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National Championships merry-go-round

Will Strickson
21 Jun 2021

A new batch of national heroes have been crowned. We break down the big winners and new jerseys to look out for

As Ben Swift, Alice Barnes and Alex Dowsett celebrate the start of their third year in the British National Champion's jerseys, new champions were crowned all over the world over the past week.

With a mixture of new heroes, old timers, surprise attacks and predictable finishes, the jerseys of the peloton have been shook up so here's what you need to know before you think Dries De Bondt is challenging for the Tour de France's opening stage.

Starting with the time-trials, a grand total of zero people were shocked by Tony Martin, Kasper Asgreen and Matthias Brändle retaining their German, Danish and Austrian titles respectively.

There were a couple of big first professional wins for João Almeida and Tobias Foss in Portugal and Norway while everyone's favourite result was the windmill himself, Tom Dumoulin, taking the Dutch TT title.

Meanwhile there were surprise wins in France and Slovenia. FDJ took a 1-2-3 in L'Hexagone with Benjamin Thomas bringing home the spoils and hot favourite the TGV de Clermont-Ferrand Rémi Cavagna all the way down in 23rd. It was a Jan 1-2 in Slovenia with big Jan Tratnik and Jan Polanc forcing Tadej Pogačar into a shock third place.

There were also few shocks in the women's championships with Chloé Dygert and Anna van der Breggen winning the US and Dutch titles.

Strong all-round performances were on display throughout the women's races with Elisa Longo Borghini, Lotte Kopecky, Lisa Brennauer, Mavi García and Eugenia Bujak winning their country's TTs and road race championships, taking full ownership of the Italian, Belgian, German, Spanish and Slovenian jerseys.

Denmark's Emma Norsgaard and France's Audrey Cordon-Ragot came close too, winning the time-trials but having to settle for silver on the road, with Amalie Dideriksen and Évita Muzic pipping them to victory.

Finally in the Netherlands Road Race, Amy Pieters stormed home 2:27 ahead of her nearest rivals to claim a home double for her Dutch SD Worx team.

In the men's road races there are some form names to look out for going into the Tour de France with Bahrain Victorious taking two new jerseys into Brest this weekend as the flying Sonny Colbrelli won in Italy and Matej Mohorič led Polanc to another silver and Pogačar to fifth in Slovenia.

Elsewhere Foss doubled up in the Norway Road Race and Cavagna made up for TT disappointment to win the Tricolor while Astana's Omar Fraile took the win in Spain as he tricked the field into thinking he was leading out the cycling guru Alex Aranburu, instead making the sprint look like a walk in the park.

The big guns came out to play in Belgium and Slovakia as Wout van Aert and Peter Sagan won their days, Van Aert outsprinting Edward Theuns and Remco Evenepoel as he continued his recovery from appendicitus and Sagan making a mockery of the format winning by more than three minutes.

Other results worth noting are Bora-Hansgrohe's Max Schachmann winning the German Road Race and Israel Start-Up Nation's Mads Würtz Schmidt winning in Denmark.

And finally Joey Rosskopf attacked for a huge win to bag Rally Cycling the stars and stripes and Jumbo-Visma took full control in the Netherlands as Timo Roosen took the biggest win of his career.

So wave goodbye to Mathieu van der Poel's white shorts, Arnaud Démare's flying French flag, Primož Roglič's mountain bee and Asgreen's Flanders-winning Danish road strip, there are new sheriffs in town.

Apart from Swift, Barnes and Dowsett, who still have until October.

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