National Road Championships 2019: Ben Swift and Alice Barnes win maiden British titles


Ben Swift and Alice Barnes both won their first national road race titles with victory at the British Championships in Norwich.

Team Ineos rider Swift powered past leader and team-mate Ian Stannard in the final two kilometres to take victory in the men’s race.

Canyon-SRAM’s Barnes rode away from Anna Henderson in the final 200m to win the 136km women’s race.

“It feels good as I’ve been chasing the win for a number of years,” Swift said.

“I finished in all the other top five places so to eventually get this jersey, I’m really happy.”

Swift has endured a crash-ravaged season, which included a training collision with team-mate Geraint Thomas in February that left him in intensive care with a ruptured spleen.

The Rotherham-born cyclist, who succeeds his cousin Conor Swift as national champion, said: “It’s been a difficult season with the crashes.

“But I’ve got my rhythm and motivation back after the crash – it’s nice to keep the jersey in the family.

“I massively owe this win to Ian [Stannard] but we all went in there equally and he played his card early but it enabled me to sit and wait and it worked out perfectly.”

The win for Barnes means she becomes the first woman since Emma Pooley in 2010 to win the national road race and time trial titles in the same year.

“I knew I was coming into this with quite good form. My time trial kind of shocked me but to get both [titles] – I can’t really believe it yet.

“I rode the last two days and I’ve done a couple of stage races already this year so I think I recover quite well from those. I just fuelled well and went into today thinking ‘just go for it’.”

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