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Posted by Editoress on 08/29/05
Glasgow Grand Prix Scotland
Courtesy Navigators Insurance Team
The Tour of Britain began today with a preamble of sorts. Although not officially a part of the six day stage race that begins in Glasgow on Tuesday, tonight's 1 hour criterium in downtown Glasgow featured many riders from the Tour's pro field as well as most of Great Britain's top criterium amateurs. Part of the Great Britain National Series, tonight's event was a fantastic spectator venue, and planned as a tickler to help create some additional buzz for the National Tour. A lightening fast pace from the gun saw many of the field's less experienced riders making an early exit, and the single line of riders kept the huge crowd on edge. The well protected, completely enclosed course was lined with thousands of enthusiastic Scots, and their involvement in the race created an energy that motivated the riders to maintain the spirited pace.
The first real threat of the race came about 15 minutes in when Navigators Insurance's stagiaire (new, trainee rider) Peter Mazur attacked the field with Recycling-Litespeed's Dean Downing, and the pair set out with a powerful tempo. In spite of the wicked pace in the field, the pair were able to build a 25 second lead over the next several laps, and when a chase of 6 riders including Navigators' Ciaran Power and Phil Zajicek split off in pursuit, the pace finally backed off in the main bunch. The gap to the two leaders grew immediately, and with Power and Zajicek riding shotgun, the chasers could not close the gap.
The two leaders lapped the field with 30 minutes to go in the 1-hour race, just as the main bunch caught the 6 chasers. With their new teammate safely in the fold, the Navigators, with help from the MG-Litespeed team, controlled the pace, keeping the field together until the closing laps. The main bunch contested their sprint for 3rd at the end of the hour with former world Champion Robert Hayles taking the kick. Mazur and Downing continued for two more laps with Downing, one of England's fastest sprinters sitting on the young Polish National TT champion. Mazur led the two laps at a comfortable pace before winding it up hard with two turns to go. Out of the last turn Mazur kicked into full gas mode, and Downing jumped hard from behind. The young Navigators recruit bore down and dug through the line to finish well ahead of the speedy Brit, whose brother (Russell Downing) wears the English National Champion's jersey.
1. Peter Mazur (Pol) Navigators Insurance)
2. Dean Downing (GBr) Recycling.CO.UK- Litespeed
3. Robert Hayles (GBr) Recycling.CO.UK- Litespeed
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