The Ribble Pro Cycling team made the big boys of the UCI World Tour sit up and take notice in the British National Time Trial Championship in Northumberland yesterday (June 28th).
Led home by Commonwealth Games track medallist John Archibald in fourth place, Team Ribble packed four riders into the top 18 places. Finishing closely behind John were Dan Bigham in eighth, Simon Wilson in thirteenth and David Hewett in eighteenth.
“Considering the riders who filled the podium I’m pleased to come away with fourth place,” John said afterwards. “I didn’t enjoy my ride and I was unsure of what I was putting out power wise. I got it into my head that I was off the pace and that affected me, but as it turned out I was going pretty well! I didn’t expect to make the podium even with the perfect ride so fourth is very satisfying as I appreciated all the team support throughout the day.” John added.
As widely expected 2010 National Road Race Champion Geraint Thomas clocked the fastest time to take his first National Time Trial title by from Tour de Yorkshire stage winner and GB track team rider Harry Tanfield. Thomas, who won the Criterium Dauphine earlier in June, will start the Tour de France on July 7th.
The bronze medal went to five-time champion Alex Dowsett and impressively Archibald was less than a minute behind the World Tour time trial specialist.
Dan Bigham was not so down hearted about his eighth place knowing that he’d crashed heavily earlier in June and suffered a bang to his head. July will be a chance for Dan to rebuild again before defending his National RTTC Time Trial titles in August and September.
“That’s probably as good as I could have realistically expected,” Dan said afterwards. “It’s been a difficult year for me to date and now I need a good, clear block of training without stress and crashes. I’ll race the Stockton GP and National Criterium Champs before the time trial champs begin again.”
Ribble team captain Jack Rees was pleased with the day’s results and surpassing the pre-race team target of a top five placing.
“John (Archibald) is happy with that. That’s a good showing at this level. We were pretty close to a medal, but G (Geraint Thomas) was always winning if he started,” Jack said. “Now we look forward to going into the road race on Sunday with nine riders and mixing it up with the likes of Team Sky, Mark Cavendish who has two Dimension Data team mates and a trio from the Aqua Blue Sport team.”
Sunday’s road race action will be broadcast live on ITV (including highlights of the women’s road race) from 3.00pm on Sunday July 1. From 11.00am there is also expected to be a feed playing on the British Cycling Facebook page.
1st Geraint Thomas 48:54 (39.7km)
2nd Harry Tanfield 49:31
3rd Alex Dowsett 49:48
4th John Archibald 50:41
8th Dan Bigham 51:24
13th Simon Wilson 52:30
18th David Hewett 53:34
1st Charlie Tanfield
15th Zeb Kyffin
36th Will Corbett