Live coverage of the men's road race at the 2016 British national championships.
Hello there, and welcome to Cyclingnews' live coverage of the British nationals. We've just had the women's road race and now it's time for the men's.
Here's the route. 12 laps of the main 13.4km loop before 6 laps of the 6.7km finishing circuit in Stockton town centre.
That makes a total race distance of 207km
The riders have just rolled out and the race is underway. Last year the race split up pretty early on due to the wind.
You can find the start list for the men's race right here.
An update on that start list. Three of Sky's riders - Luke Rowe, Ian Stannard, and Ben Swift - have not taken to the start today.
Alex Dowsett, who won the time trial title once again earlier in the week, has provided one of the first attacks of the race.
Here's a shot of Dowsett going solo courtesy of British Cycling
Dowsett's attack is causing some early chaos in the peloton and it's getting frantic in there.
A couple of riders bridge over to Dowsett but the advantage is still slender and the race comes back together.
The women's race produced some exciting action earlier, with 23-year-old Hannah Barnes taking the title over her sister Alice.
The attacks are coming thick and fast. Nothing sticking just yet but the bunch is strung out here.
Two laps of this main loop completed. 10 to go.
Tom Moses (JLT Condor), Dexter Gardas (Pedal Heaven) and Scott Auld (Zappi’s Racing Team) have gone clear of the bunch.
They have a lead of 20 seconds at the moment.
Riders trying to bridge across now.
Things are coming to a boil over in France as their men's road race kicked off rather early due to the Euro 2016 football match coming up this afternoon.
Lots of attacks out there, with Julian Alaphilippe, Thibaut Pinot, and Romain Bardet all racing aggressively.
In the British race there's a five-rider group in between the leading trio and the peloton.
They are: Alex Dowsett (Movistar), Josh Hunt and Ed Bradbury (NFTO), Tobyn Horton (Madison Genesis) and Rory Townsend (Pedal Heaven).
@antmccrossan Sun, 26th Jun 2016 12:46:10
There was desperately sad news yesterday when we learnt that Stig Broeckx has sever brain damage and doctors have so far been unable to get him out of a coma, with the 26-year-old in a vegetative state.
Today many Lotto Soudal riders are wearing tribute badges on their jerseys at their respective national championships. We've put together some of the reactions from the pro peloton, which can be found here.
All together again
Dowsett's chase group bridges across but they are soon all reeled in by the peloton.
Mark Cavendish makes his presence felt. The Manxman rode brilliantly last year on his way to second place, and has to be in with a big chance today of claiming a second national road race title.
Arthur Vichot (FDJ) takes victory in the French national championships!
In Britain we have a new breakaway with a group of nine out front with an advantage of around 30 seconds.
The break: Elliot Ryan, Steve Lampier, Tom Moses, Mark Christian, Josh Teasdale, James Shaw, Alex Peters, Dexter Gardias, and Kristian House.
The group out front have a 35-second lead over the peloton. There is a solitary rider in no-man's land in between. He's 27 seconds behind.
It appears that the lone rider may be Mark Cavendish. We wait for confirmation though.
Seven laps of 12 to go on this main circuit. The leaders have just 30 seconds at the moment.
The peloton is beginning to split up on this main course as they try to chase down the leading group.
A chase group of eight has bridged across and we now have 16 riders on the attack. The composition of the group is: Tom Moses, Steve Lampier, Alex Peters, Elliot Porter, Dexter Gardias, James Shaw, Mark Christian, Kristian House, Adam Blythe George Atkins, Matt Holmes, Zach May, Scott Thwaites, Grufudd Lewis, Josh Teasdale and Dale Appleby.
The leaders are now 1:35 back and there are more riders trying to bridge across.
Riders pick up some refreshments
We've now got photos and full results from the women's road race. You can check them out here.
The gap from the break to the chasers is around a minute as the leading group begins to splinter. The peloton is well back now at 3:20.
Over in Ireland, Nicolas Roche has soloed to his second road race title ahead of Matt Brammeier.
Here's the 16-man break
There's a chase group that's closing in on our 16 leaders.
Meanwhile the peloton is over three minutes in arrears. Unsure at the moment who exactly is in the chase group.
Over in Germany, André Greipel has just won the road race title for a third time.
There are 28 riders in this chase group, which contains Mark Cavendish.
The peloton slipping ever further back, and it looks the winner will be coming from the first two groups on the road.
Giacomo Nizzolo wins the Italian national road race.
The Trek rider chased down Gianluca Brambilla and beat him in the sprint.
@inrng Sun, 26th Jun 2016 14:35:11
Atkins and Teasdale have been dropped from the lead group, now down to 14.
They still have over 30 seconds on the chase group.
Three laps of this main 13.4km loop to be covered before we enter the finishing circuit. BC confirm that Andy Fenn and Tao Geoghegan Hart are in the large chase group with Cavendish.
The chase group splits, and Cavenidsh, Dowsett, Geoghegan Hart, Ian Bibby, Alex Paton, Chris Latham, Russ Downing, and Mark McNally are closing in on the leaders.
That group makes the bridge, so we have 22 riders leading the race.
Mark Cavendish, Alex Dowsett, Tao Geoghegan Hart, Ian Bibby, Alex Paton, Chris Latham, Russ Downing, Mark McNally, Tom Moses, Steve Lampier, Alex Peters, Elliot Porter, Dexter Gardias, James Shaw, Mark Christian, Kristian House, Adam Blythe, Matt Holmes, Zach May, Scott Thwaites, Grufudd Lewis and Dale Appleby.
A must-read story from the French nationals involving a certain Nacer Bouhanni, alcohol, a fist, a broken tooth, and four stitches...
This is what we love about nationals racing. The attacks just keep coming and the race situation keeps fluctuating.
Now Peters, Geoghegan Hart, Moses, and Blythe have opened up a considerable gap on the lead group.
The four leaders have a lead of 1:20 now, and this is looking really dangerous.
Two WorldTour riders in there in Team Sky's neo-pro Alex Peters and Tinkoff's Adam Blythe.
Here's the new lead group
The second group on the road is splitting up as they chase down the leaders, who still have a minute. We're onto the final lap of the main circuit. Soon to be onto the finishing laps.
45 seconds now for the leading quartet, so it's falling as we approach this town centre circuit.
The four leaders are working well together but they can't prevent the chase group from closing in. 30 seconds is the gap now.
Andy Fenn is in that chase group and is reluctant to contribute at the moment - he has teammate Alex Peters up the road.
The leaders come through the finish line and are followed 32 seconds by the chase group of 10.
Five laps of 6.7km to go and it's still delicately poised.
A reminder of the make-up of the chase group.
Mark Cavendish, Andy Fenn, Scott Thwaites, Kristian House, Chris Lawless, Dexter Gardias, Alex Paton, James Shaw, Dale Appleby, and Mark McNally.
Alex Dowsett is in the third group on the road, which is just under two minutes in arrears.
26km remaining from 201km
Four laps to go now as Geoghegan Hart leads the front group through the line once more. These guys are really working well together but there's a long way to go.
This is a pretty young lead group. Blythe is the elder statesman at 26, Moses is 24, while Peters and Geoghegan hart are the youngsters at 22 and 21 respectively.
The U23 championship is taking place within this race, though Peters doesn't qualify as he rides for a WorldTour team.
25 seconds is the gap as the riders come through the finish line once again, and Cavendish accelerates in the chase group.
Three laps to go now
Three riders are briefly dropped from the chase group but a big effort sees them regain contact.
The former British champ eases up. Just a test issued there to his companions, and perhaps a show of strength.
The gap is down to around 20 seconds now.
Cavendish goes away. He's really forcing the issue here. Lawless is on his wheel.
Lawless comes through as Cavendish's move splits the chase group in two. Appleby and McNally are up there at the front.
The chase group makes the junction and the game is up for the four leaders.
Peters and Geoghegan Hart attack now and the young duo have opened up a gap.
Lawless pings off the front in a bid to bridge over. The gap is only a handful of seconds.
Cavendish accelerates and it's back together once more, though this group is strung out with plenty of movement.
Peters drives again. The Sky man is in an aggressive mood today.
More counter attacks and responses, and it's all back together, but still very frantic.
Peters goes again and he has McNally for company. The others hesitate and look around at each other. Who's going to go after them?
Lawless is, and the chase group splits, with Cavendish caught out behind.
Bylthe accelerates to get across and Cavendish uses the slipstreams to stay in contention. Back together once more.
Peters goes again and he's doing damage with each and every one of these digs. What a ride by the Sky neo-pro.
6km remaining from 201km
Ding ding ding!
The riders cross the line for the penultimate time. One lap and 6.7km to go. This group of 12 to contest the title.
Geoghegan Hart attacks now. Peters alive to it. Lawless dragging the rest back across.
Cavendish has to be the favourite here. Blythe is taking a risk by riding at the very back of this group. Peters still on the front, his teammate Andy Fenn probably the chosen card for Sky now.
All calm for now on this final lap. Someone's going to have to go for a long one here. Who will it be?
Bit of rain starting to come down now.
Still Peters on the front heading into the final few kilometres.
Still Peters leads. We're heading for a 14-man sprint
It's short-lived as Lawless reels it back in
Here we go. final corner.
Thwaites opens it up, Blythe comes up on the right
Cavendish winds it up now but Blythe wins it!
Adam Blythe (Tinkoff) is the new British road race champion
That sprint was clearly contested by the duo of Blythe and Cavendish, and they brushed shoulders as they came together, but it was Blythe who was the fastest.
Great stuff from Blythe, it has to be said. He limited the work he did in the closing stages, keeping calm amid the attacks, and he took the perfect wheel (Cavendish's) heading into the final straight. The job was far from done but on the slightly-uphill drag he just emerged fresher.
1 Adam Blythe (GBr) Tinkoff Team
2 Mark Cavendish (GBr) Dimension Data
3 Andrew Fenn (GBr) Team Sky
4 Mark Mcnally (GBr) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
5 Scott Thwaites (GBr) Bora-Argon 18
6 Teo Geoghegan Hart (GBr) Axeon Hagens Berman
7 Thomas Stewart (GBr) Madison Genesis
8 Dale Appleby (GBr) NFTO
9 Chris Lawless (GBr) JTL Condor
10 James Shaw (GBr) Lotto-Soudal U23
All smiles for Blythe, Cavendish and Fenn as they step onto the podium.
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