Cavendish & Armistead crowned National Champs
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."
Dowsett & Rowsell take Time Trial crowns
Lizzie Armitstead took an emphatic victory to seal the title of 2013 British Road Race Champion on the streets of Glasgow, outpacing her breakaway rivals Laura Trott and Dani King on the final lap.
The silver medallist from the Olympic road race made her move on the eighth and final lap, distancing the two Wiggle Honda riders on the final ascent of the University climb.
What was 20 metres, turned into over a minute by the finish and Armitstead’s return to Glasgow Green was essentially a victory lap, followed by – in her own words “a chance to celebrate in front of the crowd and feel like a bit of a rockstar.”
"I didn't want to show my cards too early and if I tried to go on the steep climb I knew I'd probably have a bit more power over the track riders who are used to shorter distances so I used that to my advantage, played a bit of a poker face.
"I was kind of waiting for it all race really, Dani lead all the last lap and if I was them I would have continually attacked me, but maybe they were confident of beating me in a sprint, but I wasn't letting it go to a sprint."
Trott outsprinted King to the line to take the welcome consolation prize of fastest under-23; both King and Trott acknowledged after the race that Armitstead was simply strongest of all riders.
Scotland’s No.1 Launches British Cycling National Road Race Championships
Scottish National Road Champion Kayleigh Brogan was in Glasgow today (24 April 2013) to help launch the British Cycling National Road Race Championships (NRRC) taking place in Glasgow from 20 to 23 June 2013.
The NRRC is the highlight of the national Elite Road Racing calendar in the UK and attracts the biggest names in the sport such as Bradley Wiggins, Mark Cavendish and Lizzie Armitstead.
For the first time the championships will take place in an urban environment with the race weaving through the heart of the city. The road race course will feature elements of the proposed route for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.
Another first for the championships will be the inclusion of the National Time Trial Championship contested as part of the same weekend as the road race events. The Time Trial will run through East Ayrshire on Thursday 20 June.
Both the men’s and women’s races will take place on Sunday 23 June starting at Glasgow Green. The course will run through the city centre, taking in the world-renowned shopping hub of Buchanan Street, before carrying on to the west end of the city where it will pass through Glasgow’s beautiful Kelvingrove Park. The course will then circuit the west end before heading back towards the city centre and the finish at Glasgow Green.
Councillor Gordon Matheson, Leader of Glasgow City Council, said: “Cycling has really grown in popularity recently with the success of British athletes at the London 2012 Olympic Games and the Tour de France. To get the chance to see world class cyclists competing here on our door step is great for Glasgow and Scotland.
British Cycling Board Member Alasdair Maclennan, said: “Glasgow was the strongest of a number of exciting bids for to host the 2013 National Road Race championship, further cementing its reputation as a major cycling city after last years Track World Cup and with the Junior Track World champs in August. We’re certain that Glasgow will do a great job of delivering this, the latest major sporting event to be hosted in the city this year.”
Scottish Cycling’s Chief Executive, Craig Burn, added: “We are delighted that the British National Road Race and Time Trial Championships are coming to Glasgow and the surrounding area. It will give cycling fans all over Scotland the chance to see world class cycling stars in action on home soil, right in the heart of the city.”