Blythe beats Cavendish to British national championship victory

Tinkoff rider takes first national title

Adam Blythe (Tinkoff) denied Mark Cavendish a second British national road race title as he outsprinted the Manxman at the end of an aggressive day in the north east of England.

Cavendish, who will try to claim the yellow jersey on the opening day of the Tour de France next week, was the favourite as a 14-rider group that came towards the line for a sprint and it was he who opened it up. However, Blythe, who had been part of a long four-man breakaway before limiting his workload on the final laps once caught by Cavendish's chase group, took his wheel before brushing shoulders and coming past him on the slightly-uphill drag to the line.

The 26-year-old Tinkoff rider punched the air and celebrated wildly as he crossed the line for what is probably the biggest result of his career. Andy Fenn, whose Sky teammate Alex Peters had attacked repeatedly to shake up the closing stages of the race, was a more distant third.

"I wanted that one, I was thinking about it all day, trying to be in the right moves," said Blythe, who won’t be at the Tour de France but is instead set to debut his white, red and blue champion’s jersey on home soil at the RideLondon-Surrey Classic later this summer.

"With a couple of laps to go I thought we might hold off the chasers, it was hanging around 20 seconds and I did a few hard turns, but it came back together and I just gambled it’d be a sprint and luckily I got round Cav."

The 207km course was based on two circuits – a main 13.4km loop to be covered 12 times before a 6.7km finishing loop in Stockton to be covered six times – and it produced the aggressive and chaotic racing that has come to characterise national championships.

Indeed, Blythe described how hard it was, the WorldTour-level rider saying it was the toughest day his power meter has seen this year.

"Normally when Cav wins there are leadout trains, but today was a hard day," he said. "We were marked out all day, we weren’t really given any room, always on the pedals all day, I’ve had one of the highest powers I’ve had all year."

Five-time national time trial champion Alex Dowsett was aggressive early on, sparking various moves in a fluid opening portion of the race. However, the Movistar man didn’t make the key selections that were soon made, with two groups joining up to make a breakaway of 16, including Blythe.

It was fast and furious in the bunch as Dowsett and others looked to bridge over, and a large group of 28 ended up clipping off in pursuit of the leaders. That group itself split, and in the end eight riders, including Cavenidsh, Dowsett, and Tao Geoghegan Hart, made the junction to form a lead group of 22.

On the final lap of the main loop, Team Sky neo-pro Alex Peters showed his aggression and formed a four-man group with Geoghegan Hart, Tom Moses, and Blythe that would go close to contesting the victory. The quartet collaborated well and held onto around 30 seconds for four of the six final laps before an aggressive Cavendish helped drag the chase group – which by that stage had been whittled down to 10 – back into contention.

With 14 now at the head of the race with under two laps to go, Peters attacked repeatedly, with Chris Lawless the most active in shutting down the moves. It was frantic, with splits opening and closing all the time, but by this stage Blythe had set up shop on the back of the group – as he said, gambling on it coming together for a sprint.

After relative calm on the final lap, that’s what happened and once Cavendish had opened it up to come past Lawless and Thwaites, Blythe found he had enough in the tank to take the spoils.

Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Adam Blythe (GBr) Tinkoff4:31:07 
2Mark Cavendish (GBr) Dimension Data  
3Andrew Fenn (GBr) Team Sky  
4Mark McNally (GBr) Wanty - Groupe Gobert  
5Scott Thwaites (GBr) Bora–Argon 18  
6Tao Geoghegan Hart (GBr) Axeon Hagens Berman CT  
7Thomas Stewart (GBr) Madison Genesis  
8Dale Appleby (GBr) NFTO  
9Christopher Lawless (GBr) JLT Condor  
10James Shaw (GBr) Lotto Soudal U23  
11Dexter Gardias (GBr) Pedal Heaven  
12Kristian House (GBr) One Pro Cycling0:00:09 
13Alex Peters (GBr) Team Sky0:00:20 
14Christopher Latham (GBr) Team Wiggins0:03:44 
15Matthew Holmes (GBr) Madison Genesis  
16Thomas Moses (GBr) JLT Condor0:03:45 
17George Harper (GBr) One Pro Cycling  
18Sam Lowe (GBr) Team Wiggins0:03:48 
19Steve Lampier (GBr) JLT Condor0:03:49 
20Robert Partridge (GBr) NFTO0:03:50 
21Max Stedman (GBr) Pedal Heaven0:03:52 
22Alex Dowsett (GBr) Movistar Team0:03:54 
23Daniel Mclay (GBr) Fortuneo - Vital Concept0:04:50 
24Elliott Porter (GBr) Neon-Velo Cycling Team0:05:15 
DNFGeorge Atkins (GBr) JLT Condor  
DNFScott Auld (GBr) Zappi's Racing Team  
DNFKarl Baillie (GBr) Raleigh GAC  
DNFYanto Barker (GBr) One Pro Cycling  
DNFPeter Barusevicus (GBr) Wheelbase Altura MGD  
DNFSebastian Baylis (GBr) Zappis Racing Team  
DNFThomas Baylis (GBr) One Pro Cycling  
DNFIan Bibby (GBr) NFTO  
DNFDaniel Bigham (GBr) Planet X - Northside Cycling  
DNFWilliam Bjergfelt (GBr) Neon-Velo Cycling Team  
DNFSam Boast (GBr) Wheelbase Altura MGD  
DNFDavid Bolland (GBr) Neon-Velo Cycling Team  
DNFMatthew Bostock (GBr) 100% ME  
DNFTom Bracegirdle (GBr) Goma Dakwerken vdb Steenhouwerij  
DNFEdmund Bradbury (GBr) NFTO  
DNFKieran Brady (GBr) Richardsons-Trek RT  
DNFAlexander Braybrooke (GBr) Lotto Soudal U23  
DNFGraham Briggs (GBr) JLT Condor  
DNFDillon Byrne (GBr) Superano Ham - Isorex - Tarteletto  
DNFRob Carter (GBr) TS Racing Team - OTR  
DNFMark Christian (GBr) Team Wiggins  
DNFJoseph Clark (GBr) Envelopemaster Giant Sheffield  
DNFDavid Clarke (GBr) Massi Kuwait Cycling Project  
DNFMatthew Clarke (GBr) Excel Pedal Heaven Academy  
DNFAngus Claxton (GBr) EISER INFORLUR/S.C Duranguesa  
DNFEdward Clemens (GBr) Spirit Bikes Racing Team  
DNFMatt Cronshaw (GBr) Madison Genesis  
DNFGabriel Cullaigh (GBr) 100% ME  
DNFScott Davies (GBr) Team Wiggins  
DNFJonathan Dibben (GBr) Team Wiggins  
DNFAndrew Disley (GBr) Harry Middleton Cycling Club  
DNFJordan Doig (GBr) Pro Vision Cycle Clothing  
DNFRussell Downing (GBr) JLT Condor  
DNFNathan Draper (GBr) 100% ME  
DNFJoshua Edmondson (GBr) NFTO  
DNFAlbert Ellison (GBr) TBW Bottecchia Wigmore RT  
DNFJoseph Elwood (GBr) Langsett Cycles RT  
DNFJack Escritt (GBr) Raleigh GAC  
DNFJoe Evans (GBr) Madison Genesis  
DNFDavid Fletcher (GBr) Sherwood Pines Cycles Felt - Enve  
DNFAlexander Foster (GBr) Bikehaus by Ridley  
DNFGeorge Fowler (GBr) NFTO  
DNFJoseph Fry (GBr) Pedal Heaven  
DNFDan Gardner (GBr) Astellas Cycling Team  
DNFJoshua Green (GBr) Catford CC Equipe/Banks  
DNFLuke Grivell-Mellor (GBr) JLT Condor  
DNFLuc Hall (GBr) Team Wiggins  
DNFRichard Handley (GBr) One Pro Cycling  
DNFJoe Harris (GBr) Spirit Bikes Racing Team  
DNFSamuel Harrison (GBr) Team Wiggins  
DNFAndrew Hawdon (GBr) Raleigh GAC  
DNFJacob Hennessy (GBr) Spirit Bikes Racing Team  
DNFRichard Hepworth (GBr) Raleigh GAC  
DNFBen Hetherington (GBr) Planet X - Northside Cycling  
DNFLiam Holohan (GBr) Team Wiggins  
DNFJoe Holt (GBr) 100% ME  
DNFTobyn Horton (GBr) Madison Genesis  
DNFRhys Howells (GBr) Richardsons-Trek RT  
DNFJoshua Hunt (GBr) One Pro Cycling  
DNFHarrison Jones (GBr) Pedal Heaven  
DNFJake Kelly (GBr) Team Wiggins  
DNFAdam Kenway (GBr) Metaltek Kuota Racing Team  
DNFRoss Lamb (GBr) Godfrey Bikewear Race Team  
DNFEdward Laverack (GBr) JLT Condor  
DNFAndy Leigh (GBr) Superano Ham - Isorex - Tarteletto  
DNFGruffudd Lewis (GBr) Madison Genesis  
DNFAdam Lewis (GBr) Team NHT Cycling Team  
DNFJames Lewis (GBr) NFTO  
DNFJoel Lewis (GBr) Wheelbase Altura MGD  
DNFDavid Lines (GBr) Wheelbase Altura MGD  
DNFRhys Lloyd (GBr) NFTO  
DNFJames Lowsley- Williams (GBr) NFTO  
DNFRichard Mardle (GBr) NFTO  
DNFFraser Martin (GBr) Raleigh GAC  
DNFOliver Maxwell (GBr) Neon-Velo Cycling Team  
DNFZachery May (GBr) Metaltek Kuota Racing Team  
DNFTom Mazzone (GBr) Excel Pedal Heaven Academy  
DNFLeon Mazzone (GBr) ILLI-Bikes Cycling Team  
DNFJonathan McEvoy (GBr) NFTO  
DNFLouis Modell (GBr) Zappis Racing Team  
DNFAnthony Moye (GBr) Spirit Bikes Racing Team  
DNFCraig Nicholls (GBr) API-Metrow/Bodyby JR  
DNFDaniel Nieto (GBr) TBW Bottecchia Wigmore RT  
DNFSean Noon (GBr) Spokes Racing Team  
DNFChris Opie (GBr) One Pro Cycling  
DNFAlex Orrell-Turner (GBr) Wheelbase Altura MGD  
DNFJoshua Outram (GBr) Richardsons-Trek RT  
DNFAlex Paton (GBr) Pedal Heaven  
DNFDaniel Patten (GBr) Team Wiggins  
DNFGeorge Pym (GBr) Raleigh GAC  
DNFCharlie Renshaw (GBr) Envelopemaster Giant Sheffield  
DNFAlexandar Richardson (GBr) Pedal Heaven Excel Academy  
DNFSteven Roach (GBr) Raleigh GAC  
DNFTristan Robbins (GBr) Madison Genesis  
DNFBen Rowe (GBr) Wheelbase Altura MGD  
DNFErick Rowsell (GBr) Madison Genesis  
DNFLuke Ryan (GBr) Richardsons-Trek RT  
DNFDavid Shackleton (GBr) Wilsons Wheels Race Team  
DNFDean Shannon (GBr) Richardsons-Trek RT  
DNFKieran Simcox (GBr) Neon-Velo Cycling Team  
DNFMark Stewart (GBr) 100% ME  
DNFBradley Stokes (GBr) Planet X - Northside Cycling  
DNFLiam Stones (GBr) NFTO  
DNFJake Tanner (GBr) Envelopemaster Giant Sheffield  
DNFJoshua Teasdale (GBr) Prorace Cycling Team  
DNFMichael Thompson (GBr) Team Wiggins  
DNFRory Townsend (GBr) Pedal Heaven  
DNFAndrew Turner (GBr) KTM Impsport RT  
DNFJoey Walker (GBr) 100% ME  
DNFDaniel Whitehouse (GBr)  
DNFPeter Williams (GBr) One Pro Cycling  
DNFSamuel Williams (GBr) One Pro Cycling  
DNFStephen Williams (GBr) JLT Condor  
DNFJake Womersley (GBr) Pedal Heaven  
DNFCameron Woolsey (GBr) Spirit Bikes Racing Team  

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