Mark Cavendish has been crowned the 2013 British road race champion after sprinting to victory in Sunday’s National Road Race Championship in Scotland.
The Manx Missile closed down a late breakaway from David Millar and showed his class to surge clear to claim the national champion’s jersey for the first time.
Cav’s former Team Sky colleague and defending champion Ian Stannard was second ahead of Millar while Manxie Peter Kennaugh came home in fourth place, just missing out on a medal in the process.
The 13-lap race on a 14.2km circuit around Glasgow set a fierce pace early on as Stannard and Cav’s Omega-Pharma Quick-Step team-mate Andrew Fenn were able to open up a small advantage ahead of Millar, Cav, Kennaugh and Onchan resident Ben Swift.
It remained that way for several laps until the sixth lap when the chasing quartet were able to catch the leaders to form a strong six-man group. However, Fenn and Swift were soon dropped with four laps to go and the remaining quartet began to work together as it became apparent that the day’s winner would come from that group.
There was some drama with just over one lap to go when Stannard suffered a puncture, leaving Kennaugh as the sole Team Sky rider with Cav and Miller, however Stannard soon rejoined the group as the trio sat up and waited for him.
As the race entered the final lap the attacks came thick and fast, with Stannard attacking first before Cav did likewise - ending Kennaugh’s title hopes - and Millar also launched off the front with just 3km to go.
However, Cavendish was not to be denied and he and Stannard caught Millar on the finishing straight before the Manx Missile delivered a typical burst of pace to surge clear and take victory by two seconds ahead of Stannard and eight clear of Millar. Kennaugh crossed the line 42 seconds back but was easily ahead of fifth place Sky team-mate Luke Rowe.
Fellow Manxies Joe Kelly, Christian Varley, Tom Mazzone, Mark Christian along with Swift were all lapped or were outside the time limit and did not finish.
Full report and photographs in Thursday’s Manx Independent.
Highlights of the whole championship will be shown between 7-8pm on ITV4 this evening (Monday).