Canyon Eisberg’s challenge for glory in the 14th Rutland-Melton International CiCLE Classic bit the dust as Gabriel Cullaigh celebrated success for Team Wiggins.
Cullaigh emerged victorious from a scrap with ONE Pro Cycling’s Karol Domagalski over the final few kilometres in Melton Mowbray on Sunday.
But there was little to cheer for Tim Elverson’s men despite a brave effort on the mixed terrain of the 189km UCI 1.2 battle.
Alex Paton crashed heavily, although dug deep to chase back on, Andrew Tennant’s rear mech broke after 140km, while a puncture inside the final hour for Harry Tanfield hampered his effort as the hammer went down in the peloton on the Somerberg.
A determined Matt Nowell was the furthest forward of the Canyon Eisberg squad in the final reckoning but he was unable to follow when the decisive selection was made and finished 28th at 1min 57sec.
The day’s major breakaway comprised of four riders and enjoyed an advantage of more than four minutes at one stage.
The quartet were Adam Kenway, of Vitus Pro Cycling, Gil Guerciotti’s Samuel Rodriguez, Peter Kibble, from the Welsh national team, and Morvelo Basso’s Mikey Mottram.
Frenchman Damian Wild, from VC Toucy, set off in chase, attempting the bridge the gap alone but it was to no avail.
Kenway lasted longest of the escapees. However, his challenge was put to bed shortly after four hours in the saddle and the second passing of the Somerberg.
With the peloton fracturing, five riders had jumped clear to erase the former national hill climb champion’s advantage.
And with 20km remaining a group of seven had emerged from the dust to boast a lead of a minute over the peloton.
Punctures to three of those contenders left a lead group of just four, including last weekend’s Chorley Grand Prix winner Domagalski and Cullaigh.
At this point, Nowell was the best-placed Canyon Eisberg rider in a third chase group, with Tanfield not far behind.
The latter ultimately finished 48th, 2.51 adrift of the winner, while Chris Opie rolled home in 63rd. Paton, Tennant and Charles Page retired.