Briggs gets going for Rapha Condor JLT - 03/03/14
Graham Briggs showed great form over the weekend
Graham Briggs was Rapha Condor JLT’s stand out rider on the first big weekend of the UK season, taking second in the Eddie Soens handicap at Aintree on Saturday, before taking his first win of 2014 at Pimbo, in Lancashire, on Sunday.
Briggs had looked a possible winner of the Eddie Soens, when he had pulled clear with two other riders in the final of the 80km handicap, but after Ian Wilkinson had anticipated the sprint, Briggs was unable to get round his rival.
Luke Mellor drives the scratch group in the closing stages of the race.
Last year’s winner Richard Handley had to settle for third place in the Clayton Velo Classic on Sunday. Handley had been part of a group of scratch riders that merged at the front of the race, with just over one lap to go, however Handley and his companions were unwilling to respond to a move by Simon Wilson, who soloed to an unexpected victory.
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A tough few days of racing in the Australian heat ended on a high for Rapha Condor JLT, when Felix English scored third place in the bunch sprint that decided the third stage of the Jayco Herald Sun Tour.
Following English’s fourth place finish in the prologue, on stages one and two the Rapha Condor JLT riders suffered with the heat and terrain, missing the move the decided the overall classification on stage one.
The Men In Black bounced back on stage three however, when the team rallied together to ride an almost perfect stage, putting youngster Hugh Carthy into the day long break and then organising an excellent leadout, to deliver English into the final sprint.
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Rapha Condor JLT’s Felix English powered to an excellent 4th place in the Jayco Herald Sun Tour prologue, over a 2.5km course in Melbourne city centre.
English, who was tipped for success in the prologue by Australian six-day legend Scott McGrory, clocked a time of 3.02.61, to finish less than two seconds behind the race winner Jack Bauer of Garmin Sharp.
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With four top six finishes in five days of racing, Graham Briggs was the standout rider for the Rapha Condor JLT squad in the New Zealand Cycle Classic.
Briggs, who recently returned to race for the Men in Black, proved to be in excellent shape for the upcoming season, taking a podium spot in the bunch sprint on day three, as well as an excellent 6th place on the races tough hilltop finish, a result which helped Briggs finish the race in 5th place overall.
Rapha Condor JLT off to a flying start - 06/01/14
Graham Briggs and Felix English showed great early form Down Under
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Rapha Condor JLT enjoyed a brilliant start to 2014, with Felix English, Ed Laverack and Ed Clancy all scoring superb results for the Men In Black, in the first races of the New Year.
Felix English set the ball rolling for the team by taking an excellent second place in the first of the Bay Criterium Series, in Melbourne.
English, who travelled to Australia at the start of November, proved to be one of the stars of the four race series, racing aggressively throughout to win the ‘Sprint Ace’ points jersey.