Handley and Cuming originally had teammate Hugh Carthy for company in the nine-man move that went clear after an hour of racing. As the pressure was applied from the chase behind the break soon fragmented, leaving just the three Rapha Condor JLT riders alone in front with one lap remaining.
“It was a bit of a different situation to be honest. The group had gone down to five riders, and then the other two took each other out the back and Hugh shouted to go so we all put our heads down.”
“It was so hard up there that there wasn’t much time to discus anything really, we just went for it.”
While recent Tour of Korea winner Carthy dropped back, close friends Handley and Cuming, both also stage winners in Korea, pushed on all the way to the line, where Handley took the win.
Handley’s his first Elite Series win has been a long time coming, the 23 year-old was naturally pleased to have made his way to the top step of the podium.
“It doesn’t often happen like this. We knew that this circuit suited us so it was all about getting numbers down the road. I was third here last year and fourth last week at Stockton, so it is great to get the win.”
Team manager John Herety was also pleased for the pair, who he regards as two of the most valuable riders in his team.
“Both Mike and Rich are integral in this team. They are both big talents and they do a lot of the work for others throughout the year which can often go unnoticed, so it is great that they can get some recognition here.”
The Elite Road Series continues next weekend at the Circuit of the Fens in Cambridgeshire.