British circuit race champion Ian Bibby (NFTO) secured his second win in a row as he stormed to victory in the Wales Open Criterium, round six of the British Cycling Elite Circuit Series.
Bibby, 29 and from Lancashire, won the previous Sunday’s Ryedale Grand Prix in the Motorpoint Grand Prix Series, and continued his great form as he took the win despite being the only NFTO rider in a break of 12 which formed the decisive move in the Wales Open Crit at Abergavenny.
An early attack from Matt Cronshaw (Madison Genesis) gave the crowds something to cheer, and increased the pace on the bunch. But after two laps of freedom he was reeled in.
However, six other riders gained brief daylight shortly after the catch, before others had a go at getting clear as the race proved active.
Madison Genesis rider Tobyn Horton was next to attack, and he was chased down by Alex Paton (Pedal Heaven RT) and Newport’s Jon Mould (JLT Condor) who was returning to racing following a shoulder injury in the last round of the Pearl Izumi Tour Series.
National Criterium Champion Ian Bibby (NFTO) and Series leader Felix English (Madison Genesis) chased hard and soon latched on, and helped form a leading group of 12 riders which settled into a good pace with around half an hour of racing gone.
But the pace was high, and as the laps ticked by English dropped away, as did his team-mate Taylor Gunman, leaving Madison Genesis’s ambitions exposed.
Raleigh GAC, in contract, had three riders in the front group, and were driving it hard.
Their man Matthieu Boulo launched a late attack, perhaps trying to take the heat off team-mate Sebastian Mora Vedri who was second overall and eyeing the overall lead with English out of the leading group.
But Ian Bibby had other ideas, and he hit the front early in the last lap, holding on for the win while Chepstow Grand Prix winner Harry Tanfield (Pedal Heaven RT) took second and Jon Mould (JLT Condor) third.
With Raleigh GAC’s Sebastian Mora Vedri placing fourth, it means that he goes top of the overall standings, overtaking Felix English (Madison Genesis) who was 12th in Abergavenny.
“I missed the group early on, but did get across to it,” said Bibby. “At the last bend it’s really narrow and a dead stop so you want to get into there as high as you can. I got into there first and put my head down. I was expecting someone to come round but nobody did.
“We only got here with 20 minutes to spare because traffic was bad, which was a bit of a panic. I was a bit off at the start but luckily got in the group.
“Raleigh rode hard in the last half which settled it down a lot and it was just a big fight at the end.
“When I rode the Crit Champs we were late getting there too, so it maybe does me good!”
1. Ian Bibby (NFTO) 56.35
2. Harry Tanfield (Pedal Heaven RT) at 1sec
3. Jon Mould (JLT Condor)
4. Sebastian Mora Vedri (Raleigh GAC)
5. Alex Paton (Pedal Heaven RT) all same time
6. Zachary May (Metaltek-Kuota) at 3sec
7. Tobyn Horton (Madison Genesis) at 5sec
8. Matthieu Boulo (Raleigh GAC) at 9sec
9. Alistair Slater (JLT Condor) at 13sec
10. Taylor Gunman (Madison Genesis) at 15sec