THE AREA put on a show once more as the British National Road Championships returned.

The racing got underway last Wednesday with the time trials.

The riders tackled an undulating 15km course around Catterick, with riders facing rolling hills and long straights which would test their time trialling skills.

Anna Henderson of Team Visma - Lease a bike took victory in the Elite Women’s race, a feat she previously earned in 2021.

In the Elite Men’s race it was no surprise that current British and European champion Joshua Tarling of INEOS Grenadiers stormed to victory by over a minute.

The first race began in near perfect conditions. Nine riders from the U-23 women’s category took to the start line including defending champion Maddie Leach from team Lifeplus Wahoo, but it would be Josie Nelson of Team DSM - Firmenich PostNL, who would dominate the splits.

Nelson clocked a 24:04 at the first time-check and finishing with a 47:58:97, a time which would seal victory for the 22-year-old. Defending champion Maddie Leach gave it everything she had but come up short with a finishing time of 49:52.50. Flora Perkins of Fenix-Deceuninck rounded out the podium of the U-23 race with a finishing time of 50:11.48.

U-23 Women:

1) Josie Nelson [Team DSM-Firmenich POSTNL] 0:47:58.97

2) Madelaine Leech [Lifeplus Wahoo] 0:49:52.50

3) Flora Perkins [Fenix - Deceuninck] 0:50:11.48

Next to face the challenging Catterick course were the Elite Women, and with defending champion Lizzie Holden not on the start line, we were guaranteed a new British Champion by the end of the race.

Claire Steels of Spanish WorldTour team Movistar, looked set to become this year’s champion, after setting a 23:14.82 at the first intermediate time check, a time no rider seemed to be able to match until Anna Henderson of Team Visma-Lease a bike reached the same checkpoint with a 39-second advantage,

A fourth-place finish for Henderson in last year’s World Championships ITT meant she was no slack on a time-trial bike and the Visma-Lease a bike rider finished with a blistering time of 46:07:02.

Steels fought valiantly to finish second with a time of 46:39:92, 22-seconds down on Henderson, with Elinor Barker MBE of Scandinavian outfit UNO-X Mobility rounded out the podium with a respectable 47:08.71.

Henderson was delighted at the finish line and outlined her future plans with the jersey.

She said: “This year everything came together and was perfect. It’s great to get this jersey and I’m really excited to wear it at the Tour [de France Femmes] later this year”.

Elite women:

1) Anna Henderson [Visma -Lease a bike] - 0:46:07:02

2) Claire Steels [Movistar] - 0:46:39:92

3) Elinor Barker MBE [UNO-X] - 0:47:08.71

Next up were the Elite Men, and it was the favourite Josh Tarling’s race to lose. The 20-year-old time-trial specialist reached the intermediate time check almost 50-seconds ahead of Sam Watson of French outfit Groupama-FDJ.

The young INEOS rider blew away the rest of the field with a finishing time of 39:21.50. Tarling’s dominant performance in the time-trial proved why he was red-hot favourite going into the race. The 20-year-old is now a two-time British time-trial champion. Max Walker of Astana-Qazaqstan Development Team battled on for surprise second place, and with Ethan Vernon edging out Sam Watson of Groupama-FDJ by three seconds, the podium was set.

Tarling said: “I was a bit nervous coming into it – there are a few guys on good form and everything is getting close to the Olympics, it’s one of the last chances to get a TT in so I was a bit stressed.

"I just committed and hung on. Last year, if you blew up, you could still roll fast, but the second lap this year I was three or four km an hour slower. It was way harder this year, but it’s all going well. I’m going to try and knuckle down after this and go to altitude for a few weeks. I need to sharpen up a bit, but I’m excited about the rest of the season.”

Elite Men:

1) Joshua Tarling [INEOS Grenadiers] - 0:39:12.50

2) Max Walker [Astana Qazaqstan Development team] - 0:40:35.37

3) Ethan Vernon [Isreal - Premier Tech] - 0:40:45.70

The final race on the opening day was the U-23 Men, and it was Tomos Pattinson of Team Visma-Lease a Bike Development who took victory in a hotly contested end to the day’s racing. Pattinson fought back from fifth place at the halfway point to steal the victory from Ben Wiggins [Hagens Berman Jayco CT] and Joshua Golliker [Groupama-FDJ La Conti]

Wiggins set the fastest time at the intermediate time check, but after a powerful second lap by Pattinson, the Hagens Berman rider lost out on top spot by 10-seconds but Wiggins did manage to take a well deserved second place. Joshua Golliker edged out fourth place Josh Giddings of Lotto Dstny Development Team by two-seconds for the final spot on the podium.

Post-race, Pattinson said: “It feels good, I’m really happy. I really didn’t expect the win when I came here yesterday but I thought the course suited me and I gave it a good go. It feels good to be in the stripey jersey and I’m really looking forward to the road race and another hilly course”

U-23 Men:

1) Tomos Pattinson [Team Visma-Lease a Bike Development] - 42:06.9

2) Ben Wiggins [Hagens Berman Jayco CT] - 42:16.6

3) Joshua Golliker [Groupama-FDJ La Conti] – 42:24.2


Next on the cards was the Criterium races in Darlington on Friday evening.

On a 1.28km circuit around the town centre, with long straights and plenty of technical parts, riders and spectators were in for an action-packed night of bike racing.

Pre-race favourite Emma Jeffers of Liv AlUla Jayco Continental Team outsprinted some big names in criterium racing like Eilidh Shaw of Alba Development Road Team, another pre-race favourite Monica Greenwood of Team Coop-Hitec Products, Maddie Leech of Lifeplus Wahoo and defending champion Meg Barker of Tekkerz CC to victory

From the beginning of the women’s race the pace was frantic, with Jeffers and Greenwood following the wheels of big moves from Doltcini-O’Shea and DAS-Hutchinson-Brother UK but never committing themselves too early.

Jeffers decided she would try to impose herself on the race as she pulled away from the bunch and created a significant gap, but she was eventually pulled back in by the chasing peloton. This move had already significantly thinned the race with only 30 riders remaining after a quarter of the race.

After a frenzied hour of racing which had left only a select bunch of favourites battling for the win, Lucy Lee of DAS-Hutchinson-Brother UK made a move, and got clear with Esther Wong of Shibden Apex RT and Monica Greenwood but this was quickly shut down. Coming into the finishing straight, Emma Jeffers unleased a well-timed, powerful sprint to earn herself the British Criterium Championship.

Jeffers said: “It feels amazing, especially in the crit as that’s what made me fall in love with cycling. I loved the course and the fans made it even better, I can’t believe it”

Seventy riders took to the start line in the open race in Darlington to try and stake their claim for the British Criterium Championship.

An action-packed race began with some of the country’s best talent, including Britain's biggest domestic team Saint Piran who had brought eight riders including local rider Harry Tanfield and WorldTour set-up Groupama-FDJ who had three of their WorldTour team in Lewis Askey, Sam Watson and Matthew Walls, and Noah Hobbs of their La Conti team.

Much like in the women’s race the pace was set early and it was a hard and fast race. Sam Watson quickly established a gap with himself and crit specialist Rob Scott of Tekkerz CC taking an early lead. They were shortly joined by Lewis Askey. With the trio’s advantage growing, teams were desperate to close the distance, but by halfway the gap had extended to 36 seconds.

The WorldTour team had demolished the race and coming into the hour mark, Askey attacked and neither his teammate Watson or Scott could answer. The 2021 bronze medallist rode home solo to victory and his first Criterium championship. Behind, Watson and Scott were being closed down by the chasing peloton and coming into the final stretch, a bunch sprint was on the cards. Matt Walls and Noah Hobbs both of Groupama-FDJ opened up their legs and took second and third to seal a dominant performance by the French WorldTour team in Darlington.

Askey said: “I’ve been feeling good the last few weeks and I really wanted to show what I could do, so to bring it home feels great.”


The racing concluded on Sunday in Saltburn with the Road Races, the showpiece of the Championships. Tousands of people turned up to cheer on the riders who were about to tackle the infamous Saltburn bank once again.

Defending champion Pfeiffer Georgi made it a hat-trick of national road race titles by repeating the same winning move as last year, while Ethan Hayter powered to victory in a vicious attack up the bank.

The seaside town welcomed 128 of Britain’s best female riders to battle five laps of the undulating course which was last used in the inaugural East Cleveland Classic in April. The riders faced 130km and over 2000m of climbing.

An early move of three including Miram Jesset of Loughborough lightning, Sian Botteley of DAS-Hutchinson-Brother UK and Lizi Brooke of Pro-Noctis-200 Degrees Coffee-Hargreaves Contracting went clear and gained a sizeable gap of three minutes and 50-seconds, but with former World Champion Elizabeth Deignan of Lidl-Trek, newly crowned time-trial champion Anna Henderson of Team Visma-Lease a bike and defending champion Pfeiffer Georgi’s Team DSM-Firmenich PostNL driving the pace on the front of the peloton, they looked destined to be caught.

The trio who had attacked from the gun were still out the front of the race with 60km remaining until the peloton sparked into life and Jesset and Botteley were dropped by the valiant Brooke and swallowed up by the raging peloton.

It wasn’t until the final lap where Brooke would be eventually caught by the steamrolling bunch behind. Henderson drove the pace past Brooke and decimated the race with only 14 riders being able to match the pace. These riders included Claire Steels of Movistar Team, Deignan and Georgi.

A mechanical issue for Steels looked like she would be out of contention but she was helped back to the front group with Frankie Hall of DAS-Hutchinson-Brother UK and Sophie Wright of Fenix-Deceuninck.

Wright gained a huge lead on the front group as she attacked on the final run in gaining a big advantage on the chase, but she was unfortunately grabbed by the cruel hand of fate as she suffered a puncture with only three-kilometres to go. She was eventually serviced by the neutral car but with a rubbing brake and a dropped chain, she was passed by the group.

Josie Nelson of Team DSM-Firmenich PostNL drove the pace hard to the final ascent of Saltburn Bank where defending champion and pre-race favourite Georgi repeated her winning move of last year by attacking on the bank to roll over the line solo.

Behind, it looked like former World Champion Deignan would be second but she was pipped on the line by Henderson with the two rounding out the podium places.

Flora Perkins of Fenix-Deceuninck finished fourth overall to secure the U-23 title, with teammate Millie Couzens and Alice Towers of CANYON // SRAM Generation rounding out the U-23 podium.

Georgi said: “It’s really special, I actually didn’t expect to win. I wasn’t feeling the best during the race - there was a lot of attacks and I was suffering. The team really supported me, I just sprinted as hard as I could up the climb and I didn’t look back until the top.

Elite Women:

1) Pfeiffer Georgi – Team DSM-Firmenich PostNL

2) Anna Henderson – Visma – Lease a Bike

3) Lizzie Diegnan – Lidl-Trek


1) Flora Perkins – Fenix Deceuninck

2) Millie Couzens – ‘’

3) Alice Towers – CANYON // SRAM Generation

The open race began in the blazing lunchtime sun. We were guaranteed a new champion as reigning champion Fred Wright didn’t start the race and veteran road captain Luke Rowe also didn't make the start line.

The men’s race kicked off fast and hard, with attacks coming from all over. The first move to go was just before the first ascent of Saltburn Bank with a group of six including former national champion Connor Swift and time-trial champion Josh Tarling, both of INEOS Grenadiers as well as last year’s U-23 winner Sam Watson of Groupama -FDJ.

The front group were quickly joined by newly crowned crit champion Lewis Askey [Groupama-FDJ] Owain Doull [EF Education – EasyPost] and County Durham native Matthew Brennan of Team Visma – Lease a Bike Development.

INEOS were looking to control the race and by lap two the race had been split to pieces. The front of the race continued to push the pace with attacks from Ben Swift of INEOS and Brennan they would gain a 30-second split to the chasing bunch and almost a minute on the peloton.

Coming into the fourth lap Max Walker of Astana Qazaqstan Development Team drove the front group up Saltburn Bank. The group decided to keep on the power and pushing a gap of over a minute-and-a-half on the chasing group behind.

The World Tour riders really showed their prowess on the fifth lap with Askey, Hayter [INEOS Grenadiers] and Walker being alone out front forcing a 45-second gap on the chasers.

Hayter and Askey looked to drop Walker before the final ascent of Saltburn Bank, but the Manxman fought valiantly and managed to regain contact with the attackers. The trio came to the base of the bank together and with that, Askey attacked first and dropped Walker but Hayter was glued to his back wheel and decided to put the power down half way up the bank to drop Askey and roll across the line solo, with Askey finishing second and Walker rounding out the podium.

Robert Donaldson of Trinity Racing, Joshua Tarling of INEOS Grenadiers and Joe Blackmore of ISREAL-Premier Tech was the podium of the men’s U-23 race.

Hayter said: “It’s really nice with my family being here. I’ve not won a race for a while so it’s really nice. As a team, we really worked together quite well. I’ve been jealous of Fred Wright all year in the stripes, so it’s nice to take them off him”

Elite Men:

1) Ethan Hayter – INEOS Grenadiers

2) Lewis Askey – Groupama-FDJ

3) Max Walker -Astana Qazaqstan Development Team


1) Bob Donaldson -Trinity Racing

2) Josh Tarling – Ineos Grenadiers

3) Joe Blackmore – Isreal-Premier Tech