GABZ CULLAIGH was narrowly pipped in the latest race at Hetton-le-Hole but still leads the National Youth Circuit Series with three events to go.
The Holme Valley cycling star from the RST RT team was beaten by just half a wheel in the 38-mile race over 30 laps.
There were many attempts at attacking riding from quite a few competitors, but the peloton at this point in the season is far too aware of who the usual suspects are and reeled them all back in.
That being the case, it was always going to be down to a bunched sprint to the finish.
Going around the last bend, Cullaigh struggled to get his favourite position and found himself squeezed to the inside.
Nonetheless he powered up the hill to the finishing line and was just second to Charlie Tanfield (Velo29). Levi Moody (PedalSport Halifax) got a close third and Leon Gledhill (BBM Sportscover) got fifth.
Cullaigh races in Gravesend this Sunday in the National Youth Championships.