By Jonny Long
Ben Swift is the new British national road race champion, winning from a break and putting in his decisive attack late on.
Swift won from a small breakaway group at the front of the race that included his Ineos team-mate Ian Stannard, Alex Dowsett (Katusha-Alpecin) and John Archibald (Ribble Pro Cycling).
He left the wheel of John Archibald in the closing kilometres, catching up to Ian Stannard and going straight past to take the victory.
Stannard finished second, with Archibald taking the last podium place and Alex Dowsett just missing out in fourth.
In his post-race interview, Ben Swift said: "I've been waiting for a win for years, I had two terrible years at UAE and I just refocused, worked really hard. It was a strange race, it was always going to be hard, but I was always in the right place. Stannard was a machine today, I could just sit on, I'm just so happy."
In February, Swift suffered a ruptured spleen after crashing in Tenerife while on a training ride with Geraint Thomas.
Ethan Hayter continued his fine form from the Baby Giro d'Italia to take the under 23’s national road race title, with Jake Stewart finishing second and Matt Bostock third.
In the Spanish national road race, Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) added to his world champion rainbow bands with his third national title. He beat Luis León Sánchez (Astana) on the line with Jesús Herada (Cofidis) third.
How it happened
A group of five riders attacked soon after the start, with Ian Stannard (Ineos) being joined by Tour de Yorkshire winner Chris Lawless, Charlie Tanfield (Canyon Eisberg), Dan Bigham (Ribble Pro Cycling) and Jake Stewart (Groupama-FDJ Continental).
Ben Swift (Ineos) and Tom Moses (Madison Genesis) then peeled off the front of the peloton, soon opening up a gap of 30 seconds.
Stannard ploughed on ahead, but was soon caught by a group of five including Swift, John Archibald (Ribble Pro Cycling) and Scott Thwaites (Vitus Pro Cycling).
With 25km to go, the group of six out front were caught by a chasing group of nine riders, including Alex Dowsett (Katusha-Alpecin).
Stannard, Swift, Dowsett and Archibald then split off the front of the large leading group, until 10km to go when Dowsett was dropped.
With Archibald outnumbered by the Ineos duo, Stannard looked to weaken his legs, pushing on. As the kilometres ticked down, Swift launched from Archibald's wheel, soon catching and passing Stannard to claim his first national road race title.
British men's national road race championships 2019 - Norwich, 201.5km
1. Ben Swift (Ineos), in 4-09-08
2. Ian Stannard (Ineos)
3. John Archibald (Ribble Pro Cycling)
4. Alex Dowsett (Katusha-Alpecin), all at same time
5. Ethan Hayter, at 1-20
6. Alexander Richardson (Canyon dhb p/b Bloor Homes)
7. Erick Roswell (Madison Genesis)
8. Mark Christian (Wiggins Le Col), all at same time
9. Matthew Bostock (Canyon dhb p/b Bloor Homes), at 3-10
10. Scott Thwaites (Vitus Pro Cycling), at same time
Hi. I'm Cycling Weekly's Weekend Editor. I like writing offbeat features and eating too much bread when working out on the road at bike races.
Before joining Cycling Weekly I worked at The Tab and I've also written for Vice, Time Out, and worked freelance for The Telegraph (I know, but I needed the money at the time so let me live).
I also worked for ITV Cycling between 2011-2018 on their Tour de France and Vuelta a España coverage. Sometimes I'd be helping the producers make the programme and other times I'd be getting the lunches. Just in case you were wondering - Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen had the same ham sandwich every day, it was great.
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