Report: Men’s Road Race Championship 2012

Ian Stannard and Sharon Laws were the deserving winners of the Men’s and Women’s Road Race Championships in Ryedale, Sunday, June 24.

Where: North Yorkshire – Ampleforth Abbey and College | The Race:  113 miles (183 kilometres)


Ian Stannard was the deserving champion today in Appleforth (Yorkshire). After a break went clear on the first lap, Stannard chased it down and a rider who was on his wheel when he went said he didn’t miss the break, he just couldn’t hold Stannard’s wheel. No wonder a very astute team manager said to me three weeks ago that Stannard would win the title.

The former Team Keyne rider crossed to the break on that first lap with still over 100 miles to go and once in the leading group, was the big engine in the break according to his teammate Alex Dowsett. When it came time to say goodbye to his breakaway companions, Stannard simply rode away and there was little Alex Dowsett or Russell Hampton could do about it.

Ian Stannard said of his win to team Sky  It was a really tough course. I didn’t expect it to be so hard but it suited me better. I’m really happy to win today.

It’s a weird race the nationals. You kind of have to race it from the front. The plan was always to be at the front of the race and take it on from there. So it worked out well. I felt comfy all day. It was a quite demanding course but I just soaked it up well. I’m really happy with the way it went. It just worked itself out. I just had a little dig on the climb and went away.

Ian Stannard talking to the press in general after the race: It was good today. Once I got up to Dowsett and went from there. It was quite a hard course.” On whether his ride would work in his favour for Olympic selection, Ian said I don’t know. The guys going to the Tour de France are going to be strong so we’ll see. (VeloUK’s understanding is that the Olympic Mens team will comprise of riders who are doing the Tour de France).

On the battle between Sky and Endura Racing, Ian replied, There were eight Endura Racing riders, five of us; it was always going to make it a bit harder but I’m not quite sure how they rode. We had seven minutes and they smashed it down and killed themselves.”

Asked about his lone moved, Ian explained, “At the end, I could see the others were getting a bit tired and I didn’t want to leave it too long.

Its pretty nice to win the nationals. Some great guys have worn the jersey; Jeremy (Hunt), Hammond, Brad, Geraint; so it will be nice to wear it in the classics next year and hopefully represent it well.

Russell Hampton: It was really hard day out there. It was testing course and when Sky put two guys out there, it was pretty dangerous and Sky were taking everything Endura were doing. That put them on the back foot so I rode off the back of their rivalry and did the best I could but when you are up against two of the top guys in the country, it was always going to be hard to beat them.

I knew breaks can always go early in the nationals so it was always the plan to go with them. We (Russell and Alex, training partners) had a bit of a laugh before the race saying it was all about the Essex title, it wasn’t about British title so it was quite funny us all being in the same break together.

On the sprint for second, Russell explained he hit me about one and a half ks out and we drag raced it out. I was flat stick and couldn’t do anymore. I didn’t do the Tour Series on purpose as I’m better on the road and I have delivered over the last few weeks which is satisfying. There’s still half a season to go and the Tour of Britain so I am hoping for some more good performances.

Alex Dowsett: I am pleased with the result. It’s been a tough few months for me for a whole host of reasons and so it’s nice to be back on the podium and feel I have some legs back. It’s also good to be part of a Sky 1-2. Today there was never any doubt who was going to win it. It was just about when Ian chose it was time to go because he was miles ahead of us.

We weren’t getting time checks as often as we would like as we had seven minutes and Ian turned to us and said did we want to stop for a nature break and the next thing we had only four minutes so we put the hammer down, or should I say Ian did, and we held the gap while Endura blew their doors off.

Maybe if they had gone steadier instead of trying to hit it and pull us back quickly, then it could have been a different story for them.”

On Alex, part of a break comprising of Essex boys (all three of them are from Essex, Alex, Russell and Ian) explained how it was a hard day and how he had averaged 310 for the whole day. That was a very different race to what we would do in Europe in that’s a much higher average wattage. Like Ian said, its very different style of riding in terms of terrain and style of racing.

The key moment of the race was that opening lap which Alex explained has quite often been the case at Nationals. We were just covering moves and I then made a move and kept the pressure on and had a very hard first lap trying to establish that group and we were just hovering at 40 seconds and then it just went out. We had that little scare in the middle and even at the end, I knew Swifty was coming across but didn’t know where he was.

It was a hell of a ride from Russell to come across to us after that first lap. He’s had some bad luck in his career and I think he’s an underrated rider. I had to use all my tactical ability, not strength, to roll him for second! I am over the moon for Russell and his medal.

Finally, after two Silver medals, National 25 and now the British RR Champs, I asked where does he think the big win will come¦ the reply was the Worlds,¦ There is still more to come so I am looking forward to the end of the season...

Luke Grivell-Mellor: I was surprised to look round at one point and the bunch was in pieces and so I was happy to last as long as I did. My job was to make sure Richard Handley, Kristian House and Mike Cuming had drink bottles. Our goal was to help Mike win the Under 23 and he did that so that part of it went to plan! The race was the hardest I have done in terms of it being an absolute slog, it was brutal all day. It is also the longest race I have done but a good experience.


1. Ian Stannard, Team Sky
2. Alex Dowsett, Team Sky
3. Russell Hampton, Raleigh-GAC
4. Ben Swift, Team Sky
5. Jeremy Hunt, Team Sky
6. David Clarke, Node 4
7. Luke Rowe, Team Sky
8. Jonny McEvoy, Endura Racing
9. Simon Richardson, IG Sigma Sport
10. Mike Cumming, Rapha Condor Sharp
11. Matt Holmes, Raleigh GAC
12. Rob Partridge, Endura Racing
13. Peter Williams, Node 4
14. Yanto Barker, UK Youth
15. Joshua Edmondson, Colpack
16. Mark McNally, An Post Dolan Bikes
17. Liam Holohan, Raleigh GAC
18. Evan Oliphant, Raleigh GAC
19. Richard Handley, Rapha Condor Sharp
20. Ben Greenwood,

21. Sam Harrison, 100% ME
22. Tom Last, IG Sigma Sport
23. Adam Yates, Troyes
24. Russell Downing, Endura Racing
25. Jack Kirk, Troyes
26. Luke Grivell-Mellor, Rapha Condor Sharp
27. Nathan Edmondson, Colpack
28. Chris Bartlett, Marco Polo
29. Kit Gilham, Herbalife
30. Richard Cartland, Corley Cycles
31. Gran Ferguson, Boardman
32. Gruff Lewis, UK Youth
33. Hamish Haynes, Colba
34. Adam Cotterall, Zappis
35. Jake Tanner Geofco
36. Richard Cartland, Corley Cycles
37. Tom Stewart, RST Clothing/Trigon Bikes
38. Alex Coutts, RTS
39. James Lowsley-Williams, UK Youth



Tags: , , , ,