Talented field set for the off

Steven Burke

Steven Burke

First published in Sport

THE Colne Grand Prix may be missing some of the more stellar names but a top-quality national field will still be on show tonight.

Local hero Steven Burke and his fellow Olympic champion and last year’s winner Ed Clancy are both absent as they focus on the Commonwealth Games later this month.

But the start list of 64 for the one hour plus five lap-race contains plenty of top riders.

Rapha Condor JLT bring a strong squad to East Lancashire with Kristian House and Graham Briggs among the favourites for the race. Lancashire racer Richard Handley is also in their ranks.

Raleigh could end up working for local favourite Ian Wilkinson but they have plenty of cards to play.

Evan Oliphant has been in fine form this season and will fancy his chances while Yanto Barker is also in the Raleigh squad.

Experienced brothers Russell and Dean Downing are both in the field for NFTO while Velosure Giordana have the likes of Nathan Edmondson, Steve Lampier and Matt Cronshaw in their line-up.

Series leader Alex Blain is not listed to start for Team Raleigh who are instead expected to ride for George Atkins, currently third in the standings and winner of round two in Stockton on Friday night.

Rapha Condor JLT will be looking to the fast-finishing Chris Opie to provide them with a win.

Haribo-Beacon, based in Whalley, will field a mixture of youth and experience in the race with Peter Williams and James Sampson supported by youngsters James King, Jacob Scott and Jake Womersley.

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