Brenton Jones claimed Tour of the Wolds glory for JLT Condor as Rory Townsend grabbed fifth on a tough day for BIKE Channel Canyon in Lincolnshire.
A relentless pace from the flag drop put the peloton under huge pressure and meant just 22 of the 150 riders returned to Louth to contest the finale.
Only Townsend and James Lowsley-Williams remained for Tim Elverson’s team after the three laps of Caistor had turned into a war of attrition.
Lowsley-Williams, who had fallen back from the break which had taken an hour to form, made a brave solo dig for glory with three laps of the finishing circuit remaining.
But in the end it came down to a sprint and reigning Tour Series points champion Townsend claimed fifth spot, with his team-mate crossing the line just outside the top 10.
After a string of early breaks were reeled in, seven riders make a significant push to get away in a frenetic start to the second round of the Spring Cup.
The dangerous-looking group included Tom Baylis and Tom Stewart of ONE Pro Cycling, Madison Genesis duo Matt Holmes and Taylor Gunman, along with JLT Condor’s Jon Mould and Steve Lampier.
Liam Holohan, of Metaltek Kuota, completed the line-up as they fought hard to gain 10 seconds but, unsurprisingly, the race was soon all together again.
The peloton clocked an average speed of 45kph during the hectic first hour of racing as no-one was allowed off the leash.
But as the race hit the Caistor Loop for the first time, Jack Pullar and Lowsley-Williams escaped in a group of 10, while a crash forced a split in the bunch which left George Atkins attempting to pace Chris Opie back in.
The breakaway quickly opened up a minute, with Holmes and Alex Blain representing Madison, while Hayden McCormick and Karol Domagalski were flying the flag for ONE Pro.
Holohan, JLT Condor’s Alex Frame and Ian Bibby, along with Charlie Tanfield, of Brother NRG Driverplan, completed the 10 escapees who drove clear.
A puncture brought a premature end to Frame’s time up the road as the race neared its halfway stage, with the bunch 90 seconds adrift.
Team Raleigh, who missed the move, were driving hard at the front of the peloton on the second Caistor Loop lap, though, and soon the deficit was cut to just 30 seconds.
This prompted the break to fracture as they attempted to hold off the chasing pack, with Bibby, Holmes, Holohan and McCormick going on the attack again.
The quartet quickly opened up an advantage of a minute on the main group, with Lowsley-Williams chasing hard in the gap, as they set sail for the finishing circuit in Louth.
Lowsley-Williams was then swallowed up but he only found Townsend for company as the relentless pace had taken it’s toll on the peloton, which now numbered little more than 20.
All was not lost, though, as confusion reigned in the break and the chasing pack quickly closed the gap on the run into Louth, with 22 riders entering the town together.
With three laps of the finishing circuit remaining, Lowsley-Williams launched a brave solo bid for glory but it came to no avail as the group geared up for the final sprint.