Essex star Dowsett wins British time trial title at Sandringham
- Credit: Archant
Maldon professional Alex Dowsett followed up his win in British Cycling’s time trial championship at Sandringham with fourth spot in Sunday’s National Road Race Championships based in Norwich, writes Fergus Muir.
Other local riders put in sterling efforts but there was nothing else to match this.
The road race route exploited Norfolk's narrow village roads and country byways to sort the field, very successfully fulfilling a role taken by hills in other parts of Britain.
"Every time the road narrowed the pace went up" said Ipswich rider Rebecca Johnson (BrotherUK-Fusion) one of East Anglia's top finishers, at 50th, in the Women's race.
One place ahead of Johnson was Polly Mason (DAP CC) who successfully made an astonishing lone chase to regain the bunch after finding at the first climb that there was no battery in her electronic gear-change.
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With a much larger field than most local riders will have previously experienced, the feed zones - much needed on a hot day - proved something of a nightmare.
Missed drinks were a problem for Gemma Melton of Pedal Power Ipswich. Rebecca Johnson helped her friend by sharing a bottle, but Melton was finally grateful for a big bottle from a kind lady bystander.
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For Strada Sport's Tom Heal, who lost contact with the race at Holkham, a dropped bottle was certainly no help.
Keeping just within four minutes of Dowsett in the time trial, Jason Bouttell finished 17th in 53:21 while fellow Newmarket rider Matthew Smith was 21st in 53:59.
Also in this Sandringham-based time trial was Sophie Holmes from Diss who carried her Datalynx- Parenesis colours to finish in 47:33, compared to 38:47 from Sophie Wright
There was a fine fight-back by Andy Taylor in the men's race. The DAP CC team member found himself back amongst the team cars after being tailed off as the strung-out field flew through Holkham, but he found second wind to regain contact and lead one of the groups into Norwich
The huge bunch rode very close together. DAP CC's Harley Matthews commented: "It was really aggressive - you had to fill every gap (between riders) otherwise you were swamped".
NATIONAL ROAD RACE CHAMPIONSHIPS
WOMEN: Winner: Alice Barnes (Canyon).
Local classified finishers: 49: Polly Mason (DAP CC), 50: Rebecca Johnson (BrotherUK).
MEN: Winner: Ben Swift (Team Ineos) 4:09:08,
Local classified finishers: 4: Alex Dowsett (Team Katusha- Alpecin), 48: Ross Fawcett (Pedal Power Ipswich), 54: Andy Taylor (DAP CC), 76: Zak Coleman (VP Consulting), 83: Harley Matthews (DAP CC), 90: Gary Freeman (Pedal Power Ipswich), 124: Callum Riley (Team Wiggins)