp E 3:48:22
2 Johnny McEvoy Motorpoint - Marshalls Esp 2 st
3 Malcolm Elliot Motorpoint - Marshalls E st
4 Wouter Sybrandy Sigma Sport Spec. E st
5 Ian Wilkinson Endura Racing E st
6 Jack Bauer Endura Racing E st
7 Evan Oliphant Endura Racing E st
8 Marcin Bialoblocki E st
9 Matthew Kipling Glasgow Wheelers E st
10 Peter Williams Motorpoint - Marshalls E st


Chris Newton was the winner of the inaugural Tour DoonHame in Dumfries (Scotland) on Monday after a wet windy final stage. Winner of the first two stages, Newton’s team, Rapha/Condor/Sharp, controlled the race well on the third and final race around Dumfries and Newton crossed the line as overall winner after the stage had been won by Jack Bauer (Endura Racing).

Stage 3 (Final)
1 Jack Bauer Endura Racing E 3:15:39 28
2 Ian Bibby Motorpoint - Marshalls E at 0:07
3 Steve Lampier Pendragon - Le Col E st
4 Ian Wilkinson Endura Racing E st
5 Chris Opie Pendragon - Le Col E st
6 Malcolm Elliot Motorpoint - Marshalls E st
7 Wouter Sybrandy Sigma Sport Spec. E st
8 Yanto Barker Pendragon - Le Col E st
9 Marcin Bialoblocki E st
10 Dale Appleby Team Raleigh E st

Final Overall
1 Chris Newton Rapha- Condor- Sharp E 9:53:25
2 Jack Bauer Endura Racing E at 0:10
3 Peter Williams Motorpoint - Marshalls E at 0:18
4 Evan Oliphant Endura Racing E at 0:20
5 Ian Wilkinson Endura Racing E at 0:20
6 Johnny McEvoy Motorpoint - Marshalls Esp 2 at 0:24
7 Malcolm Elliot Motorpoint - Marshalls E at 0:26
8 Steve Lampier Pendragon - Le Col E st
9 Kit Gilham Sigma Sport Spec. E at 0:29
10 Wouter Sybrandy Sigma Sport Spec. E at 0:30
11 John Tanner Team Sportscover E st
12 Marcin Bialoblocki E st
13 Simon Wilson CyclePremier Metaltek E st
14 Scott Thwaites Endura Racing Esp 1 st
15 Rob Partridge Endura Racing E st
16 Simon Richardson Sigma Sport Spec. E st
17 Ross Creber Granite City - Deeside Esp E st
18 Matthew Higgins Corley Cy-Cervelo-Pro 1 st
19 Tom Murray Sigma Sport Spec. E st
20 David Clarke Pendragon - Le Col E st