British Cycling Academy graduate Jon Mould riding for Team UK Youth conquered the cobbles of Beverley Town Centre on Friday night, to win the penultimate round of the British Cycling Elite Circuit Series.
The 22-year-old rider from Newport, South Wales was a last minute addition to the Beverley start sheet, replacing Niklas Gustavvson in the strong UK Youth squad.
All the top contenders including series leader George Atkins, Graham Briggs, Ed Clancy and Felix English were on the start line, with Madison Genesis rider Dean Downing absent, reportedly resting up for the National Circuit Champs on Sunday.
The crowds were out on what was another hot summers night, the whole circuit packed with spectators, three deep on the finish line. Beverley with it's Minster as a backdrop and historic market place is a wonderful setting for a town centre race.
The local 3/4th category riders warmed up the crowd with Graham Morgan (We Love Mountains) taking the win.
The Elite circuit race got off to a cracking start, within four laps a group of five riders had formed a break off the front, and subsequently increased their lead by roughly 2 seconds per lap. The group contained Kristian House and Felix English - Rapha Condor JLT, Mike Northey - Node 4 Giordana, Jon Mould - UK Youth and Adam Duggleby - Wheelbase Altura.
With Rapha the dominant force in the break, manager John Herety was indicating to Ed Clancy and the rest of the Rapha Boys to let the break go and settle back into the peloton. So it was left to the Raleigh and Metaltek teams to try and bring the break back, over the next 30 laps or so Raleigh put all their resources into leading the chase.
Up with the leaders they were all contributing, but Mike Northey appeared to be the strongest rider. The former Kiwi Crit Champion was forcing the pace so much that their advantage reached 35 seconds. That pace was too high for Adam Duggleby and he soon drifted back to the relative comfort of the main field.
With only four up front Raleigh upped their pace, leader Graham Briggs was urging his riders to give that little bit more, and they did. The gap to the leaders was dropping and as Raleigh pegged it at about 15 seconds Ed Clancy and his Boys in Black latched onto the back of the Raleigh line. Herbalife, Metaltek, Wheelbase and MG Maxifuel were all ready to take advantage if the leaders were caught.
Into the closing laps and Northey, English and Mould were riding like a well drilled three-man pursuit team, Kristian House had done his job in the break and dropped back, hoping team-mate Felix English could replicate his Otley round win. With two laps remaining the gap was still 15 seconds, the Raleigh boys had put on a brilliant show but their time was up, the rest of the group swamped them, and the likes of George Atkins - 100%ME chasing series points moved in for the kill.
The lead trio were so evenly matched that when they sprinted across the cobbles for the final time it took a photo finish to separate them. UK Youth rider Jon Mould got the verdict from Mike Northey, with Felix English claiming the final podium position.
Just 13 seconds later Ed Clancy and George Atkins led the charge for the minor placing's, both claiming valuable series points.
Winner Jon Mould talks to British Cycling
As the podium riders were spraying champagne and collecting their flowers UK Youth Manager Dave Povall, clearly relieved that his rider had got the win, spoke to British Cycling:
"That was a ride, wasn't it, Jon rode that race perfectly, that early break was full of winners and Raleigh missed it. Their chase made for an exciting race, but the gap never got below 15 seconds. I'm delighted for Jon, it's his first year with us after spending a year with An-Post in Belgium, he's got a lot to offer, well drilled from his time on the Academy, he's shown everyone what he can do, another great win for a great team of boys."
The Elite Circuit Race series comes to an exciting conclusion next Wednesday at Sheffield. But before then the British Cycling Elite Circuit Championships will be held in York on Sunday.
Graham Briggs tells British Cycling of his disappointment.
1 Jon Mould (UK Youth) 1:17:28
2 Mike Northey (Node 4 Giordana) @ 1sec
3 Felix English (Rapha Condor JLT)
4 Ed Clancy MBE (Rapha Condor JLT) @ 14sec
5 George Atkins (Team USN)
6 Andrew Hawdon (Herbalife-Leisure Lakes)
7 Ian Wilkinson (UK Youth)
8 Tom Murray (Metaltek-Knights of Old)
9 Dan Barry (Node 4-Giordana) all @ same time
10 Will Bjergfelt (MG Maxifuel) @ 15sec
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