The third round of the British Cycling Spring Cup series took the team to the Chorley Grand Prix in Lancashire. 140 riders rolled out of Chorley town centre at 11am, ready to tackle 5 laps of a brutal course including the locally famous Sheephouse Lane, which would be sure to see fireworks in the back part of the race.
During the first lap a strong group of 10 riders formed on the leg-sapping ascent of Sheephouse Lane between Rivington and Belmont. Polish rider Kamil Gradek placed himself in the group, which had representation from a lot other teams in the race. A strong mix of riders, the breakaway group quickly gained an advantage of 1 minute and 30 seconds. Unhappy with the strength of the break, it was Team Wiggins that eventually took up chase at the head of the peloton, in a bid to close down the leaders.
The lead group slowly started to disintegrate over the course of the next few laps but Gradek continued to position himself at the head of the action. With only two ascents of Sheephouse Lane remaining, several riders jumped clear from the peloton and made the junction to the front of the race.
Once again the lead group increased to ten riders and it was at this point Gradek had become outnumbered at the front of the race. The decision was made to close down the gap and bring the break back. Getting into position, ONE Pro Cycling hit the front of the peloton to decrease the gap and bring the race back together.
As the peloton led by ONE Pro Cycling got within touching distance of the leaders, Gradek was ready and waiting to launch another attack. Taking his opportunity the Polish Powerhouse surged forward, forming another small breakaway and maintaining a small lead on the peloton. Not wanting to be left out of the action, he was quickly joined by team mates Tom Stewart and Karol Domagalski.
The brutality of the course saw the break start to fall apart as the riders made their way to Chorley town centre, covering the final few kilometres to the finish line.
Local rider Ian Bibby (JLT Condor) made his race winning move on the final ascent of Sheephouse Lane and solo’d away to an impressive victory. In the final few kilometres, Gradek forced his way into a small group of four riders who battled in pursuit of the lone leader. As Bibby crossed the line, the sprint for 2nd went to Kamil Gradek who after his efforts throughout the day, thoroughly deserved his podium position.