Lawless in late sprint finish to secure win at Otley GP

Pedal power as the men's elite race sets off''Picture: Tony Johnson.
Pedal power as the men's elite race sets off''Picture: Tony Johnson.
Have your say

Chris Lawless (JLT Condor) sprinted to a thrilling victory at the Otley Grand Prix last night.

The race was the opening round of the British Cycling Elite Circuit Series, and provided a packed Otley crowd with a great spectacle.

A break of 11 riders got clear with nine laps to go, and although they were chased down the 20-year-old from Wigan held on for the win.

Yorkshire’s Russell Downing and Graham Briggs were in the mix until the end, but couldn’t clinch the win ahead of Lawless.

The women’s race saw Scotland’s Charline Joiner (Ford EcoBoost) sprint to victory ahead of Cumbrian team-mate Henrietta Colborne, while Hannah Payton (Drops Cycling Team) took third, just behind.

Run off at a fast pace, the 45-minute Pinsent Mason’s Women’s Otley Grand Prix was round seven of the British Cycling Women’s Road Series.

Although Nikki Juniper (Ford EcoBoost) had the Series wrapped up without turning a pedal at Otley, the Essex rider showed no signs of letting up and was on the front early in the race along with her team-mates.

Breaks came and went and were marshalled by Ford EcoBoost as well as Drop Cycling Team, but nothing was allowed to get too far clear until the decisive six-rider break went clear with five laps left.

As they headed for the line it was clear that the break would stay away with both Ford EcoBoost and Drops CT having two riders at the front, but it was Joiner and Colborne who secured a one-two for Ford, with Drops’ Rose Osborne taking third.

British track sprinter Jess Varnish will not appeal against her non-selection for the Rio Olympics, saying it would be a “pointless process” that is stacked in 
favour of British Cycling’s selectors.