GEORGE Wood continued to enhance his reputation with a top five finish at one of cycling’s biggest one day road races.

The Richardsons-Trek Road Race rider secured fifth place in the Rapha Nocturne race around London’s busy streets, in front of a crowd of more than 10,000 people.

The 21-year-old from Canvey took on some of the best in the business, and was the best-placed amateur rider in the race while finishing above some of UK cycling’s most illustrious names.

And team manager Andy Lyons said Wood was in stunning form in the capital, along with the rest of the Leigh team’s riders with three placing in the top 20.

“It was amazing,” said Lyons, who labelled it ‘one of the team’s best ever results’.

“George rode out of his skin and to finish fifth is simply outstanding. He was in with a shout until the very end in the biggest single one day criterium in the country.

“It wasn’t just George either. We had Ollie Maxwell in 16th and Luke Ryan in 19th. Before the race, to get one rider in the top 10 would have been a brilliant achievement so to have one in the top five and three in the top 20 is remarkable for a little team from Leigh-on-Sea.

“George was one place behind Andy Tennant - a World Cup gold medalist - and beat Chris Lawless - a former junior national road race champion.

“This is our best ever result as a team in a one day race. For a team like ours to take it to the big boys like that might be what we need to help us push on.”

Lyons added he was delighted at the level of TV coverage Richardsons-Trek received, following another excellent result in the Tour Series, which saw highlights broadcast on ITV4.

And Lyons and the team are now looking forward, with the National Road Race Championships less than two weeks away.

“We won the Southern Guest competition at the Tour Series and competed in the final in Stevenage,” he said.

“There was torrential rain and we were doing well until George had his wheel clipped and fell a lap behind. As you needed the top four riders to get the required time it meant we finished second overall.

“We should have won as we beat the eventual winners in every round of the southern competition. It was bad luck and they beat us on the night.

“We had some more excellent results in Belgium 10 days ago, and George came third in both races - this was against some excellent European professionals so he really is on fire.

“It all bodes well ahead of the National Road Race in the Isle of Mann. All the big guys are riding and we are in great shape. We are taking a six-man team of George, Luke (Ryan), Josh (Outram), Kieran (Brady), Ollie (Maxwell) and Jez McCann and these guys have a real chance of doing something.

“A podium spot in the Under-23 competition would be superb, and why not!”