Felix English (JLT Condor) sprinted to victory in the Beverley Grand Prix on Friday evening, boosting his tally in the British Cycling Elite Circuit Series.
The 22-year-old from Sandbach in Cheshire edged to victory inches ahead of Series leader Jon Mould (One Pro Cycling) with 2014 Beverley GP winner Mike Northey (Madison Genesis) third.
The trio had been part of a five-rider break which stayed clear for much of the race and actually lapped everyone else in the race, which was round six of the Series.
English’s victory in Beverley, round six of the British Cycling Elite Circuit Series, comes after he placed third in round four, the Colne Grand Prix, nine days earlier.
Last year’s winner Northey made an early bid for freedom in the first few laps and was soon joined by Tom Moses (JLT Condor).
They were expected to be swallowed up as the bunch sized each other out, but instead the duo were joined by Felix English (JLT Condor), Series leader Jon Mould (One Pro Cycling) and Steve Lampier (Raleigh GAC) and suddenly they gained speed and pulled clear.
The gap grew to 23 seconds before much chasing occurred, with NFTO driving the bunch, but the gap continued to grow and was quickly 40 seconds, then 50 seconds, and then they looked likely to start lapping the back markers.
Second in the Series, David McGowan (Pedal Heaven RT) was one of the keenest to start a chase, and was on the front. But the pace continued to be high, and with 14 laps left the leaders lapped the field.
As soon as the leaders had caught the back of the bunch the leaders swept through apace, and with ten laps left it became apparent the winner would come from this group, with all eyes on Series leader Jon Mould.
But with JLT Condor having two riders in in the break in Tom Moses and Felix
English, and Lampier and Northey also being prolific winners, the fate of the win was by no means clear.
With the rest of the field pulled out with a few laps left to allow for a clean finish for the five leaders, the stage was set for a dramatic finish. And so it proved, with photo finish needed to separate English from Mould, while Northey held off the Moses and Lampier for the win.
Previously seventh in the Series table, English will move up towards the top three overall on the back of his win, although minor placings are yet to be decided.
“That was quite hard!” said English after he stepped from the podium. “It was almost a replica of what happened two years ago. We had two riders in the break two years ago too.
“My team-mate Tom Moses worked really well, we were just trying to play the last few laps pretty smart. Tom started it off and gave me an easier ride to the finish and I could sit on.
“I was trying to get as much power as I could before the cobbles because it was so hard to accelerate on them! The surface was pretty good, and being in a break it was better and you could concentrate – although it would’ve been carnage in the bunch!
“For the first five laps we could see the bunch behind and we knew a few teams had missed it, but as soon as we had the gap everyone was working really well together.
“All the guys in the break are super strong. Jon Mould hasn’t finished outside the top five this Series, and Mike Northey gave me a kicking here two years ago, so I’m fairly used to how well they’re going.
“It was a massive crowd here and a great atmosphere in Beverley!”