Grant Ferguson (CST American Eagle) claimed his first-ever elite British title after a tense, long race on Sunday. Five-time champion Ian Field (Hargroves-Ridley-Montezuma’s) took the silver medal, 18 seconds back, while 2016 champion Liam Killeen (Malvern Cycling Sport) finished 23 seconds back to take bronze.
Ferguson, 24, a cross-country mountain biker who represented Great Britain at the 2016 Olympics in Rio, attacked on the penultimate lap after riding a tactical race during which he kept a close eye on his two rivals.
"I knew they would be the main competition this weekend so I was prepared, and I've raced them the last few years so I was aware of what was coming," he said after the finish. "I didn't realise Liam had crashed. There was a bit of a gap and me and Ian was away, so I thought now was a good time to have a shot so I'm really happy it came off."
"It means a lot. I've been trying really hard for this one, so I'm really happy about that."
There was action from the start as a small group splintered off the front of the main peloton early on the first lap. Race favourite and reigning champion Field was the man to watch, and was joined by Ferguson, Killeen and Steven James (Hope Factory Racing).
The lead trio formed on lap two as James fell back, and for much of the race it was a slow-burn, with a cagier style of racing on show among the leaders.
With Field seemingly in control, there was a sense that his companions were waiting for Yorkshireman to make his move, but attacks did come, with Killeen making a move on lap four. He couldn’t make it stick though, and neither could Field with his counter-move. Ferguson, meanwhile, largely rode third wheel - seemingly conserving his energy for the finale.
A mistake from Killeen with two laps to race set off the decisive moves of the day. The Londoner slipped and put a foot down at the pit entry, losing contact and setting up a two-man showdown for the win.
As Field pushed the pace with Killeen chasing, Ferguson was stuck to his wheel, but it would soon be his time to go. At the start of lap seven Ferguson pulled out a small gap, one which only increased up the climb.
An anticipated push from Field to close the gap never fully materialised, with three-time British U23 champion Ferguson looking just that bit stronger as he extended his lead and rode on to victory.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Grant Ferguson (GBr)||1:06:11|
|2||Ian Field (GBr)||0:00:18|
|3||Liam Killeen (GBr)||0:00:23|
|4||Steven James (GBr)||0:02:00|
|5||Paul Oldham (GBr)||0:02:15|
|6||Giles Drake (GBr)||0:02:39|
|7||Lewis Craven (GBr)||0:03:25|
|8||David Fletcher (GBr)||0:04:01|
|9||Stephen James (GBr)||0:04:08|
|10||Iain Paton (GBr)||0:04:23|
|11||Tony Fawcett (GBr)||0:04:29|
|12||Nicholas Craig (GBr)||0:04:35|
|13||Michael Butler (GBr)||0:05:16|
|14||Thomas Armstrong (GBr)||0:05:26|
|15||Sam Allen (GBr)||0:05:27|
|16||George Thompson (GBr)||0:06:27|
|17||Jack Clarkson (GBr)||0:06:43|
|18||Jonathan Dennis (GBr)||0:07:05|
|19||Freddie Checketts (GBr)||0:07:14|
|20||Lee Williams (GBr)||0:07:18|
|21||Robert Burns (GBr)||0:07:32|
|22||Nicholas Barnes (GBr)||0:07:49|
|23||David Lines (GBr)||0:08:15|
|24||Scott Chalmers (GBr)||0:00:36|
|25||Thomas Payton (GBr)||0:00:37|
|26||David Earth (GBr)||-1 Lap|
|27||Bruce Dalton (GBr)|
|28||Neil Phillips (GBr)|
|29||Ian Lee (GBr)|
|30||William Brown (GBr)|
|31||Martin Woffindin (GBr)|
|32||Dave Powell (GBr)|
|33||Stuart Reid (GBr)|
|34||Mark Cotton (GBr)|
|35||Jonathan Fletcher (GBr)|
|36||Samuel Holder (GBr)|
|37||Paul Elcock (GBr)|
|38||Daniel Preece (GBr)|
|39||Simon Gibbs (GBr)|
|40||Kieren Jarratt (GBr)|
|41||Keith Murray (GBr)|
|42||Gareth Whittall (GBr)|
|43||Joshua Jones (GBr)|
|44||Robert Watson (GBr)|
|45||Benjamin Shucksmith (GBr)|
|46||Daniel Atkins (GBr)|
|47||Christopher Burns (GBr)|
|48||John Routledge (GBr)|
|49||Alan Collins (GBr)|
|50||Bryan Laycock (GBr)|
|51||Ellis Mccoy (GBr)|
|52||Simon Meadwell (GBr)|
|53||Paul Barrett (GBr)|
|54||Jon Moss (GBr)|
|55||Liam Casey (GBr)|
|DNS||Alexander Forrester (GBr)|
|DNS||Jeremy Hicks (GBr)|
|DNS||Gareth Brookes (GBr)|
|DNS||Callum Riley (GBr)|
|DNS||Gary Macdonald (GBr)|
|DNS||Robert Jebb (GBr)|
|DNS||Daniel Booth (GBr)|
|DNS||Jonathan Bayley (GBr)|
|DNS||Adam Cooke (GBr)|
|DNS||Dean Ridley (GBr)|
|DNS||Antony Glover (GBr)|
|DNS||Ronnie Batey (GBr)|
|DNS||James Vickers (GBr)|
|DNS||Peter Ruffhead (GBr)|