A gutsy final day ride on the roads of Greater Manchester saw Matt Holmes claim the Best British Rider award at the 2019 OVO Energy Tour of Britain, ahead of World Tour opposition.

The 25-year-old rider from Wigan, in the final race for his Madison Genesis team, was in the day’s breakaway move, taking the maximum three second time bonuses at the first two intermediate Eisberg Sprints in Hazel Grove and Uppermill to take the title of the Best British Rider in the race.

Crucially when he and breakaway companions Gabriel Cullaigh and Emil Vinjebo were caught Holmes was able to keep with the leading group featuring all the general classification contenders.

Those six seconds lifted the Wigan rider three places up the order, and ahead of Team INEOS rider Ben Swift by one second to earn him the award, with Team WIGGINS Le Col rider Mark Christian third in the classification, a further 10 seconds back.

Holmes follows in the footsteps of last year’s winner Scott Davies, in a roll of honour that also includes Geraint Thomas (2017), Steve Cummings (2016) and Sir Bradley Wiggins (2013 and 2014). It is also the first time since 2015 that the Best British rider overall has come from a domestic team, when Owain Doull won the award.

Fifteenth overall is Holmes’ best performance to date in the five OVO Energy Tours of Britain he has started and completes a successful season that also saw him win the HSBC UK National Road Race Series in August after a strong domestic season.

The award comes after the seventh and final edition of the OVO Energy Tour of Britain for his Madison Genesis team, who completed their final race in Manchester. It is also their best overall performance in the race, equally Erick Rowsell’s 15th overall in 2016.

Everyone at OVO Energy Tour of Britain organisers SweetSpot would like to thank all of the riders and staff at Madison Genesis for their support over the past seven years and wish them all the best for the future.

With several of the Madison Genesis team retiring at the end of the season, look out for more features on some of the familiar names hanging up their wheels on the OVO Energy Tour of Britain and Tour Series websites in the coming weeks, plus a look back at the highlights of the Madison Genesis team in both events.

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