Video & Gallery: Southam's solo takes Tour Series win

A BRILLIANT solo breakaway saw Rapha Condor's Tom Southam take a stunning win in Round 8 of the Tour Series town centre cycle races in Colchester last night.

Dominic Castle

A BRILLIANT solo breakaway saw Rapha Condor's Tom Southam take a stunning win in Round 8 of the Tour Series town centre cycle races in Colchester last night.

Southam, just back from a gruelling week's racing in Canada with the team, made his move with just over ten minutes of the race to go. He attacked up the finish straight, piling on the pressure into the wind, then rapidly opened up a gap on the peloton as he rounded the corner and hit the downhill straights.

With just five laps left on the board he had stretched his lead to an impressive 35 seconds; Endura's Davie Lines made an attempt to bridge the gap but Southam was too strong.


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Evan Oliphant (Endura) also made a brave, but futile, attack and it was only with two laps to go that the bunch marshalled itself to try and catch the Rapha rider as Halfords Bikehut took control.

But they had left it too late and Southam became the first man in the series to take a solo break win by eight seconds, celebrated in style.

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The men in black had attempted to keep things quiet early in the race. Local boy Joe Skipper (BMC) gave fans something to cheer by taking a couple of laps at the front but it wasn't until the first sprint that things began to warm up, CandiTV's Russell Downing, never far from the centre of the action in the series, taking the points.

Riders then began to attack, with all the big players getting involved. Evergreen Malcolm Elliott, now 47, wasn't going to be outshone by the youngsters and was active in chasing down several would-be escapes.

Series leaders Halfords were playing it cagily, not committing too much early on but happy to let the others do the work, concentrating on keeping the blue jerseys.

After Downing had taken his second sprint of the evening the pace was ratcheted up another notch and riders started to get dropped from the bunch as speeds topped 40mph; even the lead camera motorbike was struggling to stay ahead.

Oliphant stopped Downing making a clean sweep by taking the third sprint after pinging off the front early and shortly after that Southam made what was to prove the decisive move of the race.

Halfords' late chase meant that they were able to claim team honours on the night and retain their series lead with just two races to go.

Check out the EADT website today for video highlights.

See the race highlights on ITV4 tonight at 7pm.

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