Steve Cummings and Claire Rose each won their first British time trial titles at the HSBC UK | National Road Championships on the Isle of Man on Thursday.
Visit Dallas DNA Pro Cycling’s Rose upgraded her silver medal from 2016 to win the women’s crown, while Cummings narrowly edged out defending champion Alex Dowsett to win the men’s title.
After Olympic team pursuit champion Owain Doull was forced to abandon due to a puncture, Team Dimension Data’s Cummings clocked the first sub-hour time, crossing the line in 57:18.6
A handful of other riders also dipped under the hour mark, but top spot on the podium was always likely to hinge on whether five-time champion Alex Dowsett – off last due to his status as reigning champion – could overhaul Cummings’ time.
Despite the raucous support down the home straight, the Movistar rider was just unable to claim a record-breaking sixth title, finishing second in 57:27.10. James Gullen took bronze after clocking 58:09.45.
“I haven’t really had time to think over the last few months – I haven’t left myself think. I’ve just been trying to get back, and today’s the perfect confirmation of what I’ve being seeing in training. It wasn’t perfect, it wasn’t pretty, but it was as much as I could do today and it was good enough.
“I wasn’t so good on the corners, I was losing time, but that’s normal – you’re going to be a bit cautious and out of practice. It was a tough course but I just concentrated on going as hard as I could on the climbs and recovering a bit on the downhill.
“It’s pretty cool to be national champion. It’s been really nice to be here this year – I haven’t been to the Isle of Man for 17 years I don’t think, but you see the same people and hey have welcomed me back and it’s been really nice.”
Women's time trials
In the women’s race, Drops’ Anna Christian set the early pace, crossing the line in 34:13.77. Neah Evans (34:01.88) brought the time down, before Elinor Barker crossed the line in 33:30.13, only to see her fellow Olympic gold medallist Katie Archibald (32:36.19) take nearly a minute out of that time almost immediately.
Hannah Barnes then crossed the line in 32:30.94, leaving just two riders, Rose and defending champion Hayley Simmonds, out on the course. Rose set her mark of 32:11.32, while Simmonds clocked 32:39.98 to take fourth place.
After claiming victory, Rose said: “It’s not quite sunk in yet, but I’m really, really happy. I knew at about the halfway point that I was just up, so I was really gunning it on the second half of the course.
“With time trials, it’s just about your own effort and really thinking about what you can do rather than what everyone else can do, so that’s how I approach it. I’m over the moon to be able to wear the national champion’s jersey.”
Christian, who eventually finished seventh, was the fastest under-23 rider across the line and claimed that title ahead of Melissa Lowther and Alice Barnes.
Team Wiggins’ Scott Davies won his fourth consecutive under-23 men’s title.
As defending champion, the Welshman went out last and clocked a time of 28:20.33 to ensure that One Pro Cycling’s Tom Baylis had to settle for silver after recording 29:09.99.
Completing the podium was long-time leader Charlie Tanfield (Brother NRG), who registered a time of 29:11.26.
Davies said: “It’s brilliant – it’s a really nice feeling to do it for a fourth time. I just kept telling myself to give it my all, and if that turned out to be enough for the win, then brilliant. This is my last year at under-23, so I hope the record stands for a while. It’ll be a step up for me next year – double the distance – so I’ve got some training to do!”