A wasp sting on the opening lap was not enough to stop Alex Dowsett (Movistar) claiming a record-equalling fourth national time trial championship.
The former UCI Hour Record holder destroyed his rivals on the 45km Caldwell Park course, beating second-placed Ed Bradbury (NFTO) by more than three-and-a-half minutes.
With last year’s winner Sir Bradley Wiggins having confirmed 12 months ago he wouldn’t defend his title – which ended a run of three straight wins for Dowsett – and the likes of Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) and Steve Cummings (MTN-Qhubeka) opting not to ride, Dowsett was always favourite to win.
And despite suffering a sting on the opening lap and admitting he had over-cooked his effort, the Essex man caught and passed two-minute man Matthew Bottrill (Drag2Zero) as he set a blistering time of 1.00.11.
Dowsett equalled Stuart Dangerfield’s record of four national time trial titles in the process, and admitted it was a good feeling to have the jersey back.
“It’s lovely to get it back,” he told his team website. “It’s really significant being national champion. Now every time I do a time-trial I get to wear this, it stands me out as either the British or Dutch national champion!
“I couldn’t have lost it to a more talented guy last year in Brad but it’s nice to have it back. I thought I’d overcooked it a little bit early on. Being as hilly as it is it’s difficult – you don’t want to give away too much early on but you don’t want to go too hard.
“It wasn’t easy getting it right. On lap one I got stung by a wasp just inside my thigh, which kind of added insult to injury. Something always happens at nationals for me. I think I’ve had a crash, a bike change, being sick as a dog and this year a wasp sting so – yeah – a thrill a minute!”NFTO’s Bradbury finished second, 3’31” back, while Ryan Perry (SportGrub Kuota) rounded off the podium, a further 20 seconds back.
Former podium finisher Bottrill was the only other man within five minutes of Dowsett, but had to settle for fourth at 4’20”.
Earlier in the day, rising Welsh star Scott Davies (100% ME) defeated countryman Owain Doull (Team Wiggins) to defend his under-23 title, with Tao Geoghegan Hart (Axeon Cycling) finishing third.
In the women’s event, Team Velosport’s Hayley Simmonds was the surprise winner, meanwhile, beating Molly Weaver (Liv-Plantur) and Dame Sarah Storey (Pearl Izumi Sports Tour International).
The former rower set a time of 51.39 on the 33.6km course, more than a minute faster than Weaver and Storey.
Track stars Ciara Horne and Katie Archibald (both Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International) were both considered among the favourites pre-race too but despite Horne setting a long-standing benchmark of 53.38, she was eventually beaten into fifth with Archibald four seconds further back.
British National Time Trial Championships – elite men’s result
1) Alex Dowsett – Movistar – 1.00.11hrs
2) Edmund Bradbury – NFTO +3.31
3) Ryan Perry – SportGrub-Kuota +3.51
4) Matthew Bottrill – Drag2Zero +4.20
5) Lloyd Chapman – Richardsons-Trek RT +5.32
British National Time Trial Championships – women’s result
1) Hayley Simmonds – Team Velosport – 51.40
2) Molly Weaver – Matrix Fitness +1.18
3) Dame Sarah Storey – Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International +1.21
4) Lucy Coldwell – unattached +1.57
5) Ciara Horne – Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International +1.58
British National Time Trial Championships – under-23 men’s result
1) Scott Davies – 100% ME – 47.20
2) Owain Doull – Team WIGGINS +6”
3) Tao Geoghegan Hart – Axeon Cycling Team +18”
4) Thomas Baylis – One Pro Cycling +44”
5) Josh Teasdale – Prorace Cycling Team +55”