Michael Hutchinson claimed his fourth National 25 title on a sticky Saturday afternoon in Boroughbridge, blasting round the course to clock 49-34.
“I’m very happy to win. It was a tough day out there,” Hutchinson said. “Everyone has to do the same thing, but you certainly had to cope with the heat.”
“Hutch” was the only man to average over 30mph on a day that saw slower times than expected, largely due to the muggy conditions. The gently-rolling nature of the A168 also played a part.
With Andy Tennant (Motorpoint-Marshalls Pasta) a non-starter, the defending champion’s job was made less complicated before a pedal had even been turned in competition.
It turned out to be a formulaic win for Hutchinson. The 36-year-old held a minute’s lead at the halfway mark and had almost doubled it come the finish – even if it felt far from plain sailing.
“I never really felt in a rhythm. It was one of those races you’re doing 100 yards at a time,” Hutchinson said at the finish.
Mark Holton achieved the best result of his career in taking second place; he could also celebrate a win for his team, www.drag2zero.com. Meanwhile, Matt Bottrill (I-ride.co.uk) was pleased with what he felt to be an unexpected third place finish.
Scintillating Shaw sees off Storey
Julia Shaw was on flying form to see off the expected challenge of rival Sarah Storey. Having reached the turn 30 seconds up, the Utag-Yamaha.com rider ratcheted up the pace on the return leg, ultimately catching the Horizon Fitness rider for two minutes in the closing miles.
“I’m really pleased to do a 54. I knew Sarah was going to be the main competition but by the turn I could actually see and was slowly catching her, which was a nice position to be in,” said the three-time winner.
“It kind of makes all the training rides that I did in the winter worthwhile. I was going out at 7 in the morning when it was minus 2 degrees. You wonder why you’re doing it sometimes, but when you get good form when you want it, it makes it all worthwhile,” Shaw said.
Storey was magnanimous in defeat, commenting: “I can’t complain with a PB. Everything I’m doing is making me faster but when there’s someone that much better than you… Julia is in a different class.”
Meanwhile, reigning universities national champion Mathilde Matthijsse claimed third.
A job well Dunne
There was a close battle for victory in the junior event, with giant Conor Dunne (Glendene CC-Biketrax) ultimately coming out on top.
Clocking 54-08, he edged out Planet X youngster Ryan Mullen by just ten seconds. It was a welcome change to the script for Dunne after taking several runner-up placings in championship events in recent years, the most recent being second place in the National 10 a fortnight ago.
“I’m really happy. I really wanted to come and win it. I just gave it everything really, that’s all you can really do,” 6ft-8inch Dunne said afterwards.
“I passed my dad after 20 miles and he said I was only two seconds up, so I buried myself from there.”
He also expressed his gratitude to former Premier Calendar winner and Glendene CC coach Bob Downs.
RTTC National 25-mile Championship, Boroughbridge, North Yorkshire
1. Michael Hutchinson (In Gear Quickvit Trainsharp RT) 49-34
2. Mark Holton (www.drag2zero.com) 51-21
3. Matt Bottrill (I-Ride.co.uk) 51-49
4. James Wall (Team Echelon-Spiuk) 52-08
5. Chris Ball (Sigma Sport) 52-52
6. Jeroen Walters (Sigma Sport) 52-54
7. Ben Instone (www.scientific-coaching.com) 53-03
8. Arthur Doyle (Dooley’s Cycles RT) 53-09
9. Scott Povey (Warwickshire RC) 53-11
10. John Tuckett (ActivCycles-Fentimans RT) 53-16
1. Julia Shaw (Utag-Yamaha.com) 54-30
2. Sarah Storey (Horizon Fitness RT) 56-46
3. Mathilde Matthijsse (Ferryhill Wheelers Mountain High RT) 57-57
4. Claire Galloway (Team Zappi’s) 58-23
5. Lynne Taylor (Born To Bike) 58-58
1. Conor Dunne (Glendene CC-Biketrax) 54-08
2. Ryan Mullen (Planet X) 54-18
3. Oliver Rossi (PCA Ciclos Uno) 54-52
4. Alex Royle (I-ride.co.uk) 56-02
5. Josh Teasdale (Team Endura-M I Racing) 56-15
1. Hannah Barnes (Motorpoint-Marshalls Pasta) 1-01-29
Michael Hutchinson: Only rider under 50 minutes
Julia Shaw, women’s winner
Hannah Barnes, junior women’s winner
Conor Dunne, junior men’s winner