Fred Wright claimed a heroic national title after a hotly contested race under all weathers, while Pfeiffer Georgi took her second national road race title with a majestic sprint up Saltburn Bank.
Sam Watson and Anna Shackley won the under-23 titles after a tough day in the saddle, which saw riders ascend Saltburn Bank seven times in the women’s race, and ten times in the men’s.
25 June 2023 Images by Chris Maher, Words by British Cycling (Press Release)
Fred Wright had a fairytale victory on Saltburn Bank, battling heat, rain and hills to be crowned the men’s national champion after finishing second two years ago.
The first lap saw plenty of attacks in a bid to reduce the peloton, forcing a front group of 20 or so riders.
On the third lap, Sean Flynn and Mark Donovan managed to drive away from the group before being caught again.
The pace of the lead group ramped up with attacks from Connor Swift and Fred Wright with 130km to go, while Ben Tullet and Ollie Wood managed to get a gap up Skelton Green climb, but were reeled back in.
As riders were picking up in the feed zone, a front group of Max Walker, Connor McGoldrick, Oliver Rees, Harrison Wood, Joshua Golliker and Donovan managed to break away from the main bunch.
The front six gained over a minute’s lead, with the Trinity riders and Donovan pushing on the pace, with Donovan managing to breakaway as the other five were caught with 62km left.
Donovan pushed a minute’s gap before being caught after a tremendous effort as attacks from the chasers came frequently.
Owain Doull, Wright, Connor Swift, James Knox, Sam Watson and Steven Williams broke away on Saltburn Bank, crossing the line with two laps remaining.
Wright fired over the top of Skelton Green, dropping Swift in the process to knock Ineos Grenadiers off the chance of another podium.
The penultimate time up Saltburn Bank saw Wright, Knox and Williams storm through to decide the podium places.
Williams attacked up Brotton climb, before Wright launched his ultimate solo attempt and went clear of the two riders.
Coming up to the finish for the final time, Wright checked over his shoulder three times before raising his hands to take his first national title.
Knox rolled in second and Williams took third, while a brilliant fifth place for Sam Watson saw him crowned the under-23 champion ahead of Joshua Golliker and Max Walker.
On his first senior win, Wright said:
“I still can’t believe it, to be honest. I knew I had some of the best legs I’ve ever had today and it was so special to cross the line. I still imagined in my head, you know, 200 metres to go, ‘he’s going to come flying past me!’. It’s being able to wear the stripy jersey and then also for the rest of my career, I’ll have a little GB logo on my jersey as well. It means a lot to win this and I can’t wait for the next year.”
The first two laps saw a few riders breaking away as the pace increased to splinter the peloton early on.
As the front of the peloton continued to up the pace, a group of nine including Anna Henderson, Pfeiffer Georgi, Anna Shackley, Elinor Barker, Alex Morrice, Natalie Grinczer, Claire Steels, Flora Perkins, and Sophie Wright broke away up the climb for the fourth time.
Steels attacked on Skelton Green, dropping Grinczer, Wright and Perkins, before Grinczer rejoined the group on the descent. Perkins battled on by herself, while Wright, Elynor Backstedt and Wednesday’s national time-trial champion Lizzie Holden chased behind.
On the second to last lap, Georgi tested the group by attacking, with Steels straight on her wheel up Saltburn Bank, leaving the others to chase behind. Henderson, Barker and Shackley led the charge and managed to bridge the gap, with Grinczer and Morrice hanging on. Behind, Perkins was caught by the chasing group as Hayley Simmonds had managed to join.
The front group of seven slowed the pace as riders began to look at each other for podium places, with Morrice clipping her wheel on the pavement and coming off. Morrice gritted her teeth and managed to chase down the group, catching with just 10km to go.
Barker attacked on the climb up to Brotton, dropping Morrice in the process, before Shackley went for it on the descent. On the descent into Saltburn, Henderson and Shackley continued to make attacks before coming back together.
The final bend of the descent saw Georgi make her killer move with a monster attack that carried her up to Saltburn Bank.
Georgi pushed on with incredible speed, and had enough time to cross the line with her arms punching the air to take her second road race national title. Steels followed in behind to take second, as Henderson rolled in third.
Anna Shackley took the under-23 title after crossing the line in fifth position, while Flora Perkins and Elynor Backstedt came second and third respectively from the chase group.
Speaking after her win, Georgi said: “The last hundred meters when I looked behind and I saw there was no one there, I was just in disbelief and just pure happiness to pull it off again. I’m a bit shocked and was like, ‘Oh, I’ve actually done it!’. I was feeling strong, so I just tried to keep it together and then just close my eyes, full gas up the climb, and in the end, it paid off! It feels amazing.”
Elite women's result
Under-23 women's result
Elite men's result
Under-23 men's result
Josh Tarling and Lizzie Holden were crowned elite national time-trial champions at Croft Motor Circuit on the first day of the British National Road Championships, while Maddie Leech and local rider Josh Charlton took the under-23 titles.
BC Press Release June 21 2023, Images by Chris Maher
Josh Tarling (Ineos Grenadiers) rode a blisteringly quick time-trial to be crowned the elite men’s national champion in his first year in the elite ranks. The 19-year-old clocked a time of 48:50.43 on the 41.1km course, starting and finishing in the pit lane at Croft Circuit in Darlington, becoming the youngest ever elite men’s national time-trial champion.
Tarling beat off competition from fellow WorldTeam rider Fred Wright (Bahrain-Victorious) who finished a minute behind on 49:53.24. The 2018 national road champion and Tarling’s teammate Connor Swift managed to claim third place in 50:00.56.
On his win, Tarling said: “It’s a bit weird to have won! Weird, but super happy. Super cool to have won against some big hitters and really nice that I get to wear this in some cool races now. I think it was important not to go too hard at the start. I didn’t want to go too easy when I felt good.
“It’d be really nice to get another jersey in the circuit on Friday. I podiumed last year so it would be nice. Crits are always fun and it’s just fight for an hour.”
Lizzie Holden (UAE Team ADQ) took first place in the elite women’s time-trial, bettering her third place finish at last year’s event. Holden clocked a time of 37:02.14 to take the coveted red, white and blue jersey and the national title, while a shocked Anna Morris (WardPerformanceUK.com) claimed second place in 37:16.21. Elinor Barker (Uno-X Pro Cycling Team) finished in third on 37:18.78 after a brilliant ride.
Speaking after her win, Holden said: “It feels really special. I always looked up to those in the national jersey, and I guess now I have one of my own. It doesn’t feel real yet. This was something I wanted to aim for because I’ve been close before, but part of me was like I don’t know if I can actually do it. I just did what I could do and thankfully it paid off.
“I’m a bit nervous for the road race, obviously racing without a team, and I’ll just be on my own so that will be hard. It’s a big field this year, which is really nice to see, to be honest. I remember some of my first nationals where there was maybe 60 girls and now there’s like 130. I think it’ll be a really hard race.”
Josh Charlton (Saint Piran) stormed to the under-23 men’s title, with the 20-year-old more than 20 seconds ahead of his nearest competitor, clocking 33:45.36 on the 27.4km route.
Max Walker (Trinity Racing) took a brilliant second place with 34:06.59, while Joshua Golliker (Groupama-FDJ La Conti) came in third on 34:18.26.
Charlton said: “It feels immense. I made it a goal since about this time last year, thinking about it and planning for it, and then it all comes together in 30 minutes – on the course, I felt amazing. I didn’t think I was going to win here so it was definitely a big boost.”
Maddie Leech (Lifeplus Wahoo) was crowned the under-23 women’s national champion after clocking a quick time of 38:17.64 – just under a minute ahead of Lucy Gadd (Stade Rochelais Charente-Marit). Gadd took the silver in a time of 39:17.36, while Flora Perkins claimed third in 39:33.418.
Leech said: “It’s really nice to have won the title. I just gave everything I had left and yeah, I felt strong in the last half, so I just kept squeezing, and it paid off.
“With the road race coming up, it is going to be tough, I’m not going to lie. It’s very hilly, probably not my forte, but I gave it a good portion, probably just be trying to survive!”
Megan Barker powered to her first senior national title and Ollie Wood cruised to a solo victory on the second day of the British National Road Championships in Redcar.
23 June 2023; Images by Chris Maher, Words by British Cycling (Press Release)
Megan Barker (Team Inspired) outsprinted junior rider Cat Ferguson (Shibden Hope Tech Apex) and Maddie Leech (Lifeplus Wahoo) to claim the title in a hotly-contested circuit race.
A number of riders made attacks in the first few laps with Frankie Hall (Loughborough Lightning) leading the charge with some very aggressive racing, injecting pace into the race and making the peloton work hard from the off. Leech continued to make frequent attacks as the bunch splintered the best from the rest.
Katie Archibald (Ceratizit-WNT Pro Cycling Team) counter-attacked as she attempted to get away, but DAS-Handsling reeled her back in and controlled the front of the race.
Ferguson also had a go but was unable to get away from DAS-Handsling’s control.
With just a few laps remaining, Archibald attacked and finally managed to make it stick, racking up a sizeable margin in the closing stages of the race. The victory looked to be hers, but she unfortunately slid out in a corner, ending her race.
At the same time, the chasing bunch were involved in a huge crash as a touch of wheels saw a large group riders go down and caused the race to be paused.
The race started up again for 10 more laps, where the pace was extremely high as riders fought for those all-important podium places.
Coming onto the final straight, Leech went long and sprinted with Barker and Ferguson on her wheel. Barker launched her attack and showed incredible speed to hold off Ferguson, while Leech claimed her second medal of the championships after her under-23 win in the time-trial.
Speaking after her win, Barker said: “It’s my first senior national title, so I’m really happy and I’ve always wanted to win, so I’m finally able to say that!
“It’s really nice for both Elinor and I to have won something! We have another race on Sunday and I think that suits her even more so hopefully we might get another medal and make it a proper Barker occasion!”
Despite the delayed start and some light rain adding to the nerves, it was a lightning fast start to the men’s race, with Wednesday’s elite time-trial champion Josh Tarling (Ineos Grenadiers) again showing his strength.
After an early attack from reigning champion Matt Bostock (Black Spoke Pro Cycling Academy), it was the newly-crowned North West and Yorkshire regional road champion Ollie Wood who was the first to break clear, quickly establishing a 20-second lead.
With the peloton unable to organise an effective chase Wood continued to press ahead, and despite the work of Tarling, Bostock and Sam Watson (Groupama-FDJ), he extended his lead as the race’s conclusion came into view.
A chasing group spearheaded by Welshman Joe Holt (TEKKERZ CC) at last showed some impetus, but with the rain continuing to fall their progress was halted by a crash on the first corner of the course.
As Wood time-trialled his way to victory and crossed the line with his arms aloft, the bunch sprint for the remaining podium places saw Bostock take second and Tim Shoreman (Wheelbase CabTech Castelli) third, with local favourite Harry Tanfield agonisingly missing out in fourth.
Wood said: “It feels really good. Absolutely not the plan to break away, it just happened and I just thought I’d roll with it, and then it stuck to the end. I definitely could feel everyone behind me and the people in Redcar definitely turned out tonight.
“I don’t think I can remember the last time I won a race like that with a gap and you can just sort of cruise down the finish line and just take it and look at everyone’s faces, everyone’s loving it as well as much as me.”