Geraint Thomas wins British National Champs time trial by over half a minute

The Team Sky rider shows he's in good form ahead of the Tour de France, winning with a substantial margin

Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) at the British National Time Trial. Image: SWPix

Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) will wear the stripes of British national time trial champion in the year ahead, having bettered second place rider Harry Tanfield (Canyon-Eisburg) by over half a minute.

Tanfield - who had trained on the roads and knew them well - crossed the line in 49 minutes 31 seconds to Thomas' 48-54.

Third place went to five-time National champion, Alex Dowsett (Team Katusha-Alpecin) in 49-48.

Defending champion Steve Cummings (Team Dimension Data) did not take to the start line of the 39.7 kilometre course.

How the race unfolded

Tao Geoghegan Hart (Team Sky) set a benchmark at the first intermediate time check, with a time of 18-14. Tanfield was the first rider to post a faster split of 17-38.

Tanfield - like his brother Charlie who won the under-23 race - had trained on the course, but Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) showed his post Critérium du Dauphiné form by cruising through in 17-25. Dowsett was not able to match the pace, at 17-45.

The second intermediate time check saw Thomas clock 31-16, to Tanfield's 31-46, Dowsett continuing to lose time to his rivals with 32-03.

At the finish, John Archibald (Ribble Cycling) was left in the hot seat for a considerable period, with a finishing time of 50-41.

Even Geoghegan Hart - who posted an intermediate time check 15 seconds faster - was not able to better him, clocking a finish time of 51-00 to hold second place until the leaders rolled in.

The first rider to knock Archibald off the top spot was Tanfield, but Thomas quickly followed, with Dowsett eventually pushing him off the podium.

Archibald was able to hold on to fourth - still an impressive performance for the Scottish rider.

Last year's under-23 champion, Chris Lawless (Team Sky) did not make it to the finish, with reports suggesting he crashed out during the race.

“It’s great. Winning Dauphiné was a big boost. I’ve done a good bit of training since and to come here and win the nationals for the first time is great," Thomas commented after the race.

“I’m really happy. I was confident but I really didn’t know what to expect. Obviously Tanfield has been riding really well this year and Dowsett, it’s what he does.

“Time trial in the UK is a strong discipline anyway – to come and win is super nice. It’s going to be great, especially in the Tour, to wear that jersey. I won the road race a few years ago and to add the time trial to it is really nice.”

British Road National Championships 2018, elite men's individual time trial (39.7km)

1 Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) in 48-54-78

2 Harry Tanfield (Canyon Eisberg), at 37s

3 Alex Dowsett (Team Katusha-Alpecin), at 54s

4 John Archibald (Ribble Cycling), at 1-47

5 James Gullen (JLT Condor), at 2-03

6 Tao Geoghagen Hart (Team Sky), at 2-05

7 Jonathan Dibben (Team Sky), at 2-05

8 Daniel Bigham (Ribble Cycling), at 2-30

9 Ashley Cox (Flamme Rouge Cycling Team), at 2-49

10 Connor Swift (Madison Genesis), at 3-03

Under-23 men's time trial

Charlie Tanfield at the National Time Trial

Charlie Tanfield at the National Time Trial
(Image credit: SWPix)

The under-23 men's title went to Charlie Tanfield (Canyon Eisberg), who covered the 28.6km course in 36-01.

>>> British National 2018 road race start list

The 21-year-oldwas joined on the podium by a surprising addition of Charlie Quarterman (Leopard Pro Cycling) who clocked in at 36-29, with the less surprising podium appearance of Tom Pidcock (Team Wiggins) rounding off the podium in 37-23.

Tanfield placed third in the competition last year, but has had an exceptional season, already taking World and Commonwealth titles in the team and individual pursuit respectively.

>>> British National Road Race course

Tanfield said after the race: “It’s a local course for me so I’ve spent the last few weeks riding on it on most days.”

“I knew exactly what I wanted to do coming into it and how I wanted to ride it so it’s about executing the plan and making sure nothing went wrong on the day.

“I’m really happy to have finished it off today, I had two road targets this year – the national time trial and trying to get to the worlds as well. I wanted to show everyone what I could do – it’s my last year in the U23s as well and I wanted to make the most of it."

British Road National Championships 2018, under-23 men's individual time trial (29.8km)

1 Charlie Tanfield (Canyon Eisberg) in 36-01-85

2 Charlie Quarterman (Leopard Pro Cycling), at 27s

3  Thomas Pidcock (Team Wiggins), at 1-21

4 Ethan Hayter (100% Me), at 1-23

5 Robert Scott (Team Wiggins), at 1-33

6 Matt Langworthy (Saint Piran, at 1-41

7 Thomas Baylis (One Pro Cycling), at 1-45

8 Gabriel Cullaigh (Team Wiggins), at 1-47

9 Joey Walker (Team Wiggins), at 1-54

10 William Perret (University of Derby Cycling Club), at 1-54

The British Road National Championships continue on Sunday, with the women's and men's events taking place on the same day.

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Michelle Arthurs-Brennan

Michelle Arthurs-Brennan is a traditional journalist by trade, having begun her career working for a local newspaper, where highlights included interviewing a very irate Freddie Star (and an even more irate theatre owner), as well as 'the one about the stolen chickens'.

Previous to joining the Cycling Weekly team, Michelle was Editor at Total Women's Cycling. She joined CW as an 'SEO Analyst', but couldn't keep her nose out of journalism and in the spreadsheets, eventually taking on the role of Tech Editor before her latest appointment as Digital Editor. 

Michelle is a road racer who also enjoys track riding and the occasional time trial, though dabbles in off-road riding too (either on a mountain bike, or a 'gravel bike'). She is passionate about supporting grassroots women's racing and founded the women's road race team 1904rt.

Michelle is on maternity leave from July 8 2022, until April 2023.