BURY’S Adam Yates held onto his lead on the last day to be crowned the CRO Race champion in Zagreb.

The Mitchelton-SCOTT rider stormed into the lead by taking a solo victory in stage five of the six-day race in Croatia.

He then came home seventh on the final day to take the title by 22 seconds from Astana’s Davide Villella.

“Today panned out perfectly, we didn’t want to risk working too much earlier in the day and having nobody in the final circuits just in case it kicked off,” Yates said.

“From the beginning of the week we set out to win a stage and hopefully the GC would come along with that and that’s pretty much what ended up happening.

“Alex was up there almost every stage challenging for the win and Brent and Callum really set me up for my win on stage five, so as a team we couldn’t have done much more.

“We had a real mix of guys here and with some of the dangerous finishing circuit things could have got out of control quickly, but we stayed focused and never really ended up on back foot the whole week.”

The final stage saw an eight-man breakaway build-up a four-minute advantage.

With 30km to go, their lead was split in half and as they negotiated the finish circuits it continued to deplete, but the final survivor Alessandro Fedeli, was able to hold on by a few bike lengths to steal the stage with the charging reduced bunch hot on his heels.

The previous day, Yates’ victory on the Queen stage set up his overall victory.

After some strong work on the final climb from his Mitchelton-SCOTT team-mates Callum Scotson and Brent Bookwalter, Yates attacked with a little under 5km remaining.

The victory and bonus seconds gave him a 15-second advantage on the general classification with the final stage remaining.

Completing the job saw Yates also secure the mountains jersey as Mitchelton-SCOTT finished the six-day race as the overall winners, the Australian outfit never finishing lower than fifth on any stage.

Directeur sportif Gene Bates said: “It was an excellent performance from everyone.

“ It sounds cliché, but it was a real team performance all week, especially last two days and in particular in the Queen stage to set Adam up for the win.

“It shows what good motivation and form in the back end of the season can produce.

“It was a really good week, especially with the two young guys amongst it too.

“On the final stage we had a depleted team, but we didn’t have to do much at all to control the stage.

“Our boys did a lot of work early on to make sure the break was one we were happy with and then it was up to the other teams if they wanted the stage win.

“Adam is fit and motivated and realistically the final climb on the Queen stage wasn’t one that suited his strengths.

“It was shallow and fast so it was really impressive to see him to ride away and take on everyone.”