Junior CiCLE Classic winner William Tidball was full of praise for the Melton-based race which was held on the same day as the women’s version for the first time.
Tidball edged out British Cycling Junior Road Series leader and training partner Oscar Mingay to win the junior version of the men’s international race on Sunday morning.
“The last 8km I was hanging on a bit,” he said. “Me and Oscar did a great job working together.
“It was nice to do it with him, because we train together.
“It’s definitely the best race I’ve done this year, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s the best race I do all year on British soil.”
The two crossed the line in Melton with the same time, before a bunch sprint decided the last podium spot, which eventually went to Jacob Vaughan.
World junior champion Tom Pidcock took fourth in the fifth round of the British Cycling Junior Road Series.
Several riders managed to get away early in the race, building leads of close to a minute, but never much more.
On the unsurfaced climb of Manorberg, Ben Healey led by 45 seconds, but by the return passage in the opposite direction, the field was all together.
Over the second pass of the Somerberg, Healey was away once again with Matt Shaw and Jake Stewart with a lead of just under a minute.
Tidball and Mingay eventually went clear, but by the end of the second lap of the finishing circuit, their lead which had been as much as 50 seconds was tumbling rapidly as the bunch battled it out.
The gap was less than 15 seconds by the time the leaders hit the finishing straight.
Mingay led out, but on the long run-in Tidball eased past in the final metres to take the win.
Vaughan took charge of a close bunch sprint for third, having already assured himself of the King of the Bergs prize.