Lizzie Deignan and Steve Cummings both added to their national title hauls by winning the road race titles at the HSBC UK | National Road Championships on the Isle of Man on Sunday.
Deignan claimed her fourth women’s title overall and second in three years, while Cummings followed up his victory in Thursday’s time trial by winning the men’s race, becoming the first man since David Millar in 2007 to do the time trial and road race double.
Former world champion and Olympic silver medallist Deignan, riding for Boels Dolmans, caught long-time leader Elinor Barker (Matrix Pro Cycling) with less than 2km to go to top the podium ahead of Team WNT’s Katie Archibald and the defending champion, Hannah Barnes of Canyon-SRAM.
After the race, she said: “It’s great to be in the (national champion’s) jersey again. It’s always such a difficult race to win – you don’t just need good legs, you need a bit of luck too.
“It’s one of the hardest national championships I’ve ever won – it wasn’t a case of going in to the race with five rivals, it was more likely 20, and I’m very proud of the fact that we have so many women now who are capable of competing internationally as well as domestically.”
Cummings at the double
Cummings, who only returned to competitive action this week following injury, managed to overhaul a four-man breakaway group of Ian Bibby (JLT Condor), Ben Swift (UAE Team Emirates), Chris Lawless (Axeon Hagens Berman CT) and home favourite Peter Kennaugh (Team Sky) before capitalising on that initiative to launch a solo attack as the race entered its final stages.
After becoming the first man to do the road race and time trial double since David Millar in 2007, Cummings said: “It was a really tough race, but that style of competition is what you miss when you haven’t been racing - it was punchy and explosive and there were so many efforts.
“I’m back now so we can forget about the injuries! It’s nice to be back doing what I do and looking forward to whatever is next. It’ll be nice to be at the Tour and to get stuck in.”
The men’s podium was completed by Lawless and Bibby, while Lawless also took the under-23 title.
He said afterwards: “I managed to get up the road early on which gave me a buffer over the mountain, and because I was in quite a big group we were able to ride steady up the mountain, rather than jumping around, so that helped me save a lot of energy.
“The finish circuits suited me, so I knew I would be able to do a good job. I train here in winter so I knew every bit of the course – apart from having a race in my hometown, this is the second best thing.
“I’ve been targeting this race since the start of the year, but at nationals anything can happen – it’s so open. I’m really happy with how I rode today.”
Earlier in the day, Melissa Lowther of Team Breeze claimed the women’s under-23 crown, saying:
“I’m really happy. Coming into the race I knew I had good form, and I was a bit disappointed with how the time trial went when I had a mechanical, so I really wanted to get the win.
“We all knew that the race was going to split on the mountain, so it was just about suffering through that really. I was really struggling but I just kept telling myself to hold on for another minute, and once I got through that I knew I’d be OK.”
Highlights will be shown on ITV4 on Monday 26 June at 6pm and on British Eurosport 1 at 10pm.