THERE was almost a local hero in the opening round of the HSBC|UK National Circuit Series in Otley.

The much-vaunted Tom Pidcock, of Team Wiggins, led a breakaway that almost stuck.

However, with one lap of the 24 left much of the field came back together, and the classy Matt Walls (100 per cent ME) surged clear in a bunch sprint to triumph.

Team JLT Condor had done much of the chasing, and were rewarded with a second for Matt Gibson, while Pidcock’s team-mate Gabriel Cullaigh was third.

For the vast majority of the evening, it seemed as if the sprinters might be denied.

The action started from the off, with JLT Condor’s Jon Mould, Joey Walker (Team Wiggins) and Jake Alderman (Saint Piran) breaking away on the first lap.

Their lead did not last long, however, with a four-man break, led by Pidcock, taking up the reins soon after.

The Team Wiggins rider was joined by Madison Genesis’ Richard Handley, Keighley's Tom Moses (JLT Condor) and Steve Lampier (Saint Piran).

They opened up a lead of 29 seconds, although the peloton, led by One Pro Cycling, worked hard to try to bring them back.

That quartet still held the lead with seven laps to go, although Mould had another dig in a bid to bridge across to the leaders.

He could not quite manage it though, and instead the leaders maintained their advantage heading into the final five laps.

In the closing stages, Moses eased to the back of the leading group as JLT Condor looked to bring them back, and eventually four became two as he and Pidcock dropped their breakaway companions.

They were still approaching the final lap, with Ian Bibby (JLT Condor) now taking up the chase and, as the pack crossed the line for the final 2.2km, they all came back together.

That made it a race for the fast men, and Walls, of the British Cycling Olympic Academy team, proved the fastest of the lot.

Tour de Yorkshire stage winner Harry Tanfield (Canyon Eisberg) was tenth, Burley-in-Wharfedale's Scott Thwaites (Team Dimension Data) was 26th at nine seconds and Mirfield's Jake Womersley (Holdsworth Pro Racing) 37th at 55 seconds, three seconds in front of Pidcock, who was 39th.

Skipton's Pete Williams (One Pro Cycling) was 42nd at one minute nine seconds, Olympic triathlete Alistair Brownlee (Leeds Triathlon Centre) 54th at 1.57, alongside Wibsey's Euan Cameron (Wheelbase Cabtech Junuor RT).

Meanwhile, Rhona Callander (Team Breeze) sealed her maiden seasonal victory by winning the 15-lap @HSBC UK|Women’s Road Series-LOGCO Otley Grand Prix after a scintillating battle with Melissa Lowther (Storey Racing).

Megan Barker (Team Breeze), the leader for a large chunk of this race, charged through for third after getting her wheel ahead in a bunch sprint.

Grace Garner (Wiggle High5) was fourth and Ffion James (Storey Racing) 16th.