The Tour de France starts in six days in Rotterdam and will see many riders wearing different jerseys - national champion jerseys. Across Europe, and around the world, countries held races to determine which of its riders are worthy of the national jersey.
Italy (Giovanni Visconti), Belgium (Stijn Devolder), France (Thomas Voeckler), Luxembourg (Fränk Schleck), Switzerland (Martin Elmiger), Denmark (Nicki Sørensen) and Spain (Iván Gutiérrez) celebrated repeat winners.
The popular Voeckler first won in 2004 and came close to repeating in 2006, finishing second. Missing out in 2006 "remains my greatest disappointment," Voeckler told L'Equipe, "but I corrected that today."
Visconti shared the same desire to take back his country's jersey. He said, "I wanted to repeat my win at all costs." Italy was one of the few nations holding its championships on Saturday.
Though Visconti is not racing the Tour de France, many others are, including Schleck. He continued his good run of form after winning the Tour de Suisse to take today's championship. His brother Andy won the time trial title Thursday and, despite a crash in training yesterday, participated in today's road race.
The time trial championships where held over the last few days, with Italy's Marco Pinotti winning his fifth title today. Time Trial World Champion, Fabian Cancellara did not compete in the Swiss championships. That title went to Rubens Bertogliati, who also won one year ago.
Britain's national championship road race was won by Sky's Geraint Thomas, who will now wear the British national champion's jersey in the Tour de France in July.
Major winners, road race
Stijn Devolder (Belgium)
Iván Gutiérrez (Spain)
Christian Knees (Germany)
Geraint Thomas (Great Britain)
Matt Brammeier (Ireland)
Niki Terpstra (Netherlands)
Thomas Voeckler (France)
Alexandr Kolobnev (Russia)
Thor Hushovd (Norway)
Nicki Sørensen (Denmark)
Fränk Schleck (Luxembourg)
Martin Elmiger (Switzerland)
Aleksandr Kuschynski (Belarus)
Rui Miguel Barbosa Sousa
Maxim Gourov (Kazakhstan)
Kalle Kriit (Estonia)
Giovanni Visconti (Italy)
Major winners, time trial
Marco Pinotti (Italy)
Ignatas Konovalovas (Lithuania)
Tony Martin (Germany)
Luis León Sánchez (Spain)
Vladimir Gusev (Russia)
Rui Costa (Portugal)
Branislau Samoilau (Belarus)
Luiz Carlos Amorim Tavares Ferrao (Brazil)
David McCann (Ireland)
Raivis Belohvosciks (Latvia)
Svein Tuft (Canada)
Nicolas Vogondy (France)
Andy Schleck (Luxembourg)
Jaroslaw Marycz (Poland)
Edvald Boasson Hagen (Norway)
Frantisek Rabon (Czech Republic)
Jakob Fuglsang (Denmark)
Martin Velits (Slovakia)
Jurgen Van de Walle (Belgium)
Jos Van Emden (Netherlands)
Rubens Bertogliati (Switzerland)
Thomas edges out Kennaugh as Sky take 1-2-3 at British national championships
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Gregor Brown is an experienced cycling journalist, based in Florence, Italy. He has covered races all over the world for over a decade - following the Giro, Tour de France, and every major race since 2006. His love of cycling began with freestyle and BMX, before the 1998 Tour de France led him to a deep appreciation of the road racing season.
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