Harry Tanfield saluted JLT Condor’s dynamic Eddie Soens duo and admitted they were simply too good.
Three-time Olympic gold medallist Ed Clancy sprinted to glory in the 50-mile tear-up around Aintree, while Jon Mould rolled over in second place after leading his team-mate out.
The pair began their season with the New Zealand Cycle Classic in January, with Mould claiming a stage win on his way to fourth on general classification.
The Welshman arrived in Liverpool fresh from the track World Cup event in Los Angeles and instigated the decisive split with an attack on the penultimate lap.
Tanfield reeled him in but when Clancy arrived as a very select 10-man group formed, the 22-year-old knew he faced an uphill battle in the sprint for glory.
In the end the Great Ayton rider had to settle for third place, with his BIKE Channel Canyon team-mate Matt Nowell finishing eighth. Talking to VeloUK.net, he said:
“Jon hit us right from the back and I just saw him out of the corner of eye, so I managed to get a bit of speed up.
“But I still had to make a massive effort down that back straight. I thought if I don’t bring him back, he would just solo it and win.
“I spent a lot doing that and then when it came to the end, Tom (Pidcock) jumped coming into the corner and I just tried to get on the wheel of Ed.
“Jon was leading him out. They kicked off around the finishing corner and they were just riding away from me.
“I was seated and going flat out but they were just riding away. I thought what is happening here? They just rode off on their own.
“It’s the best result I have ever had at the Soens. It would have been nice to be able to hold their wheel but that didn’t quite happen!”