Sunday’s Grand Prix of Wales saw Graham Briggs (JLT Condor p/b Mavic) visit the podium for a third time in a week.
On Friday the Yorkshire based rider made it two wins in two rounds of the British Cycling Elite Circuit Series, he scooped another victory in a final lap dash to the line, over powering the lone breakaway leader in the Wales Open Criterium hosted by Abergavenny.
After attacking on lap one in Chepstow on Wednesday, Briggs was relatively quiet until the final lap at Abergavenny and popped up to take the win, just catching Johnny McEvoy (NFTO) on the line and beating former Garmin-Sharp and current Australian champion, Steele Von Hoff.
“NFTO had so many riders up there we were a bit outnumbered, but my team-mate Kristian House rode amazing, he was always bringing the breaks back. And Johnny [McEvoy, NFTO] jumped with two laps to go and it was just a drag race from then,” said Briggs.
“The season’s not over but it’s good to finish this Series on a high with two wins, and I think hopefully I will be second on the podium for the overall.”
Grand Prix of Wales
Sunday’s 180km road race featured a blistering pace from the gun with Britain’s Continental squads relentlessly attacking each other through the valleys of Monmouthshire, but no break ever featured the right combination of escapees to be allowed to ride clear. With the race approaching two hours the pace showed no sign of relenting – averaging more than 29mph – and four new leaders got away, Luke Grivell-Mellor (JLT Condor p/b Mavic), Dexter Gardias (One Pro Cycling), Rhys Lloyd (NFTO) and James Gullen (Velosure Starley Primal) again after his earlier efforts.
Their lead reached 30 seconds before they too were snapped back into the bunch after 15 minutes.
Almost inevitably, another break went clear, this time ten riders including representatives from most of the contiental teams, but it wasn’t to last and a new group formed including Mike Cuming (JLT Condor p/b Mavic), Jack Pullar (Velosure Starley Primal), Dale Appleby (NFTO) and George Atkins (One Pro Cycling) powering off the front.
After ten minutes, the quartet had gained around 36 seconds, but there were several on the front of the bunch who looked desperate to bridge across, and their lead looked fragile.
But just as Abergavenny was preparing for a bunch sprint, Kristian House (JLT Condor p/b Mavic) attacked, and Ian Bibby (NFTO) went after him and for a time it looked that these two would make it to the line first. Both were caught agonisingly close to the line and it was Chris Lawless (Team Wiggins) who took victory with Graham Briggs (JLT Condor p/b Mavic) once again featuring at the sharp end, finishing third.
1 Chris Lawless (Team Wiggins)
2 Yanto Barker (One Pro Cycling)
3 Graham Briggs (JLT Condor p/b Mavic)
TV Highlights Schedule
Highlights will be available on British Eurosport 1 and Eurosport player for international regions:
Chepstow GP – Friday 14th August, 22.00 (GMT)
15th August 07.30 & 10.30am (GMT)
Wales Open & Grand of Wales – 16th August 1700-2000 (GMT)
17th August 07.30 & 14.00 (GMT)