Alex Paton heaped praise on the Granite City after winning this year’s Tour Series stage in Aberdeen.
Paton’s victory helped Canyon dhb p/b Bloor Homes keep their lead at the top of the team standings after three stages, followed by Madison Genesis and Vitus Pro Cycling.
He was in a breakaway pack of four with team-mate Charlie Tanfield, Vitus’ Freddie Scheske and Madison Genesis’ Tom Moses who lapped all but two of the remaining field.
Only Vitus’ Chris Latham and Scottish rider John Archibald, brother of Katie, escaped being lapped.
However, with the quartet more than a minute out on their own, it came down to a sprint finish to separate them, with Scheske (+0,451) splitting Paton (1:05.15) and Tanfield (+0.672).
Paton said: “It’s a real nice atmosphere.
“It’s great going down the long main street – it gives a good atmosphere to it and it’s a great venue for the Tour Series.
“The entire circuit is lined with people and it’s great to have a lot of people out watching it.”
The Canyon rider praised the “travelling circus” Tour Series’ ability to expose places like the north-east to elite cycling action.
It was a new circuit this year, starting and finishing on Broad Street, instead of Union Street.
By the end of the race, there were only a few riders on it – with lapped racers having to leave the track for the decisive loops.
He said: “Tour Series is all about bringing racing to a small area that people can get to.
“It’s a bit like a travelling circus.
“It’s good to put a great event on for people to watch and promote the sport of cycling.
“And it’s great to take that to various towns and for Aberdeen to enjoy it as well.”
On the racing itself, Paton was delighted to deliver his first Tour Series win in “years” of trying, as well as helping the team.
He said: “It was a really good evening, both for the team result – which the Tour Series is all about – and it’s nice personally for me.
“It’s the first Tour Series I’ve won after endless years of doing it.
“We expected this circuit would lead to one big line of racing, which would split up with all the corners in close succession.
“It’s difficult for all the riders to get through in that space.
“It was great to have myself and Charlie (Tanfield) and immediately we had the numbers at the front.
“Moses and the Vitus rider Freddie weren’t contributing a great amount to the race – it was up to Charlie and I to keep it moving as it was in our benefit to do so.”
The honour of holding what is now the course record went to Scheske, who fired round in 1:24.496.
Despite holding on to their top-of-the-table position, it wasn’t all good news for Canyoun dhb p/b Bloor Homes, as Andrew Tennant – Commonwealth Games silver medallist in the team pursuit – did not finish. Meanwhile, last year’s winner and triple Olympic gold medallist Ed Clancy finished 10th, just behind Jon Mould – the 2018 Commonwealth Games road race winner.
Of the three local riders in the race going under the banner of Bioracer Moriarty Bikes, Jamie Davidson finished highest, ahead of David Reed and Thomas Gelati.