Peter Kennaugh and Lizzie Armitstead took the road race titles at today’s British Cycling National Road Championships in Lincolnshire.
Peter Kennaugh took his second successive British men’s road title in a remarkable race while Lizzie Armitstead delivered a stunning solo effort to win the women’s title.
Team Sky’s Kennaugh finally distanced a courageous Mark Cavendish on the ninth and final climb of Michaelgate in Lincoln. Ian Stannard completed the podium behind Cavendish.
After crosswinds saw the peloton ripped apart in the early stages, Kennaugh and Team Sky colleague Stannard escaped leaving Mark Cavendish, Luke Rowe, Scott Thwaites and Adam Blythe in pursuit.
Thwaites and Blythe dropped back before Luke Rowe decided to work with Cavendish to shut down the gap on his Team Sky associates with only three laps remaining.
They cut down the 40-second gap on the duo and bridged on Michaelgate – the eighth of nine ascents of the cobbles.
On the final 13-kilometre lap Stannard burst free but was caught before Kennaugh and Cavendish accelerated away leaving Rowe and 2012 champion Stannard to contest bronze.
It was fittingly left for the final climb of Michaelgate for the title to be decided and although Cavendish kept with Kennaugh the 26-year-old eventually pulled away to become the first British male to win back-to-back road titles since Roger Hammond in 2003 and 2004.
Team Wiggins’ Owain Doull impressed to finish seventh and with it take the under-23 men’s championship.
“The atmosphere is incredible and something I’ll never forget,” Kennaugh said.
“Obviously last year it meant everything – it was the first time – I’d been on the podium about four times before that so I really enjoyed this last year.
“I’m over the moon just to stay in white with my white bike and my white accessories!
“It means a lot to me and it gives you that extra motivation with that added pressure of carrying the jersey in the pro peloton – you can’t just get away with sitting at the back and stuff. You’re easily spotted.
“It’s good for the motivation – it’s good for the morale going forward for the rest of the year.”
Armitstead won her third British road title – after victories in 2011 and 2013 – with a solo attack on the penultimate climb of the famous Michaelgate. Alice Barnes, just 19 years of age, was second with Laura Trott third.
No rider was able to match Armitstead’s effort on the fourth of five times up the cobbled climb and the Boels Dolmans Cycling Team rider completed the last lap alone before crossing the finish line to the backdrop of Lincoln Cathedral.
“It means I get to be proud of being British in all the races that I do,” Armitstead said of being able to wear the British champion’s jersey.
“It means a lot – it means new kit for a start! I go to the Giro on Friday so it will be a quick turnaround for them.
“I had some good people around me before the start who told me to believe in myself and I listened.
“It was a difficult race. The longer the race went on the better I started to feel.”
Team Betch NL Superior-Brentjens rider Alice Barnes took a superb second, in her first elite road championships, to win the under-23 women’s champion title with defending champion Laura Trott, of Matrix Fitness, third.
While Armitstead savoured the win, behind her the race for silver and bronze came down to the final corners as Alice Barnes showed her huge potential in holding off the challenge of defending champion Laura Trott.
Full results from the women’s race can be found here and from the men’s race here.
Highlights of the championships will be broadcast on ITV4 at 6pm on Monday 29 June.
Women’s Top Ten
1 Lizzie Armitstead 02.51.14
2 Alice Barnes U23 @1.52
3 Laura Trott
4 Molly Weaver U23
5 Nikki Harris @2.01
6 Katie Archibald U23
7 Hannah Barnes U23
8 Lucy Coldwell
9 Sharon Laws
10 Hayley Simmonds
Men Top Ten
1 Peter Kennaugh 04.27.33
2 Mark Cavendish MBE @0.05
3 Ian Stannard @0.39
4 Luke Rowe
5 Scott Thwaites @3.00
6 Adam Blythe
7 Owain Doull U23 @6.29
8 Yanto Barker
9 Steve Lampier
10 Jonathon Mould
15 Sam Lowe U23 @8.26
18 Matt Gibson U23 @8.45
Newport Velodrome – ©Dave Gratton AKA SunflowerDave (on Flickr)
For someone who always has a lot to say for himself, thinking what to write about is more difficult than I thought! I should hasten to add, that’s not because I can’t think of anything, it’s because I’ve got so many ideas running around in my head it’s so difficult to chose.
So my decision has been made for me because for the first time in weeks I have an hour or so to spare to put pen to paper (yes, I am actually writing this on paper) as I’m sitting in the stands watching my daughter Ffion take part in a Welsh Cycling youth track session. So the subject: the importance of good cycling facilities, specifically Newport Velodrome.
The difference this sporting facility has made to Wales is difficult to quantify, but if you look at the numbers of riders both before and after this facility was built who are at or on their way to the top of the cycling tree, it’s obvious that its impact has been massive! The same can be said of Manchester Velodrome and I am sure it will be the case with the Olympic Velodrome; we should also consider Herne Hill and the riders that have benefitted from that facility. What it shows it that good facilities really do make a difference to the progression of riders coming through the ranks, whatever their cycling discipline. Of course we also need champions to inspire youngsters into the sport, but we’ve got such a conveyor belt going at the moment there is no worry about these facilities being under used.
So what memories have I taken from Newport Velodrome over the last 8 or 9 years that I’ve been making the 30-minute drive from Abergavenny to get here?
Well I might as well start with my number one memory and also because “why shouldn’t women’s cycling be given priority over men’s for a change?” If I can find the photo to accompany this when I next go hunting in the attic I’ll post it at a later date, as even now I find it quite hard to believe. Picture this: a women’s keirin with six riders on the start line. In amongst the six, the current senior World Champion wearing her stripes Clara Sanchez. Also on the start line I think it was Sandie Clair. Next up to them, a few star struck young girls from the UK including two from Wales, my 13-year-old daughter Becky and Katie Curtis. I can’t recall another current senior world champion ever racing in Newport, so that line-up is implanted very firmly in my head. By the way, it was France first and second with Becky coming in third to the disbelief of the French coach, especially when finding out Becky’s age.
As for other memories of female competition in Newport, between 2006 and 2007 the Youth and Junior Track National Championships had such strong fields the racing really was fantastic to watch. Seeing Becky, Lizzie Armistead, Joanna Rowsell, Jess Varnish, Laura Trott, Dani King…(I could go on) racing against each other with Hugh Porter getting very excited on the microphone really was brilliant. Looking back now I honestly think you could see then who was going to make it to the top and they weren’t all winners. The look of determination in a rider’s eyes is something I believe is what sets them apart and that is something you can spot at a young age. If someone happens to win a Youth National Championship on the way to the top that’s nice, but ultimately you need to look at the bigger picture and remember it’s not a sprint, it takes a lot of time and effort to win at elite level. And that’s what people will remember; senior champions not 11-year-old ‘superstars’!
On that last point, some really bad memories for me have been watching young girls of Under 12 and Under 14 level attempting to break a National Record as if it was the be all and end all. They have been all kitted out with the best equipment money can buy and their parents have been shouting so loudly at them as if they were doing it themselves, but why? Many of those I have watched are either no longer riding or just riding now and again. And why provide the best equipment at such a young age? Good equipment yes, but keep the very best as a reward and as an incentive when they are racing at international level. I really would like to see some sort of equipment specification cap on all youth riders to make it more of a level playing field and to give them something to aim for.
While I’m in the process of airing my concerns, the other thing that really worries me is that young riders seem to be specialising on one cycling discipline at ever-younger ages and training to the detriment of their education. Youth sport should not be like that. If I could single out one young rider who has got the balance right and sets an example for other to follow it is Elinor Barker and look where she is now! Elinor has given most forms of cycling a go, but over the time I’ve known her and the family her education has come first. She’s obviously had coaching, but it has been Elinor’s drive and determination to succeed that has won her the Junior World Time Trial and of course her supportive parents (I believe there could be another reason and the same applies to Becky as well; both Graham, Elinor’s dad and myself are ardent Newcastle United followers and maybe it’s because the girls have never seen us celebrate the winning of a trophy that they are doing their bit to cheer us up!).
On the male side of things, at the same time as that outstanding crop of girls I mentioned the boys’ fields were also amazingly strong and they provided fantastic racing to watch. Jason Kenny, Peter Kennaugh, Alex Dowsett, Luke Rowe, Adam Blythe, Andy Fenn…(once again, I could go on) are just a few of the names that cycling fans would recognise from the Olympics and pro-peloton this last year. Despite many outstanding races and individual performances the one that stands out still after these years is Andy Fenn’s Youth 500 metre time trial. Here was someone mixing it up with the best youth riders this country had to offer in all the circuit races around the country and he was winning the endurance and pursuit events on the track. In the 500 metre time trail he was up against all the best youth sprinters in the country including current BC Academy sprint member Peter Mitchell. I can still picture him going around the track now. I seem to recall I was sitting in the stands next to Iain Dyer, National Sprint Coach and Trevor King, father of Dani and a few others and the first thing that came to my mind was that here was the person to follow in Jason Kenny’s footsteps. Well I was wrong on that front, but I really think he has the potential to be the next big road sprinter from GB. I am not saying that Andy will be another ‘Cav’, because I am not sure there’ll be another in my lifetime, but I am sure that he’ll be winning many races and stages over the next few years. Another rider I’ve watched in Newport in a similar mold to Andy is Sam Harrison, although he’s got a few years to catch up yet.
As recent as last winter I was sitting in the stands of Newport Velodrome watching the annual ‘Winter Track League’, which mixes all abilities up into different races, both male and female. In Wales we are very lucky indeed to not only have Elinor Barker coming up into the senior ranks, but we also have Amy Roberts. To see both Elinor and Amy mixing it up with the men in the ‘A’ league really is a great sight and I am really excited about the prospect of those two girls representing Wales and GB around the world over the next few years. The girls often found themselves riding in amongst elite men, well not just elite, but professional riders. Last year watching Luke Rowe, Magnus Backstedt, Jonny Bellis and many more on a Tuesday night with the rain hammering down on the velodrome roof, whilst sipping a cup of tea, is fascinating, enjoyable and a relaxing time in amongst my hectic lifestyle.
I have never been in Newport Velodrome with a full stand of spectators, but with the success of this last season and the accessibility of cycling stars to the general public I think I might get to see that over the next couple of years. What Newport needs is the right event to fill the stands, something that has got my mind running wildfire again! Now, if that event gives equal precedence to the women riders or better still star billing, wouldn’t that be amazing?
…Next time, whenever that will be, I’ll probably write about organising my first ever hill-climb and also about the importance and thrills of cyclocross.
Thanks for reading.
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Click SL (slideshow) or FS (fullscreen)
Cycling Shorts turns Paparazzi at the Revolution.
Words by Anna Magrath, Images by John Allen
The crowds started spilling in to the velodrome, and with just 15 minutes to go the velodrome was packed. A really excellent turnout for the first Revolution of the new year and, considering there was another major cycling event taking place on the same weekend [British Cyclo-Cross Championships], it was great to see a sell out crowd.
Tonight we’d see the Revolution debut of Luke Rowe in his new Team Sky colours and a tantalising tandem omnium between GB and the Netherlands, I think I recall a distant memory of tandems competing within a Revolution, but if it happened it was a long time ago…. it was going to be great to see them in action.
There was a slight hitch in the proceedings for Cunga as they were missing all three of their élite riders, so the pressure was on their Future Stars riders. It just so happens they have the current DHL Girls leader Emily Kay and strong riders like Adam Lewis and Emily Nelson in their ranks, but it was a tough evening for the team in their half empty pen.
Heading into the 35th Revolution the overall standings were led by Team UK Youth with 370 points followed by Maxgear racing on 341.
The yellow jerseys in the DHL Future Stars Championships were still being held by Emily Kay and Jake Ragan, Emily will win the championship now by a huge margin, she’s won every race of the season, lets see what treats tonight holds in store…
The first race of the evening was the Elite 10km Scratch Race, spread out over 40 laps of the track the riders got off to a fast but evenly paced start Luke Rowe went off the front of the pack to test everyone and was joined by a Team UK Youth rider for a while, but both decided not to persist and rejoined the peloton. With 1km to go Luke put in another attack, this time with Jon Mould of Howies, this looked more promising, but in the end Jon couldn’t match the pace so Luke was left on his own.He took victory in 11:46.581 soaking up championship points, with Marcel Kalz of CHEP rolling in in second place and Russ Downing taking 3rd for Howies.
Luc Hall And Chris Lowsley Williams of Maxgear Racing - ©Copyright John Allen/Cycling Shorts.
In the DHL boys competition there was a lot to play for. Ollie Wood was snapping at the heels of Jake Ragan in the overall standings, Ollie with 122 points and Jake on 143. Ollie showed throughout the evening that he had no intention of letting Jake out of his sight! In the DHL 5km boys Scratch race Jake led out towards the finish line but Ollie pushed on. Ollie came over the line first in 6:05.144 with Jake having to settle for 2nd and Owen James 3rd. It was a fast paced race from the start, everyone was eager to make an impression early on.
In the boys elimination scratch race Oliver Wood was the last to be eliminated witch was costly. It left Ragan and Chris Lawless to fight it out for 1st and 2nd respectively. Maybe Ollie pushed too hard in the earlier race, but elimination races are tough.
Adam Lewis got the boys points race off to a good start taking 5 points in the first sprint, Jake Ragan looked attentive to all the moves but got caught out and Chris Lawless, Owen James and Gabriel Cullaigh got away and tried to take a lap, in the end that was the order they came in with Jacob Scott taking 4th thanks to his early scoring.
All in all a very exciting night for the boys. The points have been shared around a bit and the fight will be on at the last Revolution for the championship podium. Jacob Scott and Ollie Wood are tied on 184 and Jake Ragan has 218, Chris Lawless is on 167.
Tandem Sprint Omnium
The tandem Sprint omnium got underway with the sprint flying lap. Four teams took part, two GB and two Netherlands.
Representing GB were Barney Storey & Neil Fachie and the punchy Craig MacLean with Anthony Kappes. The Dutch teams consisted of Patrick Bos & Rinne Oost and Yorick Bos & Bonnhof. The dutch riders finished in 13.535 (P Bos/Oost) and 13.898 (Y Bos/Bonnhof), but with the GB pairing of Storey & Fachie knocking nearly half a second of that time it was obvious that Maclean and Kappes who were the final pair on the track were going to grit their teeth and try to power round, and they didn’t disappoint. They came in over a second faster than the slowest pairing at 12.830 averaging 70kmph. A great start to the proceedings.
Match 1 – Both the British teams won their races against the Dutch Rabobank riders, Storey and Fachie being the fastest in 10.644.
Patrick Bos & Rinne Oost -Tandem Sprint - Revolution 35 - ©Copyright John Allen/Cycling Shorts.
Match 2 – In the second of the omnium matches we saw the GB teams up against each other – Maclean and Kappes took the win over Storey and Fachie. In the Dutch battle Patrick Bos and Oost beat their fellow countrymen.
Match 3 – Maclean & Kappes beat Patrick Bos & Oost, while Yorick Bos & Bonnhof jump Storey & Fachie but the GB team take the long way round and it pays off. The overall winners of the Tandem Sprint omnium were Craig Maclean and Anthony Kappes.
Ronnie O'Sullivan - Image ©Copyright John Allen @Cycling Shorts.
John who was with me on photography duty had been A.W.O.L. for about half an hour and turned up camera in hand, “I’ve just papped Ronnie O’Sullivan” I looked at him puzzled since I thought he’d been in the team enclosure snapping away, I didn’t think he’d quite make it down to the Crucible or the nearest snooker hall and back, but I remembered that earlier I’d told him of the delights of the Dutch pancake stand so it was feasible he’d taken a detour of some sort and got lost, after all we had just spent the past hour being teased and tormented by the visual and aromatic feast laid on for the VIP’s, their 3 course meal always gets delivered and served from the edge of the media enclosure (I’m convinced it’s done deliberately to torment us with our packed lunch style nibbles). I certainly didn’t recall Ronnie being a cyclist or a fan. “Erm… Are you sure?” I said, “Well I think so, he was a long way off but this character with a cap on caught my eye. At first glance I thought it was Dean Downing watching his brother on the track.” (this did seem a more logical conclusion). I looked up and there was Ronnie, talking to Steve Peters of Team Sky under the scoreboard! So dear readers that is Cycling Shorts first ever paparazzi moment, it will probably be the last. So thank you John!
Emily Kay & DHL Future Stars Girls - ©Copyright John Allen/CyclingShorts.
Meanwhile back on the track…
DHL Future Stars Girls Points Race 5km
The girls competition was a lot more divided than the boys, everyone was chasing Emily Kay and throughout the evening she knew she wouldn’t have allies in the peloton or in a break away but she never let that bother her, she knows when to conserve her energy and she has a strong sprint ready when she needs it, Emily is always very focused cool and calm.
The rest of the top girls were bunched quite tightly together in the championship points so 2nd place is where the competition will be.
In the points race Emily let a few points slip, Rebecca Hunt pushed for a well deserved 5 points on the 3rd sprint of the race but Emily charged back for the finishing sprint to the line. Emily 1st with 18 points, Rebecca Hunt 2nd with 8 points and Ellie Coster 3rd with 6.
In the girls scratch race Melissa Lowther left the pack early on and managed to stay away, but with just 6 laps to go they were all back together and Emily Kay pipped Ellie Coster, Rebecca Hunt and Megan Boyd to the post.
You may be tired of my repeating her name but you don’t get tired of watching her. In the girls Elimination race Kay does it again with an amazingly fast finish over Rebecca Hunt, Emily Haycox takes 3rd.
By the end of the evening Emily’s domination was obvious, she could have been on a different scoreboard. There wasn’t much separating Megan Boyd, Rebecca Hunt, Melissa Lowther and Ellie Coster, but Emily has 78 points over her nearest rival Ellie Coster. All the girls at the top of the rankings have great strength and talent and obviously have great futures ahead of them but the fight is on for the 2nd & 3rd Championship positions now.
Elite Riders Elimination Race - Revolution 35 - ©Copyright John Allen @ Cycling Shorts.
Elite 1km Madison Time Trial
The Madison was one team short (Cunga) so the remaining seven teams fought it out. All eyes were on former Madison Champion Luke Rowe with partner Andreas Muller for Sky but the CHEP UK pairing of Jon Dibben and Marcel Kalz came in with a blistering 58.422 pushing Sky into 2nd with 58.537.
Elite Team Elimination
Rapha and Maxgear Racing fought it out for the crown. It was quite an edgy race with a number of teams struggling with riders bunched at the back of the peloton dangling in the danger zone. Maxgear pushed hard and true to their name maxed a rider out in order to get the other two over the line in first place. There was quite a gap between them and the first Rapha rider across the line.
In the Australian pursuit Chris Opie of Team UK Youth put in a sterling effort from the gun but Luke Rowe fought back and took the win over Robert Bengsch and Chris Opie who started to fade towards the end got 3rd.
Points race 15km
With 6 laps to go Jon Mould of Howies was leading on 15 points with Luke Rowe on 10. Jon added to his lead and won with 25 points over Luke’s 20 after the two of them lapped the field, Marcel Kalz (CHEP) got 3rd with 8 points.
I spoke to professional cyclist and Cycling Shorts writer Tom “Minty” Murray to get his thoughts on the evening, “The atmosphere is always great at the Revolution but tonight seemed a level up, maybe it was the added excitment of those tandems, they had me on my feet watching anyway!”
“My focus now is firmly on the up coming road season, I haven’t done as much track this winter, tonight was my first time on the track since the October Revolution so as to focus more time on getting ready for the road for 2012. Next up I am away for two important training camps with the rest of the IG-Sigmasport team and away to Italy in February”.
At the end of the evening I caught up with Revolution favourite Christian Grasmann who rides on the Revolution Maxgear team and played a major role in their success during the evening particularly in the Team Elimination win where his skill and experience shone through. Maxgear are now leading the Series Championship.
Revolution 35 - Maxgear Racing lead the Championship - ©Copyright John Allen @Cycling Shorts.
Cycling Shorts: How did it go?
Christian: I really enjoyed myself tonight I love racing in the Revs. I’ve done it a lot over the years and I’m always amazed at how great cycling is doing in the UK, the hard work that’s put in by the Revolution organisers and by Team GB.
CS: How is cycling doing in Germany as a sport?
Christian: We are so far a way from this level in Germany – and I’m dreaming that this same feeling will come back to German cycling, it would be nice for both countries interest in the sport to be at the same level in public popularity at the same time. So that’s my aim to help bring this same experience to German cycling while also racing well myself. I’d like to continue to do the Revolutions in the coming years. My team Rudy Project Racing Team is now in it’s 3rd year. I try to bring the same style and experience to the spectators and supporters that the British have, but we still have a way to go!
CS: You must be pleased with the team tonight…
Christian: My Revolution team Maxgear and I could now win the overall championship so it was a great race day for us. The youngsters did a super job. For me. Revolution and racing in the UK is the biggest motivation and a reason why I love this sport so much.
Dont’ forget the Revolution highlights are on ITV4 at 7pm on Monday 9th Jan 2012
For more information on the Revolution Series and to book tickets please click here.
10km Scratch Race – Luke Rowe Team Sky
DHL Future Stars 5km Scratch Race – Boys – Ollie Wood
Revolution Tandem Sprint Omnium Round 1 – flying lap – GB Maclean & Kappes 12.830
DHL Future Stars Points Race – Girls – Emily Kay Cunga Bikes
1km Madison Time Trial – CHEP UK
DHL Future Stars Elimination – Boys – Jake Ragan Maxgear Racing
Revolution Tandem Sprint Round 2 – Match 1 – Heat 1 GB Storey & Fachie 10.644 Heat 2 NED P Bos & Oost 11.497
Team Elimination – Maxgear Racing
DHL Future Stars Scratch Race – Girls – Emily Kay
Revolution Tandem Sprint Round 2 – Match 2 – Heat 1 GB Maclean & Kappes 11.136 Heat 2 P Bos & Oost 11.211
Australian Pursuit – Luke Rowe Team Sky
DHL Future Stars Points Race – Boys – Chris Lawless Maxgear Racing
Revolution Tandem Sprint Round 2 – Match 3 – Heat 1 GB Storey/Fachie 11.683 Heat 2 GB Maclean/Kappes 11.293
Points Race – Jon Mould Howies
DHL Future Stars Elimination – Girls – Emily Kay
Revolution Tandem Sprint Round 3 – Team Sprint – GB 33.328
Overall Points Leaders after three rounds:
Team Championship Leaders – Maxgear Racing
Future Stars Girls – Emily Kay
Future Stars Boys – Jake Ragan
For full results of the 35th Revolution download the pdf here.
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The First Of Many?… Lets hope so!
Sunday 28/08/11 saw the first of a new pro cycle event in Wilton just on the outskirts of Salisbury, Wiltshire, this event was a sponsored event by Twinings Tea. The course was a testing circuit involving four big loops and six smaller loops giving a total of 101 miles, as a local cyclists the route was quite testing for the pro riders as they had to conquer Fovant Hill four times, this hill used to be used by the local Salisbury Road Club for there annual hill climb championships. The course went down a variety of A and B roads which I think would add to the challenge of the circuit and seemed to be proven in the results as there weren’t many that finished out of the 100 starters. There were crowds of people out on the course not as many as we would like but for a first time event it wasn’t too bad. In my opinion the organisation for parking and advance notice of the event could have been better publicised and after speaking to organisers this would be something they intend to have sorted out for next time. The event seemed from a spectators point of view to pass without too many incidents after a few hours of racing and various attacks Simon Yates (100 per cent Me) came home the victor with Richard Handley and Matt Cronshaw from Raleigh 2nd & 3rd. A good start for what looks like a great new addition to the cycling calendar.
- Simon Yates (100 Per Cent ME) 3:52:02
- Richard Handley (Team Raleigh) +1sec
- Matt Cronshaw (Team Raleigh) +12sec
- Russell Hampton (Sigma Sport) +12sec
- Evan Oliphant (Endura Racing) +13sec
- Mark Christian (100 Per Cent ME) +13sec
- Dan Craven (Rapha Condor-Sharp) +13sec
- Luke Rowe (100 Per Cent ME) +1:11
Written by Paul Sloper, Edited by Anna Magrath. All Images ©Copyright Paul Sloper
If you wish to purchase or get permission to use any of the images in this article or gallery please contact Paul through our contacts page.