European champion Helen Wyman (Kona Factory) regained her British national champion’s jersey at the first time of asking to record the eighth national title of her career.
Wyman, who saw her seven-year run as British champion ended 12 months ago by Nikki Harris (Young Telenet-Fidea), stormed to a dominant victory in Derby while Ian Field (Hargroves Cycles) won the elite men’s competition for the third consecutive year.
Wyman, 32, and fellow continental rider Harris, 27, broke clear of the domestic riders almost immediately on the muddy circuit at Moorways Stadium.
With World Cup rival Gabby Durrin (Rapha Focus) ruled out of the race due to illness, only Verity Appleyard (Brotherton Cycles) was able to keep pace with the duo and she too was also soon distanced.
The two Brits have largely matched each other in Europe this season, with Harris placed second overall in the UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup while Wyman leads the way in the Bpost Bank Trofee.
However, with course conditions suiting the European champion more, Wyman seized the initiative to storm into a commanding solo lead, and with Harris unable to provide an answer Wyman was able to savour a momentous victory.
Derbyshire-born Harris rolled in second in front of her ‘home crowd’ more than a minute behind, but the race for the third podium spot proved a much tighter affair.
Welsh junior Ffion James (Abergavenny RC) and fellow starlet Abby-Mae Parkinson (RST Racing) became locked in a two-way battle on the penultimate lap.
With neither giving an inch, they remained neck-and-neck for much of the end of the race until James pulled away on the final technical section before sprinting to victory on the long tarmacked straight.
National Trophy winner Hannah Payton (Kinesis Morvelo Project) finished 10’30” behind Wyman as she rolled in 12th.
In the men’s race which followed, Field became the first man since Roger Hammond to win three back-to-back British national titles but he was made to work hard for the prize.
Despite being Britain’s only male World Cup competitor, Field found himself locked in competition with in-form National Trophy winner Paul Oldham (Hope Factory).
Oldham, a winner in 2011 when the National Championships were last held in Derby, forced Field into a number of small errors on the slick, mud-strewn course as they built a small lead over the pursuing riders.
Field, who beat Oldham at their only two meetings at National Trophy level this season, burst clear on the third lap but a crash into the taped barrier allowed the domestic ace to bridge back.
However, with three laps remaining Oldham crashed heavily in the Elm Woods section of the circuit, allowing Field to go clear at the front and David Fletcher (Orange Monkey Pro) and veteran three-time former champion Nick Craig (Team Scott UK) to pass him.
Field took advantage to open up a gap over Fletcher, and despite a spirited fightback from Oldham, Craig – who also won the veteran’s race on Saturday – finished third.
Lewis Craven (Wheelbase-Altura) finished fifth with just 49 seconds separating the top five riders, while Ian Bibby (Madison-Genesis), who earned a podium spot last year, rolled in sixth.
British National Cyclo-cross Championships 2014
Elite men’s results
1) Ian Field (Hargroves Cycles) in 55:44 mins
2) David Fletcher (Orange Monkey Pro) +21”
3) Nick Craig (Team Scott UK) +37”
4) Paul Oldham (Hope Factory Racing) +41”
5) Lewis Craven (Wheelbase-Altura) +49”
6) Ian Bibby (Madison-Genesis) +1’57”
7) Alex Paton (Pedal Heaven-Colbornes RT) +2’24”
8) Jody Crawforth Hargroves Cycles +2’38”
9) Robert Jebb Hope Factory Racing +2’45”
10) Daniel Booth Hope Factory Racing +3’44”
Elite women’s results
1) Helen Wyman (Kona Factory) in 41:14 mins
2) Nikki Harris (Young Telenet-Fidea) +1’14”
3) Ffion James (Abergavenny RC) +5’37”
4) Abby-Mae Parkinson (RST Racing Team) +5’54”
5) Amira Mellor (Paul Milnes/Bradford Olympic RC) +6’32”
6) Diane Lee (Team Mulebar Girl-Sigma Sport) +6’58”
7) Alice Barnes (Scott Contessa Epic) +8’24”
8) Bethany Crumpton (Hargroves Cycles) +9’02”
9) Delia Beddis (Vicious Velo) +9’08”
10) Tracy Moseley (Malvern Cycle Sport) +9’28”