Ben Swift wins British road race title

Team Ineos 1-2 as Swift flies past Stannard in finale

Ben Swift (Team Ineos) claimed his first British road race national title on Sunday, ripping past teammate Ian Stannard in the final kilometre in Norwich. 

Stannard had attacked throughout the 200km course and the Ineos duo emerged in the final few kilometres as a trio with John Archibald (Ribble Pro Cycling). 

Stannard attacked and looked to be heading for a solo victory but Swift, after sitting behind Archibald, sensed his opportunity and attacked, closing the gap and riding straight past his teammate before punching the air to celebrate an emotional victory.

Despite a relatively flat course featuring a total elevation of 817 metres, the race saw action almost from start to finish, with attacks and break groups flying for much of the day. What turned out to be the decisive break came at 120 kilometres to go, when Swift got away as an earlier Stannard attack was brought back.

Stannard would make it back to the front, though, with multiple attack groups eventually merging 30 kilometres from the line. From there, yet more attacking saw the group whittled down to four, with Ineos making the most of their numerical advantage in the final 15 kilometres to seal a one-two finish.

"I've been waiting for a win for four years," said Swift after the finish. "I had pretty much two terrible years at UAE, then came back to Ineos and I've just loved it this year. I had that big crash and refocused, worked really hard.

"Today it was a strange race – it was always going to be hard. When I was out there, I always tried to be in the right place, always in those little moves. Stannard was a machine today, always giving me the easiest ride possible. I could just sit on for like 20km and when he went again, I could just sit on. I'm just so happy.

"Chapeau to Archibald – he did a really strong ride there. I could use him and then when that moment came it was every man for himself. I started cramping up a bit but when you've got the line in your sights... I've been trying for these nationals for years now so it's nice to be there."

How it unfolded

A warm and sunny day saw the 170-man peloton set off from Norwich, Norfolk, heading north towards the coast at the start of the the 201.5km course.

After a lumpy start, the route skirted the coast for around 40 kilometres before taking in three laps of a hilly circuit at the westernmost point of the course. An up-and-down 80km run-in back to Norwich would round the race off, with an uphill finish in the city to finish.

It was a fast and furious start to the race as numerous riders fought to get into the break of the day. Chris Lawless (Team Ineos), Daniel Bigham (Ribble Pro Cycling), Michael Mottram (Vitus Pro Cycling p/b Brother UK) were the first to experience success, battling into the headwind to get away. Their advantage was a small one, though, even after the first hour of racing, which saw 49.5km covered. Mottram wouldn't last long up front, crashing into a brick wall on the exit of a corner after a gear problem saw him lose control.

Soon afterwards, Bigham and Lawless were joined by an attacking trio of Ian Stannard (Team Ineos), Charlie Tanfield (Canyon dhb p/b Bloor Homes) and Jake Stewart (Groupama-FDJ Continental). That made it five in the lead with Mottram understandably out of the break after his crash. Lawless was the next man to run into problems, puncturing out of the break, while Stannard tried to keep it going with a solo attack. It would be in vain though, and with 130km to race, things were all back together.

Madison-Genesis launched the next wave of attacking, launching Joseph Laverick, Tom Moses off the front of the peloton. Another Ineos rider joined them – this time Ben Swift – while Laverick dropped back after a few kilometres on the attack. With 120km to ride, the lead duo enjoyed a modest 30-second advantage, while back in the flying peloton, multiple riders were still trying to get away. Soon after, a number of them succeeded, making it around a dozen men out front, 45 seconds up the road. Stannard made it up to teammate Swift, while Scott Thwaites (Vitus Pro Cycling) was another notable name, and Madison-Genesis added three more riders from their 13-man squad to the break.

After two hours of racing featuring attacks, hills and headwinds, the average speed was still a remarkably high 45.7kph. Stannard was soon off again, determined to leave his mark on the race as the break reached the final 90 kilometres. Nobody could follow, and once again it was a lonely ride for the 32-year-old, 30 seconds up the road as he headed back south with a tailwind behind him. The break he left behind was caught 75 kilometres out, though a five-man counter-attack featuring Swift and Thwaites launched soon after and made it six at the head of the race.

That was far from the end of the action, though, as even more groups went on the offensive, with Alex Dowsett (Katusha-Alpecin) and Ethan Hayter (VC Londres) among the attackers. At 30 kilometres out, the front groups merged making it around a dozen riders in the lead. Continuing the theme of the day, the newly-expanded group didn't stick together for long, with attacks flying once again as Hayter punctured. Stannard was among those dropped, but the indefatigable strongman rose again to catch back on inside the final 20 kilometres.

There was another split 15 kilometres from the line as the WorldTour men – Stannard, Swift and Dowsett broke away along with Archibald. With half of the riders in the group, Ineos worked the one-two as Stannard attacked while Swift saved his legs.

Dowsett's effort in the chase paid, and the recently-crowned time trial champion was dropped with around eight kilometres to race. With the Katusha man gone, it was down to Ineos to get their tactics right, and they duly did just that.

Stannard went first and looked set to be soloing to victory. But Swift left Archibald behind in the final two kilometres. His stunning attack saw him quickly make it up to Stannard, passing his teammate to seal victory.

Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Ben Swift (GBr) Team Ineos4:09:08 
2Ian Stannard (GBr) Team Ineos0:00:08 
3John Archibald (GBr) Ribble Pro Cycling0:00:15 
4Alex Dowsett (GBr) Team Katusha Alpecin0:00:58 
5Ethan Hayter (GBr)0:01:20 
6Alexandar Richardson (GBr) Canyon Dhb P / B Bloor Homes  
7Erick Rowsell (GBr) Madison Genesis  
8Mark Christian (GBr) Team Wiggins Lecol  
9Matthew Bostock (GBr) Canyon Dhb P / B Bloor Homes0:03:10 
10Scott Thwaites (GBr) Vitus Pro Cycling P / B Brother Uk  
11Jake Stewart (GBr) Groupama - Fdj  
12Sam Culverwell (GBr)  
13Charlie Meredith (GBr)0:03:13 
14Adam Lewis (GBr) Beat Cycling Club0:03:19 
15Adam Blythe (GBr) Lotto Soudal0:03:26 
16Matthew Walls (GBr)0:03:48 
17Matthew Holmes (GBr) Madison Genesis0:03:50 
18Robert Scott (GBr) Team Wiggins Lecol  
19Jim Brown (GBr)  
20Harrison Jones (GBr)  
21James Jenkins (GBr)  
22Mark Cavendish (GBr) Team Dimension Data  
23Marcus Burnett (GBr)  
24Jacob Vaughan (GBr) Canyon Dhb P / B Bloor Homes  
25Charles Page (GBr) Canyon Dhb P / B Bloor Homes  
26Daniel Tulett (GBr) Team Wiggins Lecol  
27Peter Williams (GBr) Swiftcarbon Pro Cycling  
28Dylan Kerfoot-Robson (GBr) Vitus Pro Cycling P / B Brother Uk  
29Jacques Sauvagnargues (GBr) Team Wiggins Lecol  
30Mark Robertson (GBr)  
31Josh Housley (GBr)  
32Matthew King (GBr)  
33Charlie Tanfield (GBr) Canyon Dhb P / B Bloor Homes  
34Rupert Graham (GBr)  
35Rhys Howells (GBr)  
36Ben Hardy (GBr) Swiftcarbon Pro Cycling  
37Jim Bradford (GBr)  
38Harrison Wood (GBr)0:03:56 
39Harry Tanfield (GBr) Team Katusha Alpecin  
40Charlie Quarterman (GBr)  
41Joshua Teasdale (GBr)  
42William Scott (GBr)0:04:27 
43Thomas Pidcock (GBr) Team Wiggins Lecol0:04:52 
44Thomas Stewart (GBr) Canyon Dhb P / B Bloor Homes  
45Alex Dalton (GBr) Ribble Pro Cycling  
46Zeb Kyffin (GBr) Ribble Pro Cycling  
47Owen James (GBr)  
48Ross Fawcett (GBr)  
49Christopher Latham (GBr) Vitus Pro Cycling P / B Brother Uk  
50Bradley Symonds (GBr)  
51Joseph Clark (GBr)  
52Edmund Bradbury (GBr) Memil Pro Cycling  
53Matthew Exley (GBr)0:05:00 
54Andrew Taylor (GBr)0:05:02 
55Jacob Tipper (GBr) Ribble Pro Cycling  
56Alistair Slater (GBr) Vitus Pro Cycling P / B Brother Uk0:05:05 
57Jonathan Mould (GBr) Madison Genesis  
58William Bjergfelt (GBr) Swiftcarbon Pro Cycling0:05:08 
59Louis Szymanski (GBr)  
60Damien Clayton (GBr)  
61Charles Walker (GBr)  
62Adam Kenway (GBr) Vitus Pro Cycling P / B Brother Uk  
63Tom Elwood (GBr)  
64Kieran Savage (GBr)0:05:11 
65Daniel Mcdermott (GBr)  
66Michael Krukov (GBr)0:05:15 
67Owain Doull (GBr) Team Ineos0:05:16 
68Gruffudd Lewis (GBr) Ribble Pro Cycling0:05:29 
69Matthew Gibson (GBr) Burgos - Bh  
70William Harper (GBr)0:05:48 
71Connor Swift (GBr) Team Arkea - Samsic0:05:57 
72Richard Jones (GBr) Ribble Pro Cycling0:06:01 
73Oliver Maxwell (GBr)  
74Joe Holt (GBr) Vitus Pro Cycling P / B Brother Uk  
75Maximilian Stedman (GBr) Canyon Dhb P / B Bloor Homes  
76Zak Coleman (GBr)  
77Tim James (GBr)  
78Fred Wright (GBr)0:06:03 
79Reece Wood (GBr)  
80Peter Cocker (GBr)  
81Simon Wilson (GBr) Ribble Pro Cycling  
82Matthew Clarke (GBr)  
83Harley Matthews (GBr)  
84Anthony Roberts (GBr)  
85Finn Crockett (GBr)  
86Tarn Fynn (GBr)  
87George Clark (GBr)0:06:10 
88Fraser Martin (GBr)0:06:21 
89Matthew Ellis (GBr)  
90Gary Freeman (GBr)  
91Neil Phillips (GBr)0:06:53 
92Matthew Clements (GBr)0:06:55 
93Timothy Torrie (GBr) Vitus Pro Cycling P / B Brother Uk  
94Rhys Clegg (GBr)  
95Joseph Laverick (GBr) Madison Genesis  
96Luke Ryan (GBr)  
97Tom Mazzone (GBr)  
98Joshua Sandman (GBr)  
99Jack Freeman (GBr)  
100Ethan Vernon (GBr)  
101Daniel Bigham (GBr) Ribble Pro Cycling  
102William Tidball (GBr)  
103Paul Elcock (GBr)  
104Rhys Britton (GBr)0:07:03 
105Stuart Balfour (GBr)  
106William Perrett (GBr)  
107Scott Auld (GBr) Ribble Pro Cycling0:07:08 
108William Brown (GBr) Ribble Pro Cycling  
109Gabriel Cullaigh (GBr) Team Wiggins Lecol0:07:09 
110Joey Walker (GBr) Madison Genesis  
111Dan Gardner (GBr)  
112Ian Bibby (GBr) Madison Genesis  
113Thomas Moses (GBr) Madison Genesis  
114George Kimber (GBr)  
115Oliver Robinson (GBr) Team Wiggins Lecol  
116Callum Macleod (GBr) Canyon Dhb P / B Bloor Homes  
117Christopher Lawless (GBr) Team Ineos0:07:12 
118Jonathan Dibben (GBr) Madison Genesis  
119Theo Modell (GBr)  
120Jonathan Mcevoy (GBr) Madison Genesis  
121James Shaw (GBr) Swiftcarbon Pro Cycling  
122George Pym (GBr) Madison Genesis  
123Graham Briggs (GBr) Vitus Pro Cycling P / B Brother Uk  
124Callum Riley (GBr) Team Wiggins Lecol0:09:39 
125Alex Luhrs (GBr) Ribble Pro Cycling0:14:35 
126John Hale (GBr)0:15:00 
127Ben Turner (GBr)0:17:40 
128Oliver Wood (GBr) Canyon Dhb P / B Bloor Homes0:17:41 
DNFJamie Francis (GBr)  
DNFJacob Hennessy (GBr) Canyon Dhb P / B Bloor Homes  
DNFLouis Rose-Davies (GBr) Canyon Dhb P / B Bloor Homes  
DNFDaniel Pullen (GBr)  
DNFCharlie Renshaw (GBr)  
DNFMorris Bacon (GBr)  
DNFFreddy Pett (GBr)  
DNFMark Richards (GBr)  
DNFAshley Cox (GBr)  
DNFJames Noonan (GBr)  
DNFJonathan Gales (GBr)  
DNFMichael Cuming (GBr) Madison Genesis  
DNFRichard Handley (GBr) Madison Genesis  
DNFGeorge Smith (GBr)  
DNFSimon Alexander (GBr)  
DNFJoe Evans (GBr)  
DNFFrazier Carr (GBr)  
DNFJordan Peacock (GBr)  
DNFThomas Heal (GBr)  
DNFCharlie Wright (GBr)  
DNFJulian Varley (GBr) Swiftcarbon Pro Cycling  
DNFGeorge Wood (GBr) Swiftcarbon Pro Cycling  
DNFMatthew Webster (GBr)  
DNFScott Davies (GBr) Team Dimension Data  
DNFJoseph Nally (GBr)  
DNFTom Wiley (GBr)  
DNFDavid Bolland (GBr)  
DNFTom Fitzpatrick (GBr)  
DNFKinsey Mcilquham (GBr)  
DNFEdward Clancy (GBr) Vitus Pro Cycling P / B Brother Uk  
DNFMichael Mottram (GBr) Vitus Pro Cycling P / B Brother Uk  
DNFDavid Hewett (GBr)  
DNFEdmund Bishop (GBr)  
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