Tim Elverson praised Rory Townsend for making the most of a difficult situation in the Tour of the Wolds on Sunday.
The BIKE Channel Canyon sports director was pleased with the tactical awareness shown by the 21-year-old, who sprinted to fifth despite being outnumbered in the finale.
Elverson also saluted the strength of James Lowsley-Williams, who finished off an attacking performance with 13th place in Louth.
However, he was disappointed the team could not replicate the highs of the East Cleveland Klondike Grand Prix the previous weekend.
Losing Harry Tanfield to illness and then having George Atkins, Jake Womersley and Chris Opie caught behind a crash when the hammer was down put them under the pump.
Jack Pullar’s race was over when the break was reeled in and while Sam Lowe survived until late on, it was left to Townsend and Lowsley-Williams to contest the finale in a select 22-man group. Elverson said:
“Hank rode amazingly. He was in the original break but was still managed to stay there and help Rory.
“Rory rode very, very well up against those guys at the finish. To get fifth was very good. He rode with his head and that made a big, big difference to his result.
“He did what was asked and he delivered it, so there were definitely some positives to take out of the day.
“But losing four guys, half the team, during the first 40km was not ideal. You needed to ride as a collective group in the winds.
“We just didn’t have that on Sunday. It was still an okay display, though, and we are still very close in the team standings, so we live to fight another day.”
While the result may not have been as impressive as Elverson was hoping, the Tour of the Wolds organisers certainly got the thumbs-up. He added:
“It was a really good race on a really nice circuit. The wind made it excellent and JLT rode it brilliantly.
“There were a few narrow bits but it was all quite exciting. We had no dramas with road closures and the finish in the town centre was good.
“That added a different element and I really enjoyed it. The weather helped obviously but it was a very, very good event.
“The move which stuck, where we had two (Pullar and Lowsley-Williams) of the 10 riders, would probably have gone to the end had JLT’s sprinter Alex Frame not punctured.
“JLT then started riding to bring it back. Had that not happened, I think it would have been those 10 who fought out the finish and things may have been different. But that is bike racing.”
The HSBC UK Spring Cup continues on Saturday with the Chorley Grand Prix. The final leg of the four-race series is the Lincoln Grand Prix on Sunday, May 14.