Rory Townsend finished 10th as Chris Lawless sealed back-to-back wins in the Otley Grand Prix.
JLT Condor’s Matt Gibson was second and Sebastian Mora, of Team Raleigh, completed the podium in the rain-soaked West Yorkshire town.
The opening round of the British Cycling National Circuit Series belonged to Lawless, though, who animated the contest from the flag drop.
The reigning British circuit race champion, who now rides for American outfit Axeon Hagens Berman, underlined his ambitions with the first attack of the night.
Raleigh’s Fraser Martin was next to have a dig before a leading group of eight formed, which included the defending champion and Townsend.
With the race reduced by two laps following a delayed start, they powered through the halfway mark with a 30-second advantage on the main bunch.
Back in the peloton, Jack Pullar had abandoned during the early skirmishes, while a puncture had put paid to Chris Opie‘s ambitions.
With nine laps remaining, the break had stretched their lead to 45 seconds as they looked increasingly likely to stay away to contest the finale.
Lawless attempted to go it alone with seven laps left but the 21-year-old was quickly brought to heel by the leading group, who now enjoyed an advantage of a minute.
By the time the chase had got organised and started to eat into the deficit, trimming 15 seconds off in one lap, Lawless had driven clear again – this time with Mora.
Once again they were brought back, prompting Metaltek Kuota’s George Pym to have a punt but it was all in vain as, with one circuit remaining, the leaders were swept up by a motoring peloton.
But the powers of Lawless, formerly of JLT Condor, were not diminished and he had enough left in the tank to win the bunch sprint and toast victory on the line.
Matt Nowell and Sam Lowe were 45th and 48th at 38 seconds, while Harry Tanfield and George Atkins were a few seconds further adrift in 55th and 58th respectively.
Click here for the full result. The second round of the series takes place next Wednesday, July 5, in Skipton.