New Zealander Mike Northey secured his first Premier Calendar win when he outsprinted Node4-Giordana Racing team-mate Steve Lampier at the finish of the 105-mile Grand Prix of Wales in Abergavenny.
The pair finished 25 seconds clear of third-placed Mark Christian (Team Raleigh) after they had dominated the closing stages of the race in a four-man break with Mike Cuming (Rapha Condor JLT), who was dropped with less than a lap of the lumpy town centre finishing circuit to go.
It was Northey’s second win in 48 hours in Abergavenny following his victory in Friday night’s Elite Circuit Series race in the town.
The temperature was already rising under sunny skies as the field rolled out of Abergavenny on a circuit of the Monmouthshire countryside.
An early ten-man break was reeled in before the major climb of the Tumble where, with the field stringing out, mountain bike champion Oli Beckingsale (Endura Racing) went over the top in first place to take the Iron Mountain prime.
A 30-plus leading group formed on the run back to the three-mile finishing circuit where Lampier, Niklas Gustavsson (Team UK Youth) and Lachlan Norris (Team Raleigh) broke clear on the first of the ten laps.
On the next lap the leaders were joined by a group of around 15 riders, including Northey, with the rest slipping back to a deficit of some three minutes, before a series of attacks and counters as the laps rolled by eventually saw the ever-active Lampier – racing days after a medical procedure to remove a metal plate from a broken elbow – Cuming and Christian go clear.
The gap rose to 28 seconds before Northey responded and, with two laps to go, he bridged the gap alone to make it four at the front and leave Node4 firmly in control.
Cuming was unable to hold the pace, dropping back to the chasing group before the bell, and Christian also gave best leaving Northey and Cuming to make a decision to contest the finish where the Kiwi sprinted clear by three seconds.
“I was concerned about the Tumble and decided to go up it at my own pace and ride within myself,” said 26-year-old Northey, who – the New Zealand criterium champion last year - celebrated his first Premier Calendar win of the season.
“Once we were over the top I was able to get in the moves and the finishing circuit was perfect for me.
“The team were active all day, and when we got in the final move, me and Steve knew we were the strongest in the group.”
1 Mike Northey (Node4 Giordana Racing) 3:52:52
2 Steve Lampier (Node4 Giordana Racing) @ 3sec
3 Mark Christian (Team Raleigh) @ 25sec
4 Richard Handley (Rapha Condor JLT) @ 1:18
5 Rob Britton (Team Raleigh) @ 1:19
6 Roman Van Uden (Node 4-Giordana) @ 1:24
7 Evan Oliphant (Team Raleigh) @ 1:25
8 Marcin Bialoblocki (Team UK Youth)
9 Ian Bibby (Madison Genesis) all @ same time
10 Rhys Lloyd (Metaltek-Knights of Old) @ 1:28
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