Ian Bibby took over the lead in the Premier Calendar Series with victory in the Tour of the Reservoir in Northumberland on Sunday.
Preston-based Bibby’s victory came after a strong display from his team-mates at Motorpoint Pro Cycling, who bossed the decisive break of nine riders and placed four riders in the top six.
While Bibby won and colleague Marcin Bialoblocki took second, Rapha Condor-Sharp’s Dean Downing managed to stop a clean-sweep of the podium when he edged into third place in the final few yards.
But earlier in the race Motorpoint had looked well out on contention.
Sigma Sport’s Tom Murray and Cycle Premier-Metaltek’s Stephen Gallagher had launched an early bid for freedom on the fourth lap, and gained a two-minute lead over the chasing pack. But they were hunted down by Bibby and his team-mate Jonny McEvoy, who attacked hard in pursuit and left the bunch strung out with several strong men struggling to keep pace.
It didn’t take long for the race to come back together, but with a lap and a half remaining nine riders went clear – and this time Motorpoint did not miss out and placed several riders in the break.
Bibby teamed up with Endura Racing’s Evan Oliphant and attacked off the front, but his Scottish rival couldn’t maintain his pace and dropped back while Bibby soon joined the leaders.
Murray’s day was to take a turn for the worse shortly after when, having been in both the day’s main breaks, the Sigma rider suffered mechanical problems and could only rejoin the race behind the bunch.
Meanwhile, up front Bibby jumped with three kilometres left, wary of the presence of Endura Racing’s in-form sprinter Paul Voss. He held his advantage well, and took the win ahead of team-mate Bialoblocki while Dean Downing was third.
Tour of the Reservoir (Premier Calendar Round Four, Hexham, Northumberland, 144km)
1. Ian Bibby (Motorpoint Pro Cycling) 3-35-44
2. Marcin Bialoblocki (Motorpoint Pro Cycling) same time
3. Dean Downing (Rapha Condor-Sharp) at 1sec
4. Peter Williams (Motorpoint Pro Cycling) at 3sec
5. Jack Bauer (Endura Racing)
6. Will Bjergfelt (Motorpoint Pro Cycling) all st
7. Paul Voss (Endura Racing) at 5sec
8. Tom Last (Sigma Sport) st
9. Matt Cronshaw (Team Raleigh) at 10sec
10. Rafa Rodriguez Segarra (Twenty 3C-Orbea) at 30sec
Crowds at the finish line
Tour of the Reservoir scenery
Tom Murray and Stephen Gallagher in an escape
Dean Downing makes a move
Ian Bibby celebrates his win
Podium (l-r): Dean Downing (third), Ian Bibby (winner), Marcio Bialoblocki (second)