Mark Cavendish (Omega-Pharma-Quickstep) was crowned 2013 British Road Race Champion in a charismatic performance witnessed by crowds of 30,000 in Glasgow.
Closing down a desperate attack by breakaway companion David Millar in the final two kilometres, Cavendish had energy to sprint clear of Millar and Ian Stannard in the finishing straight to take a comfortable and memorable victory.
Moments earlier, it was Cavendish's own attack up Montrose Street that ended Pete Kennaugh's title hopes as all four of the protaganists fought for the chance to wear the jersey of British Champion at the forthcoming Tour de France.
The quartet were initially a group of six, with Ben Swift and Andy Fenn for company from lap six to lap nine. After Swift and Fenn withdrew the question of who would attack first was at the forefront of many minds, but for the riders such was the early pace set - mainly attributed to Stannard - they had to conserve energy to have chance of completing the distance.
Immediately after the race Cavendish summarised what it meant to win the title.
"I'm patriotic, I'm proud to be British and I'm proud to wear the jersey that represents my country."
Summarising his performance on the day, Cavendish acknowledged that he rode in a different style to win the race, away from his usual environment as a sprinter in stage and one day races.
"My form is good, I'm motivated at the moment because the Tour is coming up. It's been unexpected that I'd win here, I was here more to get the last hit out for the Tour and to see the parcours for the Commonwealth Games. Normally with so many Team Sky riders it's going to be difficult to win here, so I wasn't really expecting to win it, but we had a good group away after 20km, rode well together and I'm happy. I had a bit of luck at the end there, Ian was left isolated.
Ian Stannard was philosophical about a race which he defined almost as much as Cavendish, detailing the final kilometres.
"I tried to go a couple of k out from the finish up a little berg, then Cav went, then Millar, so it all came back together in then end and in that situation Cav was going to win, so I was riding for second.
"He raced really aggresively today, people forget, they think he's just a sprinter but he's a world class bike rider and will put in his effort if he wants to."
David Millar's British Championship experience gave insight to the race dynamic, which was defined before the start.
"We were terrified of the domestic guys, we knew they would be at ease for the first hour and a half so we took the offensive, and probably too much of the offensive" Millar explained.
"I don't think there is a Tour de France stage when we would go that hard for that long.
"The entire race we were chipping away at each other, we would accelerate on the climbs. There were limited places on the course where you could make the difference.
"The crowd was phenomenal. I now know how Thomas Voeckler feels when he is racing in France. I've never had that in my whole career, the whole crowd shouting for you."
HOW THE RACE UNFOLDED
The 13-lap race on a 14.2km circuit started with an early attack by Ian Stannard (Sky Procycling) and Andy Fenn (Omega Pharma Quickstep) which gave them a lead of 20 seconds to a small group and 40 seconds over the peloton.
At the end of the second lap Stannard and Fenn were still clear over a group of four chasers of David Millar, Mark Cavendish, Peter Kennaugh and Ben Swift.
By the end of lap three Stannard and Fenn had a small gap over the four chasers with a group of Ian Bibby, Kristian House, Russell Downing, Luke Rowe, Owain Doull and Scott Thwaites 1:18 down with the peloton two minutes back from the leaders.
By the end of lap four Stannard and Fenn had a gap of 30 seconds to the Cavendish group and a second group of Rowe, Simon Yates,House Thwaites and Ian Wilkinson were 1.30 back.
After six laps the Cavendish group caught the two leaders to make a leading group of six which were: Millar, Stannard, Swift, Kennaugh, Cavendish and Fenn with a chasing group of House, Yates, Rowe, Thwaites and Wilkinson a minuteback.
With five laps to go (71km) the six leaders were working together and the chasing group of five riders had fallen back to two minutes behind the leaders.
With four laps to go (56.8km) the leading group had been reduced to four after Fenn and Swift were dropped and joined the five chasers who were three minutes down.
With three laps (42.6km) to go the four leaders were still working together and Rowe had attacked the chasing group which was down to four due to Fenn pulling out.
With two laps to go (28.4km) the leading four were still working together with Luke Rowe in 5th between the leaders and the chasing four riders.
With just over a lap to go Ian Stannard punctured leaving just Kennaugh for Sky in the leading group with Cavendish and Millar.
Stannard had caught back up with the leaders going into the last lap (14.6km) after the leading trio waited for him.
On the final lap Stannard was the first to attack before being brought back and then Cavendish attacked the leaders before being brought back with 3km to go when Millar attacked.
They hit the final straight together where Cavendish beat Stannard into second and Millar took third.
1 Mark Cavendish (Omega-Pharma-Quickstep)
2 Ian Stannard (Sky Procycling)
3 David Millar (Garmin Sharp)
4 Peter Kennaugh (Sky Procycling)
5 Luke Rowe (Sky Procycling)
Highlights of the British Cycling National Road Championships will be broadcast on ITV4 on Monday 24 June at 7pm.
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British Cycling would like to thank the organising team, officials and everyone else who helped promote this event. Our sport could not exist without the hundreds of people, many of them unpaid volunteers, who put in many hours of hard work running events, activities and clubs.