Hamish Haynes has only spent ?three weeks in England during the last 18 months,? but he significantly raised his British profile on Sunday with a surprise victory in the men?s National Road Race Championship at Beverley, East Yorkshire.
Outsprinting Roger Hammond and Geraint Thomas at the end of a 116.8-mile race across the Yorkshire Wolds, the 32-year-old Belgian-based pro took the biggest win of his career.
?I?ve always been up there but I?ve been missing the final bit,? a delighted Haynes explained. ?Today I managed to fix that. This is the first proper race this season where it?s all really come together for me. Hopefully I can continue like this for the rest of the summer and get more wins.?
While Haynes hadn?t really ranked among the favourites before the start, the winner of the women?s title on Saturday certainly had. For the sixth year in succession ? and her seventh in total ? Nicole Cooke (Univega-Raleigh) was the victor.
The Welsh woman soloed home after attacking a group of 11 with just over 10 miles to go. Lorna Webb took silver medal and junior rider Joanna Rowsell claimed both third place and the under-23 title.
The two national championships were the highlights in a weekend of racing in Beverley that also incorporated a round of the national Elite Circuit Race Series, won by Rob Hayles over a spectacular course around the town?s cobbled streets.
Full race report, photos and results in Cycling Weekly, June 29 issue