Alex Dowsett started the British national time trial on Thursday afternoon in Stockton-on-Tees as the overwhelming favourite and duly delivered on his status for a fifth career triumph. Since 2011, the Movistar rider has won all but once when he finished third in 2014 to Bradley Wiggins and is now holds the title with the most victories by a British male.
"Win number five is as special as the first. I get to wear this for another year. It saves Endura making another one or a blue one," said Dowsett. "It's always special. It's nice that I didn't have any problems this year, every year the nationals seems to throw something at me but that went very smoothly, fantastic course. Stockton should be very proud of what they put on today, very spectator friendly and this is what time trials need".
Dowsett covered the four-lap 46.08km course in 55:38 minutes to defeat James Gullen (Pedal Heaven Race Team) by 1:16 minutes, and Ryan Perry (Langdale Lightweights Racing Team) by 2:14 minutes.
The win was also Dowsett's first of the 2016 season, having finished top-ten in time trials at Volta ao Algarve and Tirreno-Adriatico, and first win since his 2015 success.
Dowsett is on the Movistar Tour de France long list and should the 27-year-old be selected, it would be his second start after his 2015 debut.
Alex Dowsett (Movistar) en route to his fourth national title (Simon Wilkinson / SWpix.com)
Successful TT defence for Boasson Hagen
Dimension Data's Edvald Boasson Hagen won a record eighth Norwegian national time trial title to confirm he is approaching the Tour de France in form having won also won a stage and the points classification at the recent Criterium du Dauphiné.
Boasson Hagen, who also won titles between 2007 and 2011, 2013, and 2015, beat IAM Cycling's Vegard Stake Laengen by 20 seconds on the 47.4km Saltstraumen course with Andreas Vangstad (Team Sparebanken Sør) in third at 43 seconds.
"It's good I had enough in the end. I knew Vegard was in great shape. I had to work here," Boasson Hagen told TV2. "I think the form is good. It was good in the Dauphiné and it felt alright now, but it was a tough fight."
Boasson Hagen has returned to form in 2016 with the 29-year-old taking stage wins at the Tour of Qatar, Oman and Norway and was also fifth at Paris-Roubaix. He will line up in Sunday's road race as the defending champion, aiming to win a third career title before heading to the Tour de France.
First Belgian title for Campenaerts
Having finished last in the Tour de Romandie prologue and 164th in the Criterium du Dauphine prologue, Victor Campenaerts proved his capabilities are better suited to longer efforts with the LottoNL-Jumbo rider claiming the Belgian national time trial title in Mol-Postel by a slender three seconds ahead of Yves Lampaert (Etixx-Quick Step).
The win was Campenaerts's first victory as a professional and explained his triathlon background was key to his pacing across the 38km course.
"Everything went well, I felt that everything was good and that it could be my day today," said Campenaerts. "I am very happy, I've lived for this since the winter. Last year, I did not pace my race well and I did so perfectly this year. I used to swim and race triathlon, which are of course just like time trials, so I am good at spliting a race into sections."
While his prologue efforts have missed the mark, Campenaerts was top-ten in in two longer time trials he's started in 2016 and added that he hopes his national title can spur him to further successes.
"My time trials have always been good, but I did not win much," he said. "I am glad that this works as a professional in my third year. I hope I can use my time trial in the future to shine in short stage races."
Victor Campenaerts riding to the win (Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
Nico Roche back on top in Irish national time trial titles
Team Sky's Nico Roche first won the Irish time trial title in 2007 and has now added a second title to his palmares having blitzed the Kilcullen course ahead of Eddie Dunbar (Axeon Hagens Berman) and Ryan Mullen (Cannondale). Roche, who was third in 2012, covered the 40km course in a time of 47:14 minutes with Dunbar claiming silver for the second year but winning the U23 title, and defending champion Mullen third 1:25 minutes.
Roche's last win come on stage 18 of last year's Vuelta a Espana with second place overall at the Tour de Yorkshire the closest he had come to victory in 2016. The 31-year-old was last in action at the Giro d'Italia where he was 24th overall.
Sitsou re-claims Belarusian time trial title
Siutsou last won the title in 2014, adding to his triumphs in 2004, 2011, and 2013 with his 2016 success taking him above current world champion Vasil Kiryienka.
The 33-year-old moved to Dimension Data at the end of last season following four seasons with Sky with tenth place overall at the Giro d'Italia in May matching his best grand tour result.