Large crowds lined the streets of Brighouse to watch Graham Briggs (Raleigh-GAC) win the opening round of the British Cycling Elite Circuit Race Series, as the country’s top pro cyclists and teams returned to the town after a two-year absence.

Spectators cheered as Briggs appeared in the darkness at the start of the finishing straight on Commercial Street, just yards ahead of rivals Dean Downing (Rapha Condor Sharp) in second and Matt Cronshaw (Node4-Giordana) in third.

His final effort to the finish was timed to perfection and he crossed the line with a victory salute.

The Doncaster rider lost his National Circuit Race Champion’s jersey to Scott Thwaites (Endura Racing) in Otley the previous week but he showed the Brighouse crowd he hasn’t lost his enthusiasm for putting on a show of classy bike riding.

Speaking after the podium presentation, Briggs said: “I couldn’t have asked for a better race really. I was very disappointed after Otley last week when Scott Thwaites took my Champion’s jersey but I was beaten by a good guy so I don’t have any complaints. I wanted to make amends and start this Elite Circuit Race Series with a good performance.”

The Elite Circuit Race Series moves to Stafford this Wednesday.

Highlights of the Brighouse Elite Circuit Race Series race will be shown on Sky Sports 2 and Sky Sports 2 HD at 6pm tomorrow night.

All the latest information on the whole British Cycling Elite Circuit Race Series can be found at