Dowsett flew around the lap-and-a-half of the Sandringham Estate at an average speed of 50.6kph to beat John Archibald (Ribble Pro Cycling) into second place by seven seconds. 2017 champion Stephen Cummings (Dimension Data) took third place, 27 seconds down.
The result sees 30-year-old Dowsett move level with Stuart Dangerfield with six titles and puts him back in the British skinsuit for a year, after a two-season hiatus which saw him take a silver and bronze.
"Very much so [wanted to get back in jersey]. A few years it came quite easy and I guess I took it for granted wearing the stripes," said Dowsett after the finish. "I’ll enjoy wearing these maybe more than other times I’ve had them just because I’ve maybe taken them granted in the past.
"Today was a fight. I was down after a third of the distance and it was touch-and-go at two-thirds distance. Then I brought it home well. The calibre of riders coming through is huge so I really don’t know when my last time in the national stripes will be so I’m going to enjoy every moment.
"It’s nice [to equal the record]. You don’t really think about that kind of thing – each year is a pleasure."
Rupert Graham (Spirit Tifosi) set the early running, averaging 48.95kph to set a time of 51:07.002, over two minutes faster than previous leader Jon Hale (Worx Factory Racing).
Graham's time would stand up well as the day went on, with no other elite riders getting within a minute. As with the women's race though, the professionals would set off later on, set to take over the top of the leaderboards.
Neither Simon Wilson (Ribble Pro Cycling), Mark Christian (Wiggins Le Col) or Max Steadman (Canyon dhb p/b Bloor Homes) could do it though, with Christian's 51:16.233 coming closest. Instead it was Christopher Fennell (The Independent Pedaler) who beat Graham's time first, setting the pace at 50:56.294.
Ian Stannard (Team Ineos) beat that minutes later, going 12 seconds faster with an average of 49.32kph. The next three riders to finish saw the hotseat change hands each time, with Scott Davis (Dimension Data) going fastest before being overhauled by Daniel Bigham (Ribble Pro Cycling) and then Owain Doull (Team Ineos), who put in a time of 50:07.852.
Cummings was the first man to break the 50-minute barrier, though moments later Archibald blitzed the course to put 20 seconds into the 2017 champion, setting a time of 49:32.585.
All eyes were on five-time champion Dowsett, who set off second-last. As expected, he came through faster than any previous runners to add another title to his collection. Teammate Harry Tanfield was last off, and couldn't replicate his 2018 silver success, instead finishing off the pace and outside the top 10.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Alex Dowsett (GBr) Katusha-Alpecin||49:25:00|
|2||John Archibald (GBr) Ribble Pro Cycling||0:00:06|
|3||Stephen Cummings (GBr) Dimension Data||0:00:27|
|4||Owain Doull (GBr) Team Ineos||0:00:42|
|5||Daniel Bigham (Ribble Pro Cycling||0:00:48|
|6||Scott Davies (GBr) Dimension Data||0:01:06|
|7||Ian Stannard (GBr) Team Ineos||0:01:18|
|8||Christopher Fennel (GBr)||0:01:30|
|9||Rupert Graham (GBr)||0:01:41|
|10||Mark Christian (GBr) Team Wiggins||0:01:50|