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Alice Barnes and Alex Dowsett win at the British Time Trial National Championships

Pair triumph on technical Norfolk course. Photo: TDW Sport

Joseph Delves
28 Jun 2019

Alice Barnes and Alex Dowsett have been crowned National Time Trial Champions in Sandringham, both beating strong rivals - including in Alice's case her own sister - to take away the jerseys.

Men’s Race: A sixth win for Dowsett

Starting and finishing on the Royal Estate at Sandringham, the men's 25.9 mile course headed out towards the sea near Docking. Not particularly suited to fast times, it featured a few small kicks and plenty of technical corners, yet was free from the winds some had expected.

Despite a lack of TV coverage, the men’s start sheet boasted a host of high-profile pros. These included Ian Stannard and Owain Doull (Team Ineos), Jonathan Dibben (Madison Genesis), Steve Cummings (Dimension Data), and John Archibald (Ribble Pro Cycling).

With defending champion Geraint Thomas tied-up preparing for the Tour de France, this left Alex Dowsett and Harry Tanfield (Katusha-Alpecin) as the highest placed defending riders.

With the times posted having got closer to the sub-50-minute mark all afternoon, Cummings was the first to go under. However, the 2017 double-champion was instantly displaced by Archibald, who in the process guaranteed himself at least podium finish.

This left just teammates Dowsett and then Tanfield to finish. First Dowsett snuck in 6.8 seconds ahead of Archibald. With only Tanfield now on course, Dowsett’s time of 49:25 came and went, securing the man from Essex an amazing sixth National Championship win.

With Tanfield eventually finishing just outside of the top 10, this left the silver to Archibald and the bronze to Cummings.

Women’s race: Barnes sisters exchange the jersey

Taking in a shorter 17-mile course, the women’s race attracted riders including Sarah Storey (Storey Racing), Elizabeth Banks (Bigla), Katie Archibald and Neah Evans (Team Huub), Hayley Simmonds (BTC City Ljubljana), along with sisters Hannah and Alice Barnes (Canyon-Sram) made it to the start line.

As in the men’s race, it was two teammates who would set off last. In this case siblings and likey favourites, Hannah and Alice Barnes.

As the race reached its climax, it was Simmonds sitting in the hot seat with just the Barnes sisters left to finish. Meaning the BTC City Ljubljana rider was guaranteed a medal, she slipped back one place as Alice Barnes raced home 14.909 seconds ahead of her time.

That left only Hannah to finish. Looking up the road for the champion’s jersey, on this occasion, she could only manage the third fastest time. In the end finishing 32 seconds back on her sister and 15 seconds behind Simmonds.

Explaining her ride after zipping on the champion's jersey vacated by her sister, Alice explained, ‘I was gutted to have got two fourth places at the European Games this week. I wanted to make up for it here.

'I hadn't seen the course until this morning. I followed one of the U23 boys around and got an idea of it at race pace. I’m really happy… I can’t wait to get my skinsuit.’