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National Championships round-up: Who won this weekend?

Joe Robinson
24 Aug 2020

A full round-up of the national champions crowned at the weekend

A strange year this has been. The 2020 season continues to resemble no other before it, with Covid-19 warping the calendar into truly unprecedented shape.

Lots of races have been cancelled and many have been rescheduled, but one thing that was at least retained was the running of some national championships the weekend before the Tour de France.

We stress the phrase 'some' as many championships were wholesale cancelled, the British being the most noticeable, while others, such as in Ireland, will take place towards the end of the year. One or two actually took place on their original dates – including the Slovenian championship on 22nd June, a fact that made it officially the first pro race to be held after the break in the season.  

Regardless, there were still plenty of jerseys won across the weekend and here is a round-up of who took them.

National Championships 2020: Round-up

The most talked about race across the weekend was arguably the elite men's road race in France. It featured the most in-form sprinter in the world, Arnaud Demare, his entourage of approximately 150 Groupama-FDJ teammates, Deceuninck-QuickStep's Julian Alaphilippe, some AG2R La Mondiale and Cofidis riders. Oh, and the French army.

In a scintillating finale, Demare managed to weather the attacks of Alaphilippe before outsprinting B&B Hotels-Vital Concept's Bryan Coquard to the third French tricolore of his career. We look forward to his excellent national jersey.

The day before in the women's race, Audrey Cordon-Ragot of Trek-Segafredo soloed to a maiden national title ahead of Gladys Verhulst of Arkea and Clara Copponi of FDJ.

Mitchelton-Scott's Annemiek van Vleuten saw her winning streak come to an end as Anna van der Breggen (Boels-Dolmans) took an impressive solo victory for her first-ever national road race title. She eventually beat Van Vleuten on the 7km Col du Vam circuit by 1:19, with Anouska Koster (Parkhotel Valkenburg) rolling in third.

On the same circuit later that weekend, Mathieu van der Poel dominated the men's race taking his second national road race title after attacking, solo, 44km from the finish. The Alpecin-Fenix man beat Nils Eekhoff (Team Sunweb) and Timo Roosen (Jumbo-Visma) to the title.

The award for the most certain victory of the weekend was Christine Majerus (Boels-Dolmans) taking her 11th consecutive Luxembourg women's road race title. This year her winning margin was 15 minutes.

And the award for the biggest surprise of the weekend took place in the Luxembourg men's road race as Deceuninck-QuickStep's Bob Jungels saw his five-year winning streak end as he lost out to Groupama-FDJ's Kevin Geniets.

The positive test of Team Ineos's Leonardo Basso for Covid-19 saw the team pull its riders from the Italian National Championships as a precaution and acted as a humbling reminder that racing is still precariously balanced.

Luckily, the race still went ahead on a testing Classics parcours designed by former rider Pippo Pozzato. A reduced bunch of 13 sprinted for the win with Team NTT's Giacomo Nizzolo beating Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain-McLaren) and Davide Ballerini (Deceuninck-QuickStep) to the jersey.

In Spain, veteran Luis Leon Sanchez (Astana) took his first national title at the ripe old age of 36. Luck was with Sanchez as in the race's final act, Jesus Herrada of Cofidis suffered an untimely mechanical to hand the title to Sanchez.

In the women's race, Mavi Garcia of Ale BTC Ljubjana continued with the revelatory form that saw her podium at Strade Bianche to take a comfortable victory.

The Danish men's road race took place in Middelfart. It was won by Deceuninck-QuickStep's Kasper Asgreen. Also in Middelfart, Emma Cecilie Norsgaard of Equipe Paule Ka took the women's title.

Marcel Meisen (Alpecin-Fenix) took a surprising win to become German men's champion ahead of Pascal Ackermann (Bora-Hansgrohe), while Lisa Brennauer defended her women's title. Across the border in Austria, Valentin Gotzinger (WSA KTM Graz) became men's champion while Kathrin Schweinberger took the women's title.

The closest race of the weekend was the women's Norweigian road race in which Mie Bjørndal Ottestad beat Vibeke Lystad by 9 milliseconds. In the men's race, Sven Erik Bystrom (UAE-Team Emirates) took the title.

In the Czech Republic, Adam Toupalik and Jarmila Machacova took the men's and women's title, respectively, while Stanislaw Aniolkowski and Marta Lach took the Polish titles. The excellently-named Antti-Jussi Juntunen took the men's Finnish title while the equally-excellently named Minna-Maria Kangas to the women's title.

And finally, in Slovakia, Tereza Medvedova took the women's title while the Sagan household got its 10th consecutive men's Slovakian road race jersey as Peter's big brother Juraj took the fourth national title of his career.