Wakefield cycling ace Ollie Wood enjoyed one of the best results of his career on Sunday with a sixth-placed finish for Great Britain in the prestigious Paris-Roubaix Juniors road race.
The event, raced over a gruelling 128.3km of cobbles in the north of France, attracts the best young riders from around the world and the Outwood Grange Academy student proved he is up there with the best thanks to a superb ride in the red, white and blue.
Wood was part of a quintet of riders from British Cycling’s Olympic Development Programme (ODP) who were ever-present at the front of the race and secured his fine finish from a bunch sprint in the run-in.
It showcased the Wrenthorpe rider’s talents on the world stage and was enough to make amends for last year’s ride in the event, where he failed to finish after underestimating the tough course.
The 17-year-old told the Express he was targeting a place in the top-20 after last year’s disappointment but he went even better than expected.
The event, the opening race in the UCI Junior Nations’ Cup, attracted almost 200 of the best young riders from around the world and Wood was part of a six-strong Great Britain squad.
Wood’s team mate Tao Geoghegan Hart achieved a place on the podium with a third-placed finish and the British team did enough to secure a place in second in the overall Junior Nations’ Cup standings, second only to Belgium.
British Cycling ODP endurance coach Matt Winston said: “I’m really pleased with the team’s performance – the plan was always to be always up in the front of the bike race and making sure we were in the race all the time and covering stuff – which we did – so for the team it really showed in getting four riders up there in the result.
Tao’s third place was a good ride by him – got himself in the move and kind of went from there really. Overall a pleasing performance today.”