Wood secures victory in Ryedale Grand Prix in dramatic sprint finish

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Ollie Wood snatched victory in a dramatic day in Ryedale, Yorkshire, to take the third round of the HSBC UK | Grand Prix Series.

Team Wiggins’ Wood sprinted up the outside on the final climb to beat Matt Holmes of Madison Genesis by the faintest of margins.

Graham Briggs of JLT Condor took third place in a race that saw Briggs’ team-mate, Tom Moses, fade after leading for much of the contest.

Earlier in the day, Laura Massey stormed to victory in the HSBC National Women’s Road Series after timing her sprint finish to perfection.

Fast start

And the men, who raced an extra lap of the long circuit and an extra two in the short circuit in a challenging and hilly 150.6km course, ensured there were similar levels of drama on an enthralling day in the Yorkshire countryside.

JLT Condor’s Ian Bibby was chasing a third win in a row at Ryedale after retaining his title in dramatic fashion last year, edging Matt Holmes on the line.

While Bibby did not make the podium this time around, Holmes would have victory snatched away from him in similar fashion.

After a fast start, Moses and James Lowsley-Williams (Bike Channel Canyon) kicked on and opened up a big lead in the early stages of the race.

Duo take it on

The gap was a steady 25 seconds for several kilometres, before the pair went through the gears and pulled further away for a lead of more than three-and-a-half minutes.

And with a third of the race complete, the gap increased, with Moses and Lowsley-Williams stretching their advantage to more than five minutes to set down a marker for their rivals.

The gap closed as the race wore on, and Moses made a lone dash for the lead at the 100km mark. With Lowsley-Williams tiring from his monster effort, eventually retiring with cramp in his back, Moses moved clear as he targeted the win.

Moses caught

He held his own out in front, and with three small laps to go, Moses established a lead of 2’39”, and the Yorkshire-born rider would be forgiven for sensing a home victory was within his grasp.

However, he began to tire, and the chasing pack closed the gap to one minute going into the final two circuits, eventually catching him on the penultimate lap.

It was a heroic effort from Moses to tackle the race head on, but it proved to be a bridge too far as the pursuing riders sensed blood.

Last gasp victory

Madison Genesis rider Richard Handley made a break for victory, but was swiftly reined in by the chasing pack of five, which soon turned to eight.

And in a dramatic final sprint up the hill for the line, Wood surged up the outside to take the win from Holmes, who looked for all the world like he was set to secure victory himself, with Briggs finishing third.

The title will be decided in the final race of the series, the Leicester Castle Classic, next Sunday.

Individual results

Overall results

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HSBC UK | Grand Prix Series - Ryedale