Connor Swift wins British national road championships

Connor Swift (Madison-Genesis) took the British national road race title after a solo attack on the final lap of the race. Two-time champion Adam Blythe (Aqua Blue Sport) took second after a chase in the final kilometres, while Owain Doull (Team Sky) took the sprint for third from a small chase group.

Having made the early break along with 16 other riders, including several from WorldTour teams, 22-year-old Swift took his chance to go it alone 15km from the line with the peloton out of picture. His sustained effort put off attacks from behind, with only Blythe able to put in a solo chase effort in the closing kilometres.

“It’s like a dream come true,” said Swift after the finish. “It’s amazing to do it for Madison-Genesis – a Continental team and one of the underdogs for the race. I can’t remember the last time a Continental team won the national championships. [Ed: It was Kristian House in 2009]

“I felt so good on the last lap and I could tell everyone else was struggling,” Swift added. “I rode off the front and thought, ‘I’ll go as hard as I can.’ I took a big risk and it paid off and I won the race. It’s mad!”

How it happened

The race took place in Stamfordham, in the north-east of England, and took in 185.6km of largely flat roads. Four laps of a 35.4km circuit and two of a shorter 22km circuit were punctuated by four ascents up Ryal hill (1.8km at 5.4 per cent), the last of which came 32km from the finish line.

Given the nature of the route, a sprint finish seemed likely, but that didn’t stop a large breakaway getting up the road early on. The group comprised 16 riders, and it was a strong one, including Doull, Swift, Blythe, Mark Christian (Aqua Blue Sport), and Gabriel Cullaigh (Team Wiggins).

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