Alex Dowsett (Katusha-Alpecin) won the British National Time Trial Championships in Norfolk, bettering his third place from last year and drawing equal with prolific tester Stuart Dangerfield who claimed six national titles in the discipline between 1995 and 2005.
The 30-year-old completed the 25.9 mile course from Norfolk’s Sandringham Estate in 49 minutes 25 seconds to take victory.
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Dowsett was second last to set off from the start hut, and after setting the fastest time had to wait nervously for his team-mate Harry Tanfield to come across the line. Thankfully, for Dowsett, Tanfield finishe two minutes down, finishing outside the top 10, with Dowsett sealing the victory.
Dowsett takes the title off Geraint Thomas (Ineos), who finished ahead of Tanfield in second with Dowsett in third last year.
The now six-time champion’s early season racing schedule was scuppered by a crash at the UAE Tour on March 1, resulting in a fractured thumb. However, recovery was swift and recent weeks saw him play a team role at Tour de France lead up race, the Critérium du Dauphiné.
Commenting after his win, he said: “For a few years this came quite easily, and I guess I took having the national stripes for granted, so I think I’ll enjoy wearing them more than any of the other times I’ve had them.
“Today was a fight – I think I was down after a third of the distance, then it was touch and go at two thirds. The calibre of riders coming through is huge, and I don’t know when my last national stripes will be, so I’m going to enjoy every moment.”
Second place at the National Time Trial went to 28-year-old John Archibald of Ribble Pro Cycling, with Stephen Cummings (Team Dimension Data) rounding out the podium – 27 seconds down on the winning time in 49-53.
Whilst women and under-23s completed one lap of a 16.6 mile course, the men rode 1.5 laps (GPX route) – still contending with a headwind in the outbound journey with a tailwind on the way back to the start.
British National Time Trial, men (25.9 miles)
2. John Archibald (Ribble Pro Cycling), at six seconds
3. Steve Cummings (Dimension Data), at 27s
4. Owain Doull (Ineos), at 42s
5. Dan Bigham (Ribble Pro Cycling), at 48s
6. Scott Davies (Dimension Data), at 1-06
7. Ian Stannard (Ineos), at 1-18
8. Christopher Fennell, at 1-30
9. Graham Rupert, at 1-41
10. Mark Christian (Wiggins Le Col), at 1-50
Quarterman wins the under-23 time trial
Last year’s second placed rider, Charlie Quarterman (Zappi Race Team) went one better this year, to take the win over the shorter 16.5 mile course (GPX here).
The 20-year-old completed the course in 32-01, cruising in 43 seconds ahead of second placed Ethan Hayter (VC Londres) – who recently returned from a dominating GB performance at the Baby Giro.
In third was Ethan Vernon (Team Inspired), 1-54 behind to record a time of 33-56.
Speaking after his win, Quarterman said: “All I knew was that I had to go full gas the whole way. That’s a bit risky on this course, because you have to go so hard on the way out, then just hang on on the way back. I knew when I got to the other side of the course that I was going well, and I just needed to keep pushing to the line.”
“I ended up doing the ride of my life – I couldn’t be happier.”
Outgoing champion, Charlie Tanfield (Canyon DHB p/b Bloor Homes) was not down to start this year’s event.
The under-23 men used a shorter route than the elite men, racing over 17 miles with 638ft climbed – see the GPX here.
The loop – with a tough headwind out and a tailwind in the return journey – was far from easy. Richardson-Trek’s Theo Modell said: “It was a lot harder than I thought. I was coming down here thinking it was pan flat, but it’s very grippy. The hill just keeps on rising. But in the end you get a nice downhill finish.”
British National Time Trial, under-23 men (16.6 miles)
1. Charlie Quarterman, in 32-01
2. Ethan Hayter, at 44 seconds
3. Ethan Vernon, at 1-55
4. Matt Langworthy, at 2-05
5. Alfred Wright, at 2-10
6. Robert Scott (Wiggins Le Col), at 2-16
7. Tom Pidcock (Wiggins Le Col), at same time
8. Joshua Sandman, at 2-19
9. Jake Stewart (Groupama-FDJ development team), at 2-21
10. Harrison Wood, at 2-24
The British National Time Trial championships continue, with the under-23 women followed by road races on Sunday.