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Laura Trott and Peter Kennaugh take national titles in sprint showdowns (+video)

Perfect timing gives Manxman surprise win over Ben Swift; form & teamwork pays off for Trott

Laura Trott and Peter Kennaugh both sprinted to victory at yesterday’s British Cycling National Road Race Championships. Kennaugh outsprinted training partner, team mate - and sprinter - Ben Swift to take the men’s title, while Trott was led out by her team mate Dani King for a Wiggle Honda one, two. The pair outsprinted defending champion Lizzie Armitsted who came in third.

Commenting on his victory over Swift, Kennaugh said: “It’s an amazing feeling.

“On the last lap it was hard to race against such a good mate. He sat on for most of the last lap, and I thought it was game over. But I knew the last 200 metres was downhill and I thought I had a chance. I couldn’t believe I won it!

“I’ve done so many training sprints with Swifty and he leaves me behind every time, but today was my day! I’ve been so close to this title for so many years, this has to be a really special result for me!”

Trott went in to the women’s road race feeling that she had a point to prove following Thurdsay time trial.

She said: “I was so disappointed after the time trial, I thought I had good form, but the time didn’t really reflect the form I thought I had, so to come here and win this, I’m just so pleased.

“It’s just unbelievable. It’s up there with a World title. It’s been such a roller coaster recently and I’ve been feeling a bit down, but to come and win this… when I crossed the line I was just so happy, and I think it takes only one race like this to say ‘yeah, I am still there, I am still good enough.’ ”

Here's the Wiggle-Honda team's home movie of their successful weekend:

Both Kennaugh and Trott had the benefit of strong teams. Orica Greenedge’s Simon Yates, who finished third in the men’s race, had to contend with a quartet of Sky riders in the day’s decisive break.

Kennaugh attacked Swift repeatedly on the final two laps of a seven kilometre circuit, but could not

shake him and it looked like Swift’s superior sprinting would land him the national champion jersey. But Kennaugh let Swift lead out the sprint and timed his move perfectly.

As the 101km women’s race entered its closing stages, Armitstead established a ten-second lead on the first of four laps of the eight-kilometre finishing circuit.

However, she was chased down by a determined combination of Trott and King, allowing Trott to sieze the chance to demonstrate that she was more than “good enough”.

Acknowledged by the Telegraph as a leading cycling journalist, John Stevenson has been writing about bikes and cycling for over 30 years since discovering that people were mug enough to pay him for it rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work.

He was heavily involved in the mountain bike boom of the late 1980s as a racer, team manager and race promoter, and that led to writing for Mountain Biking UK magazine shortly after its inception. He got the gig by phoning up the editor and telling him the magazine was rubbish and he could do better. Rather than telling him to get lost, MBUK editor Tym Manley called John’s bluff and the rest is history.

Since then he has worked on MTB Pro magazine and was editor of Maximum Mountain Bike and Australian Mountain Bike magazines, before switching to the web in 2000 to work for CyclingNews.com. Along with road.cc editor Tony Farelly, John was on the launch team for BikeRadar.com and subsequently became editor in chief of Future Publishing’s group of cycling magazines and websites, including Cycling Plus, MBUK, What Mountain Bike and Procycling.

John has also written for Cyclist magazine, edited the BikeMagic website and was founding editor of TotalWomensCycling.com before handing over to someone far more representative of the site's main audience.

He joined road.cc in 2013 and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.

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