Alice Barnes took victory in the Lincoln Grand Prix in a enthralling end to an astonishing HSBC UK | National Women's Road Series race.
The third round of the Series, following on from the Tour of the Wolds and the Essex Giro, saw riders tackle an eight-lap tour of the city, starting and finishing at the picturesque Lincoln Cathedral.
Barnes' Drops Cycling teammate Rebecca Durrell soon took control of proceedings, quickly breaking away from the bunch alongside teammate Annasley Park and On Form's Amy Hill.
Park soon dropped off the pace allowing the remaining two to open up a healthy gap, before Hill was caught by the peloton as they mounted a chase.
Durrell was still able to open the gap to more than a minute though, but it wasn't long until she was reeled in by the peloton, making for a tasty ending to the race.
Barnes quickly established herself as one of the favourites in the leading pack, and crossed the line ahead of Emily Nelson (Team Breeze) and Lydia Boylan (Team WNT) in second and third respectively.
Following a delayed start, the fast-and-furious nature of this race soon became apparent.
After just a mile, the peloton was involved in a big crash that resulted in the withdrawal of some riders, though the majority escaped unharmed.
Durrell was quick to establish herself as the one to watch in the early stages, breaking away with Hill and Park to open up an initial 48-second advantage.
That gap soon expanded to 50 seconds, but Park was quick to drop away from the attack leaving just two up front.
With three laps done and dusted, at an average speed of 23.2mph, the peloton soon began to split as the gap on the leaders reduced.
On Form's Sian Bottleley was the first to mount a chase, allowing the peloton to soon catch Hill and leave Durrell out on her own.
14 riders in total split from the pack in an attempt to reel her in, but their attempts were soon stuttered.
With the peloton just 150 metres behind, Durrell responded in the perfect manner, tucking down to soon open the gap once more.
With one lap to go, Durrell had led for almost 50 miles, and held a 19-second advantage as she crossed Michaelgate for the penultimate time.
But that was to be her final hurrah as a chasing group caught up, with the peloton soon to follow making for a thrilling climax to the race.
Race to the line
Drops Cycling were quick to take control of the peloton with Barnes and Elizabeth Banks (SunSport Velo) – who sat second in the individual standings at the start of the race – looking among the strongest as the finish line approached.
With two kilometres to go, the race was still anyone’s to take – and that’s exactly what Barnes did.
She stormed up the final climb to cross the line in first place, her second successive victory at the Lincoln Grand Prix, with Nelson and Boylan coming in just behind.