Gibson sprints to Bristol success as Swift continues fine form

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Matt Gibson's memorable week on the road continued after a sprint finish saw him add the Bristol Grand Prix crown to his growing collection.

The Team JLT Condor rider had already enjoyed two top-three circuit finishes this week but finally had the chance to enjoy the top step of the podium in the second round of the HSBC UK | Grand Prix Series.

Gibson was part of a breakaway that dominated from the outset, edging out Canyon Eisberg’s Jack Pullar into second place.

And there was yet more success for Connor Swift, the newly-crowned national road race champion finishing third in his first outing in the national champion’s jersey.

Tanfield and Paton waste no time

Harry Tanfield and Alex Paton wasted no time in getting going as the two Canyon Eisberg riders made their way to the front of a strung peloton during the opening laps.

The pair quickly formed a small advantage but a chasing trio was hot on their heels, with Swift joined by another Canyon Eisberg rider in Pullar as well as Gibson, the current HSBC UK | National Circuit Series general classification leader.

Now a group of five, the leaders boasted a 32-second gap to the chasing pack – working together well as 15 laps remained in sapping conditions in Bristol.

That same group remained at the head of the race until ten laps remained, though Tanfield was the first to succumb to the pace of the charge as he was dropped off the back.

Front four stretch their lead

Still the leaders pushed on however, clocking in laps of less than eight minutes as they extended their lead towards the one-minute mark, by this point beyond the halfway stage of the race.

Indeed it was thanks to their unerring teamwork that the four were able to hold firm in Bristol, the advantage still building despite the efforts of those chasing behind.

Come the seven-lap-to-go mark and that lead had reached beyond 60 seconds for the first time, a gap that wasn’t to be bridged as the race headed into its concluding 20km.

Gibson takes the line in sprint finish

With just two laps to go the peloton began to make a push, with five riders keen to bridge a gap that by now looked unassailable.

And so it proved, with the winner to be decided from a front four who had dominated from at least 50km from the finish line.

All that was left to be decided was the victor, with a ferocious sprint finish seeing Gibson take the line ahead of Pullar, while Swift – who also prevailed in the Wales Open Criterium just two days ago – settled for a third to top off a stellar week.

But Madison Genesis' Swift still had plenty of reason to celebrate, sitting top of the HSBC UK | Grand Prix Series with 62 points to his name after this, the second round of action.

Pullar is now in second place, 11 points back, with Thomas Moses - who led after the Tour of the Reservoir - back in third place.

But it's all change at the top of the team standings, with Madison Genesis now leading the way ahead of Canyon Eisberg and JLT Condor.

Results

Race Results

Overall Standings

Gallery

2018 HSBC UK | Grand Prix Series - Bristol Grand Prix