Stephen Cummings (Dimension Data) took a surprise victory in the British time trial championships with a time of 57:18. In his first event in almost three months, Cummings beat defending champion Alex Dowsett (Movistar) by just nine seconds, with James Gullen (JLT Condor) taking third.
Cummings has been battling to come back from injury after fracturing his collarbone, scapula and sternum in a crash at the Vuelta al Pais Vasco at the start of April. The importance of the victory for Cummings was shown when he welled up with tears during a post-race interview.
"I haven't really had time to think over the last few months – I haven't let myself think," said Cummings. "I've just been trying to get back, and today's the perfect confirmation of what I've been seeing in training. It wasn't perfect, it wasn't pretty, but it was as much as I could do today and it was good enough.
"I wasn't so good on the corners, I was losing time, but that's normal – you're going to be a bit cautious and out of practice. It was a tough course but I just concentrated on going as hard as I could on the climbs and recovering a bit on the downhill. It's pretty cool to be national champion. It's been really nice to be here this year – I haven't been to the Isle of Man for 17 years I don't think, but you see the same people and they have welcomed me back and it's been really nice."
Due to his lack of racing coming into the event and his late application to ride the national championships, Cummings had a comparatively early start. The Dimension Data rider went off in the first half of the field and immediately set about posting the fastest time at each of the checks.
By the time he hit the line, he was 1:44 quicker than the current fastest time set by Harry Tanfield. Nobody could get near Cummings' time, until multiple champion Dowsett began beating Cummings at each of the early check points. He was five seconds up on Cummings by the end of the first lap.
As calm as Dowsett was, there was drama unfolding behind him. Attached to the top of the following car, Dowsett's spare bike hit the clock on the finishing gantry. The impact forced the bike sideways and it was left listless and broken atop the car. It wasn't a disaster for Dowsett but it left him without an alternative if he had any mechanical issues.
Meanwhile, Jon Dibben (Team Sky) – who had been one of the pre-race favourites – came home more than three minutes down on Cummings. Dibben had been going well on the opening lap, but his day was scuppered by a puncture.
Last year's runner up, James Gullen (JLT Condor), came home almost a minute short of the fastest time set by Cummings, leaving only Dowsett able to unseat the Wirral-born rider. Having gone faster than Cummings on the first lap, Dowsett struggled to match his second-lap time and despite pushing himself to his limits on the descent towards Ballacraine, Dowsett lost nine seconds on the line.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Stephen Cummings (GBr) Team Dimension Data||0:57:18|
|2||Alex Dowsett (GBr) Movistar Team||0:00:09|
|3||James Gullen (GBr) JLT Condor||0:00:51|
|4||Tao Geoghegan Hart (GBr) Team Sky||0:01:27|
|5||Harry Tanfield (GBr) BIKE Channel Canyon||0:01:34|
|6||Peter Williams (GBr) One Pro Cycling||0:01:53|
|7||Ryan Perry (GBr) Raleigh GAC||0:01:56|
|8||Samuel Harrison (GBr) Team Wiggins||0:02:31|
|9||Richard Handley (GBr) Madison Genesis||0:02:47|
|10||Jonathan Dibben (GBr) Team Sky||0:03:19|
|11||Ioan Smallwood (GBr) Cardiff Ajax CC||0:03:20|
|12||James McLaughlin (GBr) Hrinkow Advarics Cycleang||0:03:27|
|13||Lloyd Chapman (GBr) Catford CC Equipe/Banks||0:03:46|
|14||John Archibald (GBr) Pro Vision Scotland||0:03:47|
|15||Rhys Howells (GBr) Team Wiggins||0:04:36|
|16||Adam Kenway (GBr) Raleigh GAC||0:04:50|
|17||James Tucker (GBr)||0:05:07|
|18||Adam Robinson (GBr) Team KTM||0:05:10|
|19||Steven Lawley (GBr) Metaltek Kuota Racing Team||0:05:15|
|20||Daniel Halksworth (GBr) Team Bottrill - HSS Hire||0:05:38|
|21||Lawrence Carpenter (GBr) Catford CC Equipe/Banks||0:05:57|
|22||Jon Entwistle (GBr) GTR||0:06:03|
|23||Fraser Rounds (GBr) Team KTM||0:06:36|
|24||Dean Robson (GBr) Northovers VT||0:06:39|
|25||Gruffudd Lewis (GBr) Madison Genesis||0:06:41|
|26||Ryan Morley (GBr) Royal Air Force CA||0:06:42|
|27||Sam Brand (GBr) Team Novo Nordisk (Development||0:07:39|
|28||Philip Jones (GBr) Bella In Sella Racing||0:08:15|
|29||David Griffiths (GBr) Pro Vision Scotland||0:08:23|
|30||Andrew Disley (GBr) Team KTM||0:08:47|
|31||Warwick Sanderson (GBr) Manx Viking Wheelers CC||0:11:40|
|32||Jamie Fletcher (GBr) Ellan Vannin CC/Appleby||0:13:58|
|33||John Sanderson (GBr) Manx Viking Wheelers CC||0:14:20|
|34||Paul Dable (GBr) NFTO||0:14:58|
|35||David Radcliffe (GBr) Manx Viking Wheelers CC||0:16:45|
|DNF||Owain Doull (GBr) Team Sky|
Born in Ireland to a cycling family and later moved to the Isle of Man, so there was no surprise when I got into the sport. Studied sports journalism at university before going on to do a Masters in sports broadcast. After university I spent three months interning at Eurosport, where I covered the Tour de France. In 2012 I started at Procycling Magazine, before becoming the deputy editor of Procycling Week. I then joined Cyclingnews, in December 2013.
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