Rapha Condor JLT: Tour Series Round 2
Proving worthy of his billing as race favourite, Kristian House rode to a brilliant solo victory in the Durham round of the Pearl Izumi Tour Series last night.
After dominating the race and nearly lapping the entire field last year, House once again proved the strongest on the tough Durham circuit, which takes in a sharp cobbled climb and a technical descent, that tests the riders to their limits on each of the 1.4km laps.
“I knew I was going to be good here, because I’d felt good in Lincoln until I had a mechanical, and this kind of circuit really seems to suit me. It’s never easy being the favourite, and it was on my mind all day, but once we got out there I felt so good, I knew if I played it right I had a good chance of taking it.”
After a fast start that saw many of the pure criterium specialists struggling, House found himself in a select lead group at the head of the race, but with the overall team classification on his mind he had to wait as long as possible before delivering the killer blow.
“At first when the group was whittled down, I tried to take things easily, because Ed had been caught behind and I knew that for the team race we needed numbers in the front. Eventually though when John told me the others weren’t coming back behind I knew it was time to go.”
House duly jumped clear of the bunch and rode across to the lone leader, Ian Bibby, who he quickly dispatched and set off toward another solo victory, scooping up the IG points jersey as he did so.
While House stormed across the line to take Rapha Condor JLT’s first solo win in the series, his team mates had a tougher time. The team eventually took fifth place on the night but, as team manager John Herety insisted, despite House’s individual capabilities, Durham was always going to be a tough round for the Men In Black.
“We only really had one guy here who was well suited to a circuit like this. So tonight was always a matter of making sure we limited the damage to the team classification, while making sure that Kristian could take the individual win – which we did. Now we focus on next week and making sure we can start to pick up some team wins, and climb the overall.”
The next round of the series will be Stoke-on-Trent on Tuesday.