Team Sky secured a clean sweep of the podium positions in the men's national road race championship in Pendle with Geraint Thomas taking the national jersey, pipping team mate Peter Kennaugh in the final sprint with Ian Stannard just behind to take third. By the final lap the three Sky riders were out on their own and a clean sweep was a foregone conclusion, only the order was up for debate.
The Sky riders effectively destroyed the field. First they Sigma Sport Specialized's Simon Richardson to bridge up to Jeremy Hunt's initial break and then towards the end of the fifth of 12 laps with the break having a minute on the rest of the field,upping the pace again dropping first Richardson and then Hunt while behind them the chasing field wilted in the heat on a tough attritional course.
So total was their dominance that Sky team director, Dave Brailsford was able to pull alongside them on the final lap to congratulate them. Then it was on to the business of settling the final placings. Kennaugh and Thomas looked to be the stronger riders but Stannard certainly couldn't be counted out. Manxman Kennaugh tried to attack on the final climb where he and Thomas enjoyed a weight advantage over Stannard, but to no avail as the Welshman refused to be shaken off and by this stage it had become a two horse race and when it came to the final sprint the race and the title went to the Welshman.
Team tactics and numbers also told in the women's race where Cervelo's Emma Pooley broke Nicole Cooke's nine year stranglehold on the national road race title today in Pendle in a race that was cut to half distance after a major crash on the first lap that led to the race being stopped for an hour while the casualties were ferried to hospital.
The crash and restart didn't affect Pooley's approach to the race, which involved taking the fight to Cooke from the off and using the advantage of having two other Cervelo riders in the field to good effect. Her approach paid off handsomely with Pooley and team mate Lizzie Armistead pulling of a Cervelo one two, with Cooke coming home third for a top three that was a mirror image of 2009 result with Pooley and Cooke swapping places on the podium and Armistead coming second for the second successive year.
Pooley whose climbing prowess meant she was well suited to the conditions attacked on the first long hill, but a big further back in the peloton on the descent meant the race had to be stopped, according to reports on the British Cycling website such was the mayhem when disaster struck on the 50mph descent that riders off the back were struck by team cars.
When the race re-started Pooley again attacked and used her team mates Armistead and Sharon Laws to tire Cooke. When the lone Cooke bridged to Pooley the latter would do no work and when Pooley broke she had Armistead and Laws on hand to blunt the force of Cooke's efforts to get across, so that when the final attack came there was little the welsh woman could to stop it.
Top 30 2010 Men's National Road Race Championship
1. Geraint Thomas, Sky Pro Cycling 5.07.08 2. Peter Kennaugh, Sky Pro Cycling st 3. Ian Stannard, Sky Pro Cycling @2.20 4. Jeremy Hunt, Cervelo Teast Team, @7.59 5. Simon Richardson, Sigma Sport Specialized @8.23 6. David Clarke, Pendragon-LeCol-Colnago @10.41 7. Dan Flleman, Raleigh RT @10.43 8. Andrew Fenn, 100% ME @13.56 9. Rob Partridge, Endura Racing, @17.45 10. Paul Esposti, BCV 11. Chris Froome, Sky Pro Cycling 12. Rhys Lloyd, Pendragon-LeCol-Colnago @1 lap 13. Kristian House, Rapha Condor Sharp 14. Ross Creber, Team Endura Racing 15. Ben Greenwood, Rapha Condor Sharp 16. Richard Cartland, Team Corley Cycles 17. Douglas Dewey, GWR 18. Thomas Swift-Metcalf, Palmeriras Resort 19. Steve Lampier, Pendragon-LeCol-Colnago 20. Tim Kennaugh, 100% ME 21. Marcel Six, Orbea For Goodness Shakes 22. Daniel Shand, Raleigh 23. Mike Cumming, Raleigh 24. David Lines, Endura @ 2 laps 25. Matthew Stephens, Sigma Sport Specialized 26. Kit Gilham, Sigma Sport Specialized 27. James Williamson, Sigma Sport Specialized 28. Gareth Montgomerie, Sigma Sport Specialized 29. Will Bjergfelt, Wilier-Big Maggies/Prendas 30. Paul Oldham, Hope Factory Racing 31. Alistair Kay, York Cycleworks Top 20 2010 Women's National Road Race Championship 1. Emma Pooley, Cervelo TT 1.28.59
2. Lizzie Armitstead, Cervelo TT, @8
3. Nicole Cooke, Nicolecooke.com st
4. Sharon Laws, Cervelo TT, st
5. Katie Colclough, 100% ME, @2.02
6. Emma Trott, Moving Ladies, @2.16
7. Natalie Creswick, Twickenham CC st
8. Kara Chesworth, Dysynni CC @3.32
9. Sara Storey, Horizon Fitness, @3.34
10. Joanna Rowsell, private member @5.39
11. Alli Holland, Maxgear RT
12. Corrine Hall, Team Corridori
13. Emma Silversides, Redsun Ladies Team
14. Michaelle Dillion, Private Member @5.45
15. Nicola Juniper, Cuclos Uno, @7.16
16. Lucy Martin, 100% ME @7.45
17. Helen Wyman, Kona FSA Factory Team st
18. Rebecca Curley, Rapha Condor CC
19. Jane Barr, Stirling BC
20. Leanne Thompson, Vanilla Bikes.com
Women's Under 23
1. Lizzie Armitstead, Cervelo TT 2. Katie Colclough, 100% ME 3. Emma Trott, Moving Ladies
Tony has been editing cycling magazines and websites since 1997 starting out as production editor and then deputy editor of Total Bike, acting editor of Total Mountain Bike and then seven years as editor of Cycling Plus. He launched his first cycling website - the Cycling Plus Forum at the turn of the century. In 2006 he left C+ to head up the launch team for Bike Radar which he edited until 2008, when he co-launched the multi-award winning road.cc - which he continues to edit today. His favourite ride is his ‘commute’ - which he does most days inc weekends and he’s been cycle-commuting since 1994. His favourite bikes are titanium and have disc brakes.