Reports: Day 5
A total of six national titles were decided on the final day of competition in Manchester; Men's Omnium, Women's Team Pursuit, Junior Men's Madison, Women's Keirin, Men's Team Sprint and Women's Madison. Standout performances of the day were Simon Yates, who was imperious in the Omnium, and Becky James, star of the whole championships, winning her fourth national title in five days in the keirin.
The Scott Contessa Epic team of Emily Kay, Elinor Barker and Amy Roberts were first to strike gold in the Women's Team Pursuit, beating Lucy Garner, Corrine Hall and Harriet Owen of Node4 Giordana in the final.
Kay came close to a second title in the Women's Madison, taking silver with her Scott Contessa Epic partner Amy Roberts behind Lucy Garner and Harriet Owen (Node4 Giordana) who retained their title in a race which exploded into life in the latter stages after a watchful start, junior world road champion Garner winning the final sprint in trademark style to seal the victory. Bronze went to Hannah Barnes and Eileen Roe.
In the Junior Men's Madison, the Hargroves Cycles' team of Jon Dibben and Sam Lowe produced a command performance to take victory and the national title ahead of Tao Geoghagen-Hart and Oliver Wood, with Jake Kelly and Jacob Scott taking bronze.
Following the race Dibben spoke to British Cycling about how it felt to claim the title: “It’s awesome. It’s good. Me and Sam won it a few years ago in the under 16’s...It’s the end of the season and so everybody’s tired. Therefore, every sprint was important”.
British Cycling also spoke to his partner Sam Lowe who said: “It’s really good, I won the Junior National Road Race Championships earlier in the year, so this finishes off my junior ranks with a national jersey”.
Simon Yates won the Men's Omnium title with an impressive display of consistency. Yates, silver medallist in 2011, was second in the opening round, the Flying Lap, before victories in the 15km Points and the Elimination consolidated his position, his race against the ‘devil’ particularly emphatic, breaking clear on his own to ensure the victory. The final event, the 15km Points Race was won by Yates’ 100%ME teammate George Atkins, but Yates, who’d started the final event with a 12 point cushion only had to finish to take the title, having already gained a lap earlier in the race. However, showman Yates sprinted for the line, eager to seal the victory in style.
Speaking after the event Yates said: "It's a great feeling and I couldn't ask for more. It's been a great couple of days and just to top it off, national champion.
"It's always important and it's always nice to win a national. I've just come off the road and it's nice to come on here and still perform".
Becky James took her fourth national title, winning the Women’s Keirin with two rides to which the rest of the field had no answer. James, riding in her Abergavenny RC club colours, streaked away from her rivals in the qualification round to an easy win setting up a place in the final.
Come the final and Becky James never looked in trouble, taking fourth wheel behind the derny and moving up when the Derny pulled off, hitting the front with 1½ laps to go and never looking back, behind an almighty scrap unfolded, with Victoria Williamson (VC Norwich) and Charlene Joiner (City of Edinburgh) battling through the melee to claim silver and bronze.
James’ victory capped of an incredible championships for the rider, who has made it a clean sweep in the sprint disciplines, with titles in the 500m TT, Sprint, Team Sprint (with sister Rachel) and finally the keirin.
Speaking after the event James said: "I'm really chuffed and I had in my head what I wanted to achieved and I think it went better than expected.
"It's a big event for me. In recent years I've had Vicky Pendleton dominating but there's not that many women riders and I'm really happy because it's a great start to the season".
The national championships was rounded off by a tight scrap in the Men's Team Sprint, with the North West Region B team of Pete Mitchell, Dave Daniell and Lewis Oliva winning gold ahead of City of Edinburgh's Callum Skinner, John Paul and Bruce Croall. North West Region A's Matt Crampton, Jody Cundy and Craig Maclean took bronze, getting the better of VC St Raphael's Andrew Leveton, Rowan Elliot and David Heald.
Dave Daniell spoke after he, Oliva and Mitchell collected their national champion's jerseys:
"It feels fantastic especially because I've not had a really good championship. I came in a few weeks ago and it went very well. I set a few PB's but during the past three weeks it's all faded. As a result, I came in with low self esteem and high pressure.
Daniell went on to sum up the importance of the Nationals: "They're very important, massive, because the past few days is the most racing I've done all year and it will be the most racing I'll do this year. Because of this I'm grateful, I can enter and ride which is important for me. It's excellent to have them in Manchester and I hope this weekend's brought a bit of my form through".
Men's Omnium Flying Lap
Men's Omnium 15km Points
Men's Omnium Elimination
Men's Omnium Scratch Race and Final Placings
Men's Team Sprint Qualification
Men's Team Sprint Semi Finals
Men's Team Sprint Finals
Women's Team Pursuit Qualification
Women's Team Pursuit Finals
Women's Keirin 1st Round
Women's Keirin 1st Round Repechage
Women's Keirin Final
Women's Madison Final
Junior Men's Madison