BIKE Channel Canyon were left disappointed as they failed to land a blow in the Rapha Nocturne in London.
Brenton Jones claimed victory, with Graham Briggs sealing a one-two for JLT Condor ahead of third-placed Tobyn Horton, from Madison Genesis.
But for Rory Townsend, who had been prominent in the early skirmishes until he broke a cleat, and Max Stedman there was little to cheer as darkness fell on the capital.
The hopes of the in-form Harry Tanfield and Jake Womersley had earlier been scuppered on the start line, when they were brought down in a pile-up as riders jostled for position as they rolled away.
Meanwhile, Alex Richardson did not even make the grid – the Kingston-based rider ruled out through illness.
Chris Lawless, who now rides for American Continental outfit Axeon Hagens Berman, put the hammer down early on, lining out the field in a breathless start to the action.
Madison’s Horton, George Wood, of Richardsons Trek, and PMR Toachim House’s Isaac Mundy bridged to the 21-year-old before the peloton swept the quartet up.
A brief punt from JLT Condor’s Jon Mould was followed by another attack from Lawless before the first sprint lap. Briggs was first over the line, though, ahead of Horton and his team-mate Alex Frame.
By now the front group had been blown apart, with little more than 20 of the 90 riders who rolled out remaining at the head of affairs. And a crash for Ed Clancy saw that bunch trimmed further.
From there, the race settled down a touch. Only the odd injection of pace from the likes of Lawless, Mould and Wood threatened to upset the relentless rhythm.
With three laps remaining, Matt Cronshaw had a dig off the front for Madison. But he was caught by the contenders, led once more by Lawless, as they powered into the final lap.
And with numbers on their side, JLT did the rest. Briggs rounded Wood, who had hit out shortly before the final corner, and Jones popped out from his team-mate’s wheel to take the chequered flag.