Ed Clancy has won the elite national criterium title, outsprinting Ian Wilkinson (Endura) and Motorpoint-Marshalls Pasta teammate Jonny McEvoy on the cobbled finishing straight in the Yorkshire town of Beverley.
“It’s great, I went from a long way out and Ian didn’t have time to come around me,” Clancy said. “It’s a brilliant night for the team too, with Jonny on the podium.”
Clancy also paid tribute to the work of his veteran teammate Malcolm Elliott: “I really felt the pressure having him lead me out. He made my life really easy in that race, I didn’t have to stick my nose in the wind for the last half.”
The bunch sprint denouement disguised the drama of the closing lap, as it had seemed that an errant quartet would stay away to fight it out for the national champion’s jersey.
The break, consisting of Kristian House (Rapha-Condor-Sharp), Tom Murray (Sigma Sport-Specialized), Andy Tennant (Motorpoint-Marshalls Pasta) and 2007 champion James McCallum (Endura Racing), escaped at the halfway mark and held a 15-second gap over the rest of the bunch.
“There were a couple of strong teams to chase it but I thought, if any break is going to stay away, it’ll be that one,” a disappointed Murray said after the finish.
With daylight between the break and bunch at the bell, it looked destined to be between the four – until Andy Tennant ground his pedal round the final corner, hitting the deck and causing his companions to slow to a near standstill.
It proved enough to allow the bunch to overhaul them with just metres to go, with Ed Clancy holding off pre-race favourite Wilkinson in a tight sprint.
It is the Olympic gold medallist’s first ever elite road title, and his second criterium win in eight days, having also beaten Wilkinson into second at Stafford last Thursday.
National criterium championship, Beverley
1. Ed Clancy (Motorpoint-Marshalls Pasta)
2. Ian Wilkinson (Endura Racing)
3. Jonny McEvoy (Motorpoint-Marshalls Pasta)
4. Marcel Six (Orbea-For Goodness Shakes!)
5. James McCallum (Endura Racing)
6. Pete Williams (Motorpoint-Marshalls Pasta)
7. Simon Holt (UC Bergamasca)
8. Matt Kipling (MTS Cyclesport)
9. David Lines (Endura Racing)
10. Matt Cronshaw (Rapha-Condor-Sharp)