Simon Holt reckons BIKE Channel Canyon can look back on the Eddie Soens Memorial with pride.
Harry Tanfield claimed third place behind the victorious Ed Clancy and his JLT Condor team-mate Jon Mould in Liverpool.
The 22-year-old, from Great Ayton in North Yorkshire, also clinched the sprints competition, while Matt Nowell was eighth as a select group of 10 battled for glory.
While victory would have made it a perfect day, Holt believes the squad should be proud of their efforts in the 50-mile Aintree battle. The assistant sports director said:
“We got out of it what we wanted, which was a podium. And obviously Harry won the sprints competition, too, so it was good day for us.
“Harry was there for the sprints, so it was a case of why wouldn’t you try to win that. Our tactic was always to take the race on rather than let it come down to a bunch sprint at the end.
“So the boys were always trying to get away and they did really well, especially considering a lot of them were on their race bikes for the first time.
“There were a lot of compliments about them but at the same time the riders will want to make a few adjustments to get them spot on.
“Ultimately, the fastest finishers ended up in the front group and overall we have to be happy with the result.
“Obviously it would have been nice to win it but being on the podium in that company, with where they have come from in terms of their preparation for the season, has to be positive.”
Sam Lowe, Jake Womersley, Jack Pullar and George Atkins were all aggressive in the race before finishing in the main group, 36 seconds adrift of the top 10.
The decisive split was instigated by Mould, with Tanfield marking the move and Nowell following him across in powerful company. Holt added:
“Harry rode across to Jon with two NRG lads. Clancy and Bertie Newey were in that group, along with Matt as well.
“We knew it was a strong group and they quickly got 30 seconds and it became apparent it was going to go.
“Jon tried to go again on the final few laps but Harry was covering him. It came down to a sprint and we were up against two of the fastest finishers in there.
“Coming in to the finish, Tom Pidcock hit out pretty early and then JLT took it up. I think Matt had to brake for some gravel, so lost a little momentum.
“But he is still young, he was active and getting stuck in, so from what I have seen there is definitely more to come from him, in particular.”