The 100% ME pairing of Mark Christian and Simon Yates won the 2012 National Madison Championships, taking the win in commanding fashion, controlling the threats from Alex Dowsett/Tom Murray and George Atkins/Owain Doull from start to finish.
Christian and Yates started as they meant to go on, taking the first two sprints and looking to stamp their authority on the race early on. 2011 bronze medallists Dowsett and Murray responded and took the third sprint, keen to better their podium position of the previous year. However, Christian and Yates took the next sprint and began to extend their lead, timing their move to perfection.
The halfway stage came quickly and although the sprint was taken by a rampaging Adam Duggleby and Alistair Rutherford, Christian and Yates were well ahead – 20 points in total with 100%ME’s Tom Moses and Alistair Slater in second with 10pts.
Following the sprint Dowsett and Murray attacked, trying to use Dowsett’s time-trailling ability to take a lap. The Sky/Sigma duo took the following sprint and, joined by Doull/Atkins, took a lap. However, the overall leaders were quick to respond and took a lap on their own to re-establish their momentarily stolen lead. Amazingly the leaders still had the legs to take the next sprint and consolidate their lead.
From then on in the die was cast, Christian and Yates taking another sprint and building an unassailable lead. Only a lap gain would change matters and right on cue, the combative Atkins and Doull attacked. The 100% ME duo tried desperately to take the lap but could not make the junction and a richly deserved National title went to Christian and Yates, with Dowsett and Murray taking silver for a second consecutive year, while Atkins and Doull had to settle for bronze.
"It was a good race and we won a national title so I'm really happy with that. We knew from the start it would be a tactical race and with just a few teams riding it was a hard 200 laps and we had to work hard to win that. We've been putting a lot of track work in during the winter with the academy and it’s obviously paid off today. It’s a nice way to finish off the track season because we are in a transition period at the moment crossing over to road work. I've got a training camp coming up in Majorca shortly with the Academy then I'm going to be based in Belgium with AN Post who I'm riding for. Another win for the Isle of Man, nice to keep it in the family."
"We've trained for that. Just arrived back from Bejing so we're going pretty well on the track. We wanted to get involved with the race early on and winning the first two sprints took a bit of pressure off. We could have sat back towards the end of the race because we had pretty much done what we had to but we pushed on because we didn't want anyone to get a lap on us and to be honest I couldn't really relax till we'd finished the race."
1. Mark Christian and Simon Yates 100% ME 31 pts
2. Alex Dowsett and Tom Murray Sky Pro Cycling/Sigma Sport Specialized 23pts
3. George Atkins and Owain Doull - 100% ME 9pts
4. Adam Duggleby and Alistair Rutherford Sportscover Altura/Vanilla Bikes 14pts - 2 Laps
5. Joe Kelly and Jon Mould 100% ME 14pts - 2 Laps
6. Tom Moses and Alistair Slater - 100% ME 12 pts - 2 Laps
7. Doug Dewey and David Sinclair - Terra/GWR - 4pts - 5 Laps
8. Tom Arnstein and Mark Stewart - Equipe Velo Ecosse/Spokes Racing DNF
9. Stephen Bradury and Jack Kirk - AW Cycles/Agiskoviner CT DNF
10. Ian Cooper and Richard Prince - Planet X - DNS