Tom Moses may not have won the Tour of Normandy – but he certainly enhanced his reputation.
The 21-year-old from Oakworth not only won stage one of the Europe Tour event but led the race for three days before eventually finishing 18th.
The Rapha Condor JLT rider was in the top four of the seven-day event, only for his tour to be diluted by a strong crosswind on the final stage that split the field.
However, at the end of the 2.2 classification tour, team manager John Herety remained encouraged by the overall performance of his men in black.
The former Olympic cyclist said: “It was disappointing that Tom missed the split, and dropped out of the top four on the very last stage, because he and the team all rode very strongly this week.
“But the fact is that a race isn’t over until the very end, and when you are caught out in a crosswind in a race like Normandy, with so much still at stake for the overall (title), then it’s going to be hard.
“Having said that, for Tom and the boys missing that first echelon on the last stage was one mistake at the end of a week that they have all excelled in.
“It was fantastic to come away with a stage and to hold the jersey for a few days.
“A high overall place would have been the icing on the cake, but it didn’t work out that way.
“We have a lot of positives to take out of this race, and it is on to the next one now.”
Moses was also 11th in the points category and tenth in the youth section.
The former Oakbank School pupil’s first-stage win was hailed by Herety.
Moses broke clear of the peloton with 20km of the 200km stage remaining and, in wet and cold conditions, his solo effort was enough to hold off the chasing bunch by 17 seconds at the line.
Herety said: “Tom’s ride was really impressive – it was classic stuff. We’ve been coming to this race for five years and the stage to Forges-Les-Eaux is always on the same route and it is almost always a bunch finish here.
“Normandy is the first stage race we do in Europe each year and often the guys have taken a while to get going. Tom is a big talent and he worked really hard in Australia over the winter, so he has hit the ground running.”
Rapha Condor JLT’s next major event is the Mnazi Tour in South Africa, which starts on Sunday.