Alice Barnes and Ben Swift  earn maiden national titles in Norwich

Alice Barnes and Ben Swift earn maiden national titles in Norwich

30 June 2019 / 19:21

It was a momentous day for Alice Barnes and Ben Swift at the National Road Championships as both struck gold to earn their first national road race titles

Barnes became the first woman since Emma Pooley in 2010 to do the National Road Championships double by adding the road race to the time trials she had already won in Norwich.

The 23-year-old broke away with a group of four with 40km left of the race but it was Barnes who had the legs to hold off the chasing pack with 200m to go.

“I knew I was coming into this with quite good form. My time trial kind of shocked me but to get both (titles) – I can’t really believe it yet,” she said.

“I rode the last two days and I’ve done a couple of stage races already this year so I think I recover quite well from those. I just fuelled well and went into today thinking ‘just go for it’.

“All the other three girls there are good at sprinting and all really strong, so we worked together really well. I knew exactly where I wanted to go and just dug in to the line.”

Earlier in the day Swift had timed his race to perfection to overtake teammate Ian Stannard as the race entered the closing stages in Norwich city centre and crossing the line comfortably clear to claim the national jersey.

Stannard claimed silver and John Archibald bronze, which represented a second medal of the championships for the Scot, who also claimed silver in the time trial.

"It feels good as I've been chasing the win for a number of years," said the 2008 Olympian.  

"I finished in all the other top five places so to eventually get this jersey, I'm really happy."

 "It's been a difficult season with the crashes but I've got my rhythm and motivation back after the crash - it's nice to keep the jersey in the family.

"I massively owe this win to Ian [Stannard] but we all went in there equally and he played his card early but it enabled me to sit and wait and it worked out perfectly."