Tom Pidcock underlined his star potential with victory in Durham as BIKE Channel Canyon strengthened their grip on third position in the Tour Series.
The 17-year-old, who earlier this season won Paris-Roubaix Juniors and the cyclocross world crown, cruised to a stunning solo success in the penultimate round of the championship.
Riding for guest team PH Mas, Pidcock attacked with Rory Townsend as the race broke to pieces on the gruelling circuit, which had been soaked by pre-race downpours.
The teenager then kicked on alone, stretching his lead to the best part of a minute before Connor Swift, of Madison Genesis, and JLT Condor’s Ali Slater set off in pursuit.
They had narrowed the gap to a matter of seconds as the race entered its final five laps but Pidcock called on all his reserves to hold off the chasers and clinch a wonderful success.
Only 11 riders were not lapped by the talent, with series leaders JLT posting four riders in the top 10 to inch towards a second consecutive Tour Series title.
Townsend, meanwhile, clocked the fastest lap of the night (2min 15.407sec) to earn his own trip to the podium after crossing the line in 12th position.
With Matt Nowell 14th, Harry Tanfield 18th and Aberdeen winner Jack Pullar coming home in 20th spot, Tim Elverson’s troops were the third team on the night.
That saw them stretch their lead over fourth-placed ONE Pro Cycling, who finished fourth, to two points with only one round – in Stevenage on Monday – remaining.
The race, which was delayed by 15 minutes to give the circuit and in particular its cobbled section a chance to dry out, began with a spate of crashes.
James Lowsley-Williams, who has been the model of consistency for the team during the series so far, saw his chances scuppered as he was forced into the pits for an early bike change.
Despite running to the pits and mounting a determined chase, the Cotswolds ace was unable to get back on.