Ben Swift successfully defends British National Road Race title

The Ineos rider outlasted Fred Wright on the Michaelgate climb to the finish line

Ben Swift
(Image credit: Getty)

Ben Swift has successfully defended his British National Road Race title, outlasting Fred Wright on the Michaelgate climb to the finish to keep the national champion's jersey on his shoulders for another 12 months.

Swift had been part of a leading trio alongside Qhubeka-Nexthash's Harry Tanfield and Bahrain Victorious' Fred Wright in the closing kilometres, having been dragged clear by an attack from Dan McLay (Arkéa-Samsic).

While Wright marked Tanfield's moves on the run-in to the finish, Swift calmly sat on, then responding to Wright's move at the bottom of the cobbled climb, the pair neck-and-neck before Swift's legs lasted longer, Wright just running out of steam near the top as Swift crossed the line alone.

Ethan Hayter finished third, unable to complete his set of national titles, having already won the time trial and circuit races this week. The Ineos rider chased in earnest back up to the front of the race alongside Lewis Askey, not able to make the juncture in time to challenge for the win, but dropping Askey and passing Tanfield to claim the bronze medal.

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"Over the moon, I've become used to riding in this jersey, unfortunately, we never got to race last year so I got a year for free. Hopefully today I justified that extra year," Swift said afterward. 

"It was an incredible day, I've had a bit of an up and down year, real highlights, my second child in Harry, but in terms of personal results it didn't really go well at the start of the year and mid-year and it started to come together now and to finish it off like this I'm really happy."

Result

BRITISH NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS - MEN'S ROAD RACE 

1. Ben Swift, Ineos Grenadiers
2. Fred Wright, Bahrain Victorious
3. Ethan Hayter, Ineos Grenadiers
4. Harry Tanfield, Qhubeka-NextHash
5. Lewis Askey, Groupama-FDJ