Tarling and Henderson crowned champions 

Josh Tarling and Anna Henderson blitzed to the elite time-trial wins on the first day of the 2024 Lloyds Bank National Road Championships in North Yorkshire, while Tomos Pattinson and Josie Nelson took the under-23 victories. 

Riders in all four categories took on two laps of the 15km course in Catterick, scaling 500m of climbing to test the rider’s legs in the race of truth. 

Elite men 

Josh Tarling (INEOS Grenadiers) stormed to back-to-back national titles in the elite men’s time-trial, a year on from making history as the youngest ever winner of the event.  

The 20-year-old clocked 39:21.50 to finish over a minute ahead of his nearest rivals Max Walker (Astana Qazaqstan Development Team) and Ethan Vernon (Israel – Premier Tech). 

As the final rider to set off, Tarling went all guns blazing on the first 15km lap to set a time of 19:21.42, just under a minute ahead of Sam Watson (GROUPAMA – FDJ).  

Scaling over 500m of climbing over the two laps, the Welshman continued to push on ferociously, and crossed the line in his European stripes to claim a second elite national time-trial title. 

Walker finished superbly to take second place in 40:35.37 and secure another national medal, having won bronze in the under-23 road race last year, and looks in fine form ahead of Sunday’s return to Saltburn Bank. 

Vernon claimed secured the bronze medal in a time of 40:45.70, after a strong second lap effort, pushing him up from sixth into the medal places. 

Speaking after his victory, 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 and it’s a last chance 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 women 

Anna Henderson (Team Visma – Lease a Bike) took home the elite women’s victory, clocking a time of 46:07.02 in the 30km time-trial to get her first win of the year.  

With defending champion Lizzie Holden withdrawing from competition, the field was wide open for the 23 riders to compete for the coveted red, white and blue jersey. 

Former champion Henderson was quickest at the half-way mark in a time of 22:45.90, as she set her sights on regaining the jersey she won in Lincolnshire in 2021. 

A formidable group were out to stop her however, with Claire Steels (Movistar), Elinor Barker (Uno-X Mobility), Pfeiffer Georgi (Team DSM-Firmenich PostNL) and Anna Morris (WardPerformanceUK.com) all finishing the first lap within a minute of the leader’s time. 

Henderson continued to set a blistering pace and extend her lead on the second lap, taking her second elite national time-trial title by a margin of almost 33 seconds, with an average pace of 39.03km/h. 

Behind her, an impressive ride saw Steels seal second place in 46:39.92, while Barker took home third place for the second consecutive year with a time of 47:08.71. 

Henderson said:  “I’m over the moon! It was a really, really tough course out there today so I’m really happy that everything came together, and I can pull on the stripey jersey. It’s been a really rough few years – last year with the crash, and the year before with sickness – so this year everything came together and was perfect. It’s great to get a white jersey and I’m really excited to wear it at the Tour [de France Femmes].” 

Under-23 women 

Josie Nelson (Team dsm-Firmenich PostNL) won the under-23 women’s time-trial in North Yorkshire, taking the victory by almost two minutes.  

All eyes were on defending champion Maddie Leech (Lifeplus Wahoo) as the riders left the start line for the first time at this year’s championships. 

In a high-calibre field of nine riders, Nelson set the quickest time at the end of the first lap in 24:01.48, 30 seconds quicker than Leech, with Ellie Parry (Watersley R & D Road Team) a further 23 seconds further behind. 

Nelson was the first of the contenders to finish, in a time of 47:58.97, and the 2022 national circuit champion then faced an agonising wait for Leech, Parry and Flora Perkins (Fenix-Deceuninck) to stop the clock. 

Despite their best efforts, nobody could get close to Nelson on the day, with Leech taking second place almost two minutes behind on 49:52.50. The final lap did see Perkins overhaul Parry to take third place in a time of 50:11.48 to round off the podium, equalling her result at last year’s championships. 

Speaking on her win, Nelson said: “It feels really good to take the win. Time-trialling hasn’t always been my strongest point and I’m glad to finally be improving. It was a really good course and it suited me quite a lot with it being a little bit technical and quite up and down.” 

Under-23 men 

Tomos Pattinson (Team Visma-Lease a Bike Development) held on to take the under-23 men’s title in a hotly contested end to the day’s racing. 

Pattinson came back from fifth place at the halfway point to take the victory in a time of 42:06.87 ahead of Ben Wiggins (Hagens Berman Jayco CT) and Joshua Golliker (Groupama-FDJ La Conti). 

Wiggins finished 10 seconds behind Pattinson on 42:16.62, having been the fastest rider at the halfway point, to take a deserved silver medal. A delighted Golliker crossed the line in third place on 42:24.22 to take the final podium spot, just two seconds ahead of Josh Giddings (Lotto Dstny Development Team).  

Speaking afterwards, 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. I used the climb well and that’s where I put the time in. It feels good to be in the stripey jersey in really good company. I’m really looking forward to the road race and another hilly course!” 

The championships continue on Friday with the circuit races in Darlington, before the road race champions are crowned in Saltburn on Sunday. You can watch both races live through the British Cycling YouTube channel and discovery+, with full details available here

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