Brenton Jones made sure his JLT Condor teammate's hard work did not go to waste with a fantastic sprint win at the HSBC UK | Spring Cup Series Tour of the Wolds.
His team had put the hammer down to close down the four-man breakaway before they reached the finishing circuit in Louth, and then set the pace on the front for eight laps to set up the sprint finish.
And Jones executed a textbook sprint to ease away from ONE Pro Cycling's Steele von Hoff and JLT Condor colleague Russ Downing in the hunt for the line.
Early attacks fruitless
The 164km route in and out of Louth saw early casualties in the field with the pace over the Wolds too gruelling for some and they went backwards out of the bunch as the race headed for the Caistor Loop.
A number of attacks tried to go in the opening stages, but the field were having none of it and it wasn’t until they hit the Caistor Loop that a seven-man break featuring two men apiece from JLT Condor, Madison Genesis and ONE Pro Cycling, escaped for any length of time.
They were brought back though, and ten men then escaped off the front, with Madison Genesis’ Matthew Holmes once again animating the race following his attacks at last weekend’s Klondike GP.
The group reduced to nine when Alex Frame, of JLT Condor, suffered a puncture but the remaining escapees stretched their lead out to 90 seconds for a brief period.
But when Team Raleigh GAC went to the front of the main field it was curtains for the men out front as the gap quickly came down to just 30 seconds.
The telling break?
And the break was eventually swallowed up but Liam Holahan and Holmes of Madison Genesis, JLT Condor’s Ian Bibby and ONE Pro Cycling’s Hayden McCormick immediately got away again.
And they stayed clear until the field headed back into Louth for eight laps around the two-mile finishing circuit.
With the road back into town providing twists and turns, it looked to have favoured the escapees, but with JLT Condor on the chase and the quartet in disarray, splitting up around corners, the peloton reeled them in for an eight-lap race to the line.
Just 21 men remained in the front bunch, though, meaning JLT Condor could largely control the final stages, even reeling in an audacious attack from BIKE Channel Canyon’s James Lowsley-Williams with just three laps to go.
And the JLT Condor train set things up perfectly for Jones to finish off the textbook sprint, with von Hoff settling for second and Downing rolling in, arms aloft, in third.
With Klondike GP winner Chris Latham missing the race due to international commitments for Great Britain at the upcoming UCI World Track Championships, Team Raleigh GAC’s Enrique Sanz moves into the overall HSBC UK | Spring Cup Series lead.