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Sørensen, Marczynski win titles in topsy-turvy championship weekend

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Chris Anker Sorensen crosses the line

Chris Anker Sorensen crosses the line (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Peter Sagan (Tinkoff-Saxo)

Peter Sagan (Tinkoff-Saxo) (Image credit: Tim de Waele/
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Tomasz Marczynski wins the Polish title

Tomasz Marczynski wins the Polish title (Image credit: Agnieszka Małgorzata Torba/Młoda Photography)
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Third national championship for Niki Terpstra

Third national championship for Niki Terpstra (Image credit: Bert Geerts/
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Preben Van Hecke (Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise)

Preben Van Hecke (Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise) (Image credit: Courtesy of Polartec-Kometa)
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Steven Tronet (BigMat-Auber 93).

Steven Tronet (BigMat-Auber 93). (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Chris Anker Sørensen turns around misfortune with Danish title

Tinkoff-Saxo's Chris Anker Sørensen made up for more than a year of misfortune with a well-timed uphill sprint in Rønde, Denmark to claim his national road race championship, beating Cult Energy's Martin Mortensen to the line, with Alexander Kemp Egested (Team Coloquick) taking third.

“It’s amazing, I’m very, very happy," Sørensen said. "I didn’t believe that this would ever happen so I’m very touched by the fact that it did. This national championship comes after one and a half year, where things have been difficult for me with a couple of costly crashes. It has been an uphill battle and I nearly lost hope that things would turn around. But I guess that today stands testimony to the fact that you should never give up and keep working hard.

“We were only four guys from Tinkoff-Saxo and we rode together to ensure that one of us could win. It was very difficult and it was a hard-fought win but I have to thank my teammates that rode fantastically well, and I also have to thank our sports director Lars Michaelsen, who was just behind me in the team car, when I broke loose with Martin Mortensen on the final five kilometers. Without him I would probably have spent much of my energy pulling at the front, but he advised me to sit on Mortensen’s wheel and keep cool as Valgren was in the group behind.

“I arrived at the final uphill sprint in Rønde with Mortensen, I’ve known him for many years and I know that he’s quick but somehow I had it in me to beat him on the very last meters. It’s a big confidence booster to take this championship and I am very excited about the prospect of racing and riding in the Danish champions jersey for the next year."

Tomasz Marczynski wins Polish men road race

By Paweł Gadzała

Tomasz Marczynski claimed his third national road race title, winning the Polish championships in Sobotka, Lower Silesia. The Torku Sekerspor rider spent all day in the breakaway and in the finale outsprinted Michal Golas (Etixx-QuickStep) and Pawel Bernas (ActiveJet Team) in the dash for the line.

"This is the most valuable of my three titles," Marczynski said in tears after crossing the line. "I knew the early move may make it all the way through, so I stayed focused all the time. We all worked well together and I felt quite well in the end, so I attacked."

Marczynski has previously won national titles on the road in 2007 and made a double in 2011, winning jerseys in both time trial and road race. The Polish rider, 13th in 2012 Vuelta a España, now races for Continental outfit Torku Sekerspor, having left CCC Sprandi Polkowice after a year marked by injuries and lack of results.

"This year is very important for me and to win the white-red jersey is a great honour," the 31-year-old said. "I had something to prove. Polish cycling has made a huge step in recent years, I'm over the moon to win against riders such as Golas, Majka or Kwiatkowski."

Majka missed the original break and was forced to chase hard for a number of laps, closing down a gap of over two minutes. The junction was made just before the last lap but the Tinkoff-Saxo climber was unable to respond when the attacks shattered the front group.

Sagan does the double in Slovakia

The Sagan brothers finished one-two on Sunday during the combined Slovak and Czech Road Race Championship in their hometown of Žilina, with Peter claiming his fifth consecutive Slovakian road title and Juraj winning the field sprint for second. Peter also won the time trial title on Friday.

Nibali keeps Italian champion's jersey

Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) took his second Italian national championships in as many years with a fine performance on Saturday, distancing his rivals on the final climb of the race with a series of strong attacks after his Astana team had laid the groundwork.

The reining Tour de France champion won ahead of Francesco Reda (Team Idea) and Diego Ulissi (Lampre Merida) who both followed Nibali’s aggressive pace but were unable to hold the Astana rider on the final climb. Despite a dogged performance from Reda, Nibali pushed clear for the final and deciding time with less than three kilometres remaining.

Kennaugh repeats with British title

Peter Kennaugh (Team Sky) retained his British national road title in a closely fought battle with Mark Cavendish. Kennaugh only managed to distance the sprinter on the final climb of the race, while Ian Stannard rounded out the podium.

Cavendish, who started the race without any teammates, took the fight to Team Sky and made the winning move inside the closing stages of the race. Kennaugh, who had already been on the attack, made it across, leaving Stannard and Luke Rowe to fight for bronze.

Terpstra wins third Dutch title

Niki Terpstra (Etixx-QuickStep) made up for not being named to ride the Tour de France by winning the Netherlands' national road race championship for the third time. Ramon Sinkeldam (Giant-Alpecin) was second and Danny Van Poppel (Trek) third.

The only representative from his team in the race, 31-year-old Terpstra outfoxed teams with many riders fighting for the win. He narrowly won the sprint of a small group in the rain in Emmen.

Valverde wins in Spain

Alejandro Valverde snatched his second road title at the Spanish National Championships in Cáceres Sunday, following an impressive effort by his Movistar teammates – a sixth straight win for the squad. The veteran outsprinted Carlos Barbeo (Caja Rural) and Movistar teammate Jesús Hernandez in the final 300 metres, showing his form ahead of the Tour de France.

Van Hecke surprises favourites in Belgium

After a spectacular race around Tervuren near Brussels it was 32-year-old Preben Van Hecke (Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise) who sprinted to the Belgian tricolor jersey. Together with Jürgen Roelandts (Lotto-Soudal) he survived from the long breakaway in a Gent-Wevelgem-like move and surprisingly beat the former Belgian champion in a two-man sprint. Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) was a close third.

Buchmann wages upset at German championship

Emanuel Buchmann (Bora-Argon18) won the German national road race. The climber took off from a lead group in the final kilometres to deny the sprinters their chance. Niklas Arndt (Giant-Alpecin) was second with BMC’s Marcus Burghardt third.

The race was supposed to be a showdown of the top German sprinters, but in the end, John Degenkolb (Giant-Alpecin) was 16th and André Greipel (Lotto-Soudal) 18th, with Marcel Kittel (Giant-Alpecin) abandoning.

It was the first pro win for the 22-year-old Buchmann, who is a first-year pro. He will wear the national jersey in his Grand Tour debut at the upcoming Tour de France.

Tronet claims French tricolor jersey

Steven Tronet (Auber 93) claimed the French title in a crash-marred finale. Hot favourite Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis) went down and runner-up Anthony Roux (FDJ) was disqualified for having changed his line. Tony Gallopin (Lotto-Soudal) and Sylvain Chavanel (IAM Cycling) ended up on the final podium deprived of representatives from the French teams set to ride the Tour de France next week.

Swiss jersey for Wyss

Danilo Wyss (BMC Racing) beat Sébastien Reichenbach (IAM Cycling) in a two-up sprint to take the Swiss road race title on Sunday in Steinmauer. Mathias Frank (IAM Cycling) finished six seconds later for third, while Fabian Cancellara finished in a six-rider group that came in 19 seconds behind the leaders.

Canadian championship for Boivin

Guillaume Boivin finally gave Optum Pro Cycling the win it has been looking for at the Canadian National Road Championships, when he took the Elite Men's road title after a fierce battle. Boivin's teammate Ryan Anderson was second, and Ryan Roth (Silber Pro Racing) third. Ben Perry (Silber Pro Racing) won the under-23 title after finishing fifth overall.

You can find all of the 2015 champions listed in our National Championship Index.

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