Raleigh GAC’s Albert Torres took victory in the RideStaffs Grand Prix presented by Specialized from under the noses of Madison Genesis who had dominated the leading break for much of the race around the ground of Shugborough Hall in Staffordshire.
The second round of the British Cycling Elite Circuit Series, the RideStaffs Grand Prix presented by Specialized was run off at a high pace which whittled down the bunch quickly and left just 18 riders in the front by half distance, with Madison Genesis bossing the break with eight riders.
But in the gallop for the line Torres – the 26-year-old World and European Madison champion from Menorca – took the win, while Madison Genesis had to settle for second with Felix English. And Raleigh took third too, through another Spaniard, Sebastian Mora Vedri.
The race began in animated fashion with an opening lap attack from NFTO’s Jonny McEvoy was soon pulled back by the bunch, with Madison Genesis particularly active on the front and keeping the pace high which strung out the bunch on the narrow lanes around Shugborough Hall.
The Madison Genesis team continued to push hard on the front, and by the middle of the race the front group was down to just 23 riders as the pace left many playing catch-up.
With the race 30 minutes old and already past half distance, it was hard to see where the challenge to Madison Genesis’s dominance would come from, with the high pace whittling down the leading group – that used to be the main bunch – to just 18 riders with 20 minutes left.
All eight Madison Genesis riders were in the leading group, and they dominated the break and kept the pace high with other teams struggling to get their men up to the front.
With ten laps left they were still in charge as the narrow lanes made it difficult for riders to get through the bunch behind and even attempt to claw back the leaders.
With six laps to go for the front group, the rest of the race was given the signal for one lap to go as they were about to be lapped by the leaders.
But on the final lap cracks began to appear in the Madison Genesis dominance, as JLT Condor riders moved towards the front.
However, it was Raleigh GAC who had kept their powder dry, and Spanish duo Torres and Mora Vedri blasted their way through to the front, with Torres taking the win by a bike length from English, while Mora Vedri took third.
“I’m very happy to win!” said Albert Torres afterwards. “After two weeks of rest back home I feel really good and motivated for the second part of the season.
“Madison Genesis had a strong team, but the plan for Raleigh was to wait for the laps to go down. On the last lap Steve and Mora did a good job to allow me to go for the sprint and I went, and I am very happy to win!
“For Madison to be on the front for the whole race and have the same tactic, I know it is hard for them because the most important thing is to win the race.”
1. Albert Torres (Raleigh GAC)
2. Felix English (Madison Genesis)
3. Sebastian Mora Vedri (Raleigh GAC)
4. Jonathan McEvoy (NFTO)
5. Alistair Slater (JLT Condor)
6. Gruffudd Lewis (Madison Genesis)
7. Alex Blain (Madison Genesis)
8. Steven Roach (Raleigh GAC)
9. Mark Christian (Team Wiggins)
10. Steve Lampier (JLT Condor)