Rebecca Durrell (Brother UK – Tifosi p/b OnForm) and Joey Walker (Madison Genesis) claimed their maiden national titles at the HSBC UK | National Circuit Championships in Rochester this evening.
Durrell sprinted to victory ahead of her Brother UK – Tifosi p/b OnForm team-mate and 2018 champion Anna Henderson, with Gabriella Shaw completing a famous 1-2-3 for the team.
In the men's race Walker outsprinted Isaac Mundy (Ricardsons-Trek RT) after the pair had led together for much of the race.
Brother UK – Tifosi p/b OnForm wasted no time before stamping their authority on the women’s race with Anna Henderson, Rebecca Durrell and Jessica Finney being joined by Eluned King (Liv Cycling Club – Halo Cycles) in building a commanding early lead.
With the fractured peloton struggling to make up ground, it was Henderson and Durrell who then surged ahead, building a 45-second gap over King, Charmaine Porter (Brother UK – Tifosi p/b OnForm) and Gabriella Shaw (Brother UK – Tifosi p/b OnForm).
Durrell and Henderson simply proved too strong for the chasers, and in the sprint for the line it was Durrell who emerged victorious to claim her first national champions’ jersey.
Speaking after the race, Durrell said:
“I can’t believe it, it hasn’t sunk in yet. You always dream of becoming a national champion but it’s really difficult to achieve… and it’s nice to be able to win for the team and for everybody that helps us.
“I said to Anna that it’s a shame both of us couldn’t have won because it was such a good battle out there between us. She was so strong, and she had me really worried in the first half of the race because I thought if she keeps going like this there’s no way I can stay there.”
It was then left to King, Porter and Shaw to battle it out for the final place on the podium, and in a close sprint to the line between the two Brother UK – Tifosi p/b OnForm riders it was Shaw who prevailed.
It was a hectic start to the men’s race with a number of crashes on the course interrupting the flow of the early stages, which helped Isaac Mundy (Ricardsons-Trek RT) and then Joey Walker (Madison Genesis) break clear and establish a 24-second lead.
The pair worked well together to stay ahead of a chasing pack including Gabriel Cullaigh (Team Wiggins Le Col), Jon Mould (Madison Genesis), Alec Briggs (TEKKERZ CC) and Matt Bostock (Canyon dhb p//b Bloor Homes) – with the latter entering the race in blistering form after five back-to-back wins in the HSBC UK | National Circuit Series.
Despite their best efforts it was left to Mundy and Walker to fight it out for first place. Mundy entered the final corner in pole position but was desperately unfortunate to unclip on the sprint for the line, leaving Walker to claim his first national champions’ jersey.
Afterwards he said:
“He (Mundy) had a good gap and I saw it was bridgeable and thought why not give it a go. I didn’t have the best legs on the night, which might seem stupid, but I didn’t feel great and just wanted to ride into it and get aggressive.
“I knew it was a headwind finish, so I planned to come out of the corner second. He had his unclip moment, but I feel anyway that I was coming around [Mundy] and that’s racing.”
Bostock outsprinted Cullaigh in the race for third, and will now switch his attentions to completing a perfect series and making it six wins from six at the HSBC UK | National Circuit Series in Sheffield on Wednesday night.