The baton was officially passed in the 2020 women’s British Cyclocross Championships, as Hattie Harnden took victory during her debut in the elite race.
Harnden (T-Mo Racing) was locked into a tight battle with Beth Crumpton and only secured victory in the final lap.
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The elite women’s race was a changing of the guard, after multiple national champions Helen Wyman and Nikki Brammeier both retired within the last 12 months.
Harnden set a strong early pace, getting a gap that was then closed down by Crumpton.
Speaking after her victory, Harnden said: “I’m absolutely gobsmacked. This is something I always dreams of doing, but not now, not this young.”
“I think I went off a little too fast – I was a bit excited. I was very nervous for this race – there are a lot of good riders in the UK and I got a bit tired when Beth caught me up, but I just found a bit of energy at the end.
“She was much stronger at the running than me, and whenever we ran she’d come flying past me, but in the woods I was slightly faster, and I knew if I went into the woods first on the last lap I could open enough of a gap to get me to the finish.”
Harnden adds the elite British jersey to the junior National Championships she won last year.
In an Instagram post, she said: “My first elite cyclocross National Championships and my first title.
“What a tough battle with Beth Crumpton who has now killed my running legs for the next few days.
“Was amazing to have so many spectators there cheering, made for a great atmosphere.”
Crumpton (Tartaletto-Isorex) secured silver, while rising start Anna Kay (Experza Pro CX) claimed third.
The elite and under-23 women’s races were combined, so 19-year-old Harnden also took the U23 title for the year.
In the women’s junior ranks, Millie Couzens (PH-Mas/Paul Milne Cycles) claimed victory.
Elite women’s British National Cyclocross Championships 2020 results
1. Hattie Harnden (T-Mo Racing), in 42-06
2. Beth Crumpton (Tartaletto-Isorex), at 14s
3. Anna Kay (Experza Pro CX), at 1-11