Chris Latham took the victory in the North East in a bunch finish
- Photos by Andy Jones
Chris Latham (Team Wiggins) drew first blood in the Spring Cup Series, sprinting to victory in the Klondike Grand Prix in Cleveland.
The 23-year-old from Bolton edged across the line first after a bunch sprint finish to the tough 95-mile race, while Raleigh GAC’s new signing Enrique Sanz took second and local rider Harry Tanfield completed the podium with third for Bike Channel Canyon.
Large crowds watched on the 140-rider field began the four-hour race in Guisborough before tackling three laps of a large circuit followed by five laps of a smaller circuit.
But it was far from a smooth start to the race, Brother NRG DriverPlan Pro Racing rider and Harry’s brother Charlie Tanfield suffering a puncture and the race was halted shortly after as a crash caused chaos in the peloton.
Team Wiggins rider Sam Harrison was the first to make a meaningful attack, opening up a gap of 32 seconds before being joined by Dan Fleeman of Metaltek Kuota RT and Charlie Tanfield, who had recovered from his earlier setback. By the end of the first lap, they had a gap of almost a minute.
Matt Holmes (Madison Genesis) soon joined the lead group, and apart from a short break by Tanfield those riders stayed together, building a gap of 5.40 on the main bunch.
The gap soon started to drop with One Pro Cycling and JLT Condor desperately working to close it down.
Holmes, looking for his first national series win, then attacked and pulled away from Tanfield and Fleeman with 50 kilometres to go.
Despite his brave efforts, the peloton finally came back together with 10 kilometres to go, swallowing Holmes up with it.
With just five kilometres left, it was clear that the race would be decided with a sprint and it was Latham who timed his move to perfection, stealing ahead of his rivals.
The win is another positive step in the career of the rider who won silver in the scratch in the second round of the 2016/17 UCI Track Cycling World Cup in Apeldoorn, Netherlands.
1. Chris Latham (Team Wiggins), 152.8km in 3-59-16
2. Enrique Sanz (Raleigh GAC)
3. Harry Tanfield (Bike Channel Canyon)
4. George Harper (One Pro Cycling)
5. George Pym (Metaltek Kuota)
6. Sam Lowe (Bike Channel Canyon)
7. Jacob Tipper (Brother NRG)
8. Zach May (Metaltek Kuota)
9. Tobyn Horton (Madison Genesis)
10. H. McCormick (One Pro Cycling) all same time