Connor Swift took solo victory at the British road race championships, taking Madison Genesis’ biggest ever win in Stamfordham.
Swift broke free of the lead group in the final 12-kilometres and finished alone, crossing the line in disbelief.
Overcome with emotion, it was Swift’s first victory of the year after a string of second-places.
Speaking after receiving the national champion’s jersey, Swift put into words what the win meant.
This jersey is meant to be going to the Tour de France and looking at the names on the trophy is amazing.
I’ve had a bit of bad luck in a few races when I’ve been up there, but Colin (Sturgess) told me that the win would come and when it did it would be big; and this is big.
I felt so good on last lap and could tell others were struggling. There was nothing to lose, the worst result was top-10.
It was a big risk and it paid off.
It’s a dream come true to be national champion, there’s such pride having the jersey, and it’s amazing to do it for the team, who were underdogs for the race.
How the race unfolded
Swift’s win came as Madison Genesis placed three riders in a lead group of 17 early on in the race.
Swift, along with George Pym and Matt Holmes were part of the defining move, which contained a mix of World Tour, Pro Continental and Continental teams.
This combination stayed clear of the peloton and with 50-kilometres remaining and the gap over four-minutes it became obvious that the race-winner would come from this group.
As the race entered the final 20-kilometres the lead group split in two, with Swift at the front driving the pace.
But a lack of cooperation at the front and a concerted chase behind brought the riders back together.
With 12-kilometres to go, Swift made his own, solo bid for glory and quickly gained 10-seconds advantage.
Behind, the five chasers behind sensed the danger and with five-kilometres to go, the gap had halved.
But Swift persevered and the chase disintegrated. In the final three-kilometres Adam Blythe (Aqua Blue) launched a solo move in a bid to bridge, but could not finish the job.
As the race entered the final kilometre, and after 15-minues of dreaming, Swift could finally be confident that he would win the national title and take the biggest win of his young career.
Behind, George Pym and Matt Holmes crossed the line as part of the chase group in 13th and 14th place.