HE may have picked up road race bronze at the Commonwealth Games but Scott Thwaites was happy to be back taking team orders at the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic.
The 24-year-old swapped Team England for Team NetApp-Endura as he headed to London to race the 200km circuit around the capital and the surrounding Surrey countryside.
The after effects of Hurricane Bertha had suggested a repeat of the treacherous riding conditions Thwaites battled through to claim Commonwealth bronze in Glasgow just over a week ago.
But the skies cleared with Thwaites and teammate Sam Bennett among the lead group heading into the closing stages – although another breakaway with 20km remaining would split the riders again.
They both lost touch of the front five that challenged for the podium as Thwaites revealed all his efforts were focused on ensuring Bennett finished as high as possible for his team.
As it was, Bennett took sixth on The Mall as Brit Adam Blythe won a sprint for victory while Thwaites himself was 35th and admitted he could have few complaints.
“It was a good day, the weather was pretty bad at the start but fared up at the end and I managed to get myself in the front group just before Box Hill,” he said.
“Initially we had three guys there – myself, our team sprinter Sam Bennett and also Zak Dempster which was a good situation for us.
“But then unfortunately Zak struggled on the climb so it was left with me and Sam. Coming into the run in I just committed to helping Sam and making sure the group stayed away.
“Unfortunately he didn’t quite have the legs to go with the front group of guys but he finished just ahead of the peloton so it’s a good result for the team.
“We rode a good race as a team; we did exactly what we said we were going to do.”
Thwaites is quickly back in the saddle as he races over in Norway, although he will return to home shores for next month’s Tour of Britain.
And, while the team will once again be the main focus, the Commonwealth Games bronze medallist admitted he was looking to stake a claim for a stage wins.
“I love racing in the UK, the Tour of Britain will be a lovely addition to my calendar, especially at the end of the year,” he added.
“I’m not really sure about any overall hopes but I’m sure we’ll put in a really strong team for that and maybe personally I can go for a couple of stage wins.”
Prudential RideLondon took place on 9 & 10 August. To find out more, visit www.prudentialridelondon.co.uk