JLT Condor and Drops were the winners as the 2017 Tour Series reached a conclusion in Stevenage, rounding out a packed Bank Holiday Monday in the Hertfordshire town that had seen cycling activities taking place around the Old Town circuit for almost 12-hours.
Connor Swift of Madison Genesis repeated his solo win from Bath in the evening's men's race, snatching an advantage with a handful of laps remaining to cross the line along and help his squad to the team victory on the night. That trimmed JLT Condor's final advantage to just two-points, but more than enough to secure the team their fourth Tour Series title, and make them the first team to defend their title since the inception of the Series in 2009.
"It's been a tough three weeks and really tough week this week but I've managed to get an individual win and we've taken many team wins and that's the most important thing in this Series so we're really happy. We've gelled well as a team and bringing the new members in who've done really well, it's been great,” said Graham Briggs afterwards, who has been a member of the team for all four victories.
Australian Brenton Jones was new to JLT Condor in 2017, winning two rounds (Stoke-on-Trent and Motherwell) and riding in all ten events.
"It's been fantastic! I heard a lot about The Tour Series coming into the team and to have finished the Series as overall winners and take a couple of round wins as well was a bonus! I've had an amazing time here and I'd definitely recommend the racing to many Australians back home and I'd love to come back and do it in the future.”
Sebastian Mora of Team Raleigh GAC confirmed his grip on the Wiggle Points Jersey, taking the competition that he has led since Round One in Redditch, while Spirit Tifosi Racing won the final round guest team competition, against the winning teams from the South, North and Midlands areas.
In the women's Matrix Fitness Grand Prix Series, it was an emotional afternoon with Drops taking their first title, having gone so close to victory a year previously.
Rebecca Durrell led the team to the title, winning the Stevenage race, her first ever round win, to confirm both the team and individual titles.
"Last year didn't finish as we'd hoped as we missed out on the team win in just the last few hundred yards,” said Durrell talking afterwards. "We did talk about that at bit in preparing for this race and we were all very honest in recognising mistakes we made and that perhaps last year we went into the race a bit too confident and so perhaps took some unnecessarily risks. So this year we thought we'd ease it back a little bit, play a bit of a safe game but still be up there at the front of the race, getting in the mix of things. But, it worked!”
Drops had led the Series since Round One at Redditch, with Durrell and teammate Annasley Park riding all eight events, and taking one and two in the individual standings, ahead of Team Breeze rider Manon Lloyd.
"I'm just so chuffed with our result tonight,” said Team Manager Tom Varney afterwards. "We said at the start of this year's Matrix Series that we were determined to win and that's exactly what we've done. Becky really deserved her win tonight, she's worked so, so hard over the winter. She's had highs and lows and tonight is certainly a high for Becky and a high for the team”.
Also celebrating was Ejay Harris of Storey Racing who added the Eisberg Sprints jersey to her earlier race win in Croydon. Storey Racing took fourth in the standings, behind Drops, Team Breeze and Team WNT, who took the top three spots.
For the full men's Tour Series results and standings, please click here.
For the full women's Matrix Fitness Grand Prix Series results and standings, please click here.
You can watch highlights of all ten rounds of the 2017 Tour Series on our YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/thetourcycling