Chris Lawless wrapped up the Motorpoint Grand Prix Series in spectacular style, leading home a JLT Condor one-two at the Leicester Castle Classic.
The race started with 92 riders leaving the start line for this 80km race and gaps started to form in the peloton early on. The pace of this contest was high from the start.
There was plenty of action at the front of the peloton with Steve Williams of JLT Condor gaining a small advantage before riders bridged across to him.
Harrison Jones (Pedal Heaven), Dante Carpenter (Richardsons-Trek RT) and Seb Mora (Raleigh GAC) then took off with Tobyn Horton (Madison Genesis) and Rory Townsend (Pedal Heaven) bridging across later on. The breakaway had just a 7.5 second advantage on the peloton.
A crash then took place, although nobody involved was badly hurt and the race was allowed to continue uninterrupted.
The peloton was brought back together and at this stage it was Pedal Heaven who were dictating the pace at the head of the race.
It wasn’t long until another break was formed with a group of eight, including Graham Briggs, Alex Payton, Matt Cronshaw, Jon McEvoy and Dale Appleby gained a small advantage.
A few more riders bridged across and Chris Lawless made a statement of intent, bringing the peloton across the line.
With 13 laps to go the main bunch had splintered with a front group made up of around 15 riders.
Russ Downing set the pace and led the peloton across the line the next time around with the leaders completing the lap in 5.12.
Already, the last chasing group was 2.40 down on the leaders, showing how high the pace was.
As the leading group began to split, Townsend, Paton, Appleby and defending champ Matt Cronshaw lead across the line.
With eight laps to go, the leaders had an advantage of seven seconds but were soon reeled back in.
Another break of four then went away with Cronshaw, Lawless, Townsend and Appleby making a more decisive move with a 29-second lead.
With six to go, the leaders stretched the advantage to 36 seconds with the big teams of Pedal Heaven RT, Madison Genesis, NFTO and JLT Condor all represented.
But it wasn’t to last and the leaders were caught with just Appleby and Townsend staying away.
But wanting to see Lawless crowned champion, Team JLT Condor put the pressure on to bring the attack back as the bell rang for the final lap.
Their attack was timed to perfection and it saw Lawless put in prime position to take the win from team mate Russ Downing and Pedal Heaven’s Rory Townsend.
Speaking after the race, Lawless said: “I was in the break at first and the guys weren’t too keen on working with me.
“But I knew we had a strong group of riders in the chasing group so I just sat on and tried to cover the attacks. I sat up and I was confident the team could bring it back and when the team did bring it back, it was a really good chase by them.
“I was trying to get Russ over the line because he’s based this season around working for me so I wanted to repay him today.
“But I had a bit of a complication on the last corner and I just gapped him and ended up taking the win, I was looking over my shoulder for him but I didn’t want to back off too much. I was trying to defend the jersey but he got second.
“It’s really big for the team, especially with the TV coverage, it gets the name out there. I’ve got race in France then it’s on to the Tour of Britain so hopefully I’ll get good prep for that and see how I go there.”
1. Chris Lawless (JLT Condor)
2. Russ Downing (JLT Condor)
3. Rory Townsend (Pedal Heaven)