French track ace Morgan Kneisky (Team Raleigh) showed his form on the road when he won a sprint finish to the Stafford Kermesse on Saturday evening.
The 26-year-old former world scratch race champion has bagged a couple of good places in recent rounds of the British Cycling Elite Road Series, and he displayed his form in fine style when he powered away from the rest of the ten-rider breakaway which had dominated much of the 50-mile race.
Second spot went to Andrew Hawdon (KTM Road and Trail), while third was Tom Stewart (Madison Genesis).
A large field rolled away from Shugborough Hall's grounds on the narrow roads and out towards Milford before the leg-sapping drag up to the top entrance to the hall.
A sprightly opening lap saw the field as one, hammering into the main arena and back out across the cattle grid to begin the second three-mile lap. A small break of Owen James, George Harper and Will Fox got the better of the field and although it was too early to call it did look a useful attack, but with Fox feeling the previous night’s crash in his legs the Starley Primal rider abandoned the following lap leaving his two companions little choice but to allow the field to bring them back.
More attacks fired out the front and on the third lap a group of six including Rob Partridge, Liam Holohan, Matt Holmes, Andrew Hawdon, James Newey and Kneisky stole away and soon began to look a serious bet to take it to the finish.
With Madison Genesis and Raleigh having team mates in the break both teams came to the front of the bunch and the pace eased up allowing the group of six soon to pull out a 25 second advantage.
With half the race gone a chase group organised themselves, Raleigh's Alex Blain, Madison's Tom Stewart, Richard Hepworth (Velosure Giordana) and Metaltek's Dexter Gardias went after the front group and with five to go had bridged the gap.
Now a strong working group, it really was game over for the remaining field. Both NFTO and Rapha Condor didn't have the strength in numbers to bring the race back. Starley Primal organised themselves at the front of the chase and started to make inroads, but the quality in the break ensured the time gap was pegged to the main field.
Although Gardias, Stewart and Hepworth tried to get away on the bell it was to no avail and the group entered the grounds for a final time together, Kneisky showing the rest of the group a clean pair of heels.
1 Morgan Kneisky Team Raleigh 01:34:39
2 Andrew Hawdon KTM road-and-trail.com 00:00:00
3 Thomas Stewart Madison Genesis 00:00:00
4 James Newey Zappi's Racing Team 00:00:00
5 Alexandre Blain Team Raleigh 00:00:00
6 Richard Hepworth Velosure - Giordana RT 00:00:00
7 Dexter Gardias Metaltek KUOTA RT 00:00:00
8 Liam Holohan Madison Genesis 00:00:02
9 Robert Partridge Velosure - Giordana RT 00:00:02
10 Matt Holmes Madison Genesis 00:00:06
11 Chris Opie Rapha Condor JLT 00:00:54
12 Steve Lampier Velosure - Giordana RT 00:00:59
13 Ian Bibby Madison Genesis 00:00:59
14 Ian Wilkinson Team Raleigh 00:00:59
15 Nathan Edmondson Velosure - Giordana RT 00:01:05
16 Yanto Barker Team Raleigh 00:01:07
17 George Atkins Team Raleigh 00:01:07
18 Jacob Scott HARIBO Beacon Cycling Team 00:01:07
19 Sam Williams NFTO 00:01:07
20 Jake Womersley HARIBO Beacon Cycling Team 00:01:07
21 Josh Hunt NFTO 00:01:07
22 David Creeggan Pedal Heaven Colbornes RT 00:01:11
23 Harry Tanfield KTM road-and-trail.com 00:01:11
24 Callum Ferguson Zappi's Racing Team 00:01:11
25 Brad Morgan Velosure - Giordana RT 00:01:11
26 Germain Burton 100% ME 00:01:11
27 Stuart Reid Wheelbase Altura MGD 00:01:11
28 Lawrence Carpenter Catford CC Equipe/Banks 00:01:11
29 James King HARIBO Beacon Cycling Team 00:01:11
30 Rhys Lloyd Metaltek KUOTA RT 00:01:11
31 Elliott Porter Rapha Condor JLT 00:01:11
32 Robert McCarthy Pedal Heaven Colbornes RT 00:01:11
33 George Harper Velosure - Giordana RT 00:01:11
34 Gruffudd Lewis Pedal Heaven Colbornes RT 00:01:11
35 David Clarke KTM road-and-trail.com 00:01:11
36 Zachery May Metaltek KUOTA RT 00:01:11
37 Ashley Dennis Catford CC Equipe/Banks 00:01:11
38 Matthew Clarke Wheelbase Altura MGD 00:01:11
39 Ian Field Hargroves Cycles RT-Specialized-Trant 00:01:11
40 William Bjergfelt Metaltek KUOTA RT 00:01:16
41 Dom Jelfs Madison Genesis 00:01:16
42 Thomas Bustard Velosure - Giordana RT 00:01:16
43 George Pym Starley Primal Pro Cycling 00:01:16
44 Rory Townsend Pedal Heaven Colbornes RT 00:01:16
45 James Knox Zappi's Racing Team 00:01:38
46 Perry Bowater Starley Primal Pro Cycling 00:02:04
47 David Lines Starley Primal Pro Cycling 00:02:25
48 Alex Bottomley Wheelbase Altura MGD 00:02:25
49 Josh Burns Starley Primal Pro Cycling 00:02:35
50 James Locker Zappi's Racing Team 00:03:28
51 James Williams Starley Primal Pro Cycling 00:04:49
52 Liam Stones Team Raleigh 00:05:16
53 Marcin Bialoblocki Velosure - Giordana RT 00:05:16
54 Tom Neale Team Corley Cycles 00:06:27
55 Kit Gilham KTM road-and-trail.com 00:06:27
56 Adam Howells Mammoth Lifestyle Racing Team @1 lap