Aussie import Brenton Jones clinched victory in his first UK appearance for JLT Condor, sprinting to victory in the Tour of the Wolds in Lincolnshire.
The 24-year-old from Victoria crossed the line ahead of fellow Australian Steele Von Hoff (One Pro Cycling) at the end of the 103-mile race based on roads near Louth, while JLT Condor made it three riders in the top four with Russ Downing clinching third and Ian Bibby fourth.
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Jones benefitted from some excellent team work in the closing stages of the second round of the Spring Cup Series to take the chequered flag.
The race took in three circuits of a loop around Caistor before moving onto four laps of a smaller finishing circuit, and although it was not as demanding as last weekend’s Klondike Grand Prix with its energy-sapping climbs, it gave riders plenty to think about.
A strong cross wind scythed the field down in the latter stages, leaving a group of around 15 riders out in front.
The race undoubtedly suited JLT Condor much better than the Klondike Grand Prix, where they managed to place just one rider in the top 20. Frustrated last week, team manager John Herety was happier after the Tour of the Wolds.
“It really is quite bizarre that you get a circuit like the Klondike Grand Prix, with all the hills and how difficult it was, followed by this – a relatively easy circuit.
“You could see what a difference the wind made, and it’s something for the organisers to take note of. It doesn’t need to be so hilly to make it a difficult race.”
Jones, who appears to have slotted seamlessly into JLT Condor’s roster, hailed the team performance that catapulted him to victory.
“It was a phenomenal team performance, the boys really showed their strength and I’m so happy to finish it off for them.”
The race saw a number of breaks throughout but nothing seemed to stick, and JLT Condor worked well together to give themselves every chance of taking victory. And that proved to be the case as Jones came through a sprint finish to cross the line first.
Earlier in the day, SunSport Velo’s Elizabeth Banks took victory in the opening round of the Women’s Road Series, in the same location. Anna Christian of Drops RT was second and Storey Racing’s Chanel Mason completed the podium.
Tour of the Wolds 2017: Men, 103 miles (166km)
1. Brenton Jones (JLT Condor) in 3-43-20
2. Steele Von Hoff (One Pro Cycling)
3. Russ Downing (JLT Condor) at same time
4. Ian Bibby (JLT Condor) at 2 sec
5. Rory Townsend (Bike Channel-Canyon) at same time
6. Jonathan McEvoy (Madison Genesis) at 5 sec
7. Hayden McCormick (One Pro Cycling)
8. Liam Holohan (Metaltek Kuota RT) both at same time
9. Jonathan Mould (JLT Condor) at 10 sec
10. Enrique Sanz (Raleigh GAC) at 19 sec
Women, 63 miles (101km)
1. Elizabeth Banks (SunSport Velo) in 2-34-35
2. Anna Christian (Drops CT) at 1 sec
3. Chanel Mason (Storey Racing) at 2 sec
4. Hayley Simmonds (Team WNT) at same time
5. Natalie Grinczer (Team WNT) at 4 sec
6. Rebecca Durrell (Drops CT) at 32 sec