Liam Killeen (Team Giant) romped to a fifth consecutive victory at the British National Mountain Bike Championships in Wasing, Berkshire.
The 30-year-old pulled away from his nearest rival, David Fletcher (Orange Monkey-Cannondale), midway through the six-lap race to cruise to victory, with Fletcher finishing second and veteran Oli Beckingsale (Endura MTB Racing) third.
Killeen will now turn his attention to the Olympic Games, with the men’s cross-country mountain bike race scheduled for Sunday August 12.
“I really enjoy riding this course, I’ve raced here a few times for the National Series in the past,” said Killeen. “It’s a flat course but it’s always fun and it’s always a good workout.
“It takes a lot of pedaling and you really have to be technically on the ball as well. The support from the crowd was good today which always helps and this is a nice stepping stone to the next couple of weeks.
“There’s been a few crashes and niggles since the start of the year but everything has been going well, the goal was always to peak in August and it’s not August yet. I’m still building to it. Winning the national title again is a nice thing to bag and it helps with the confidence.”
Meanwhile, Nikki Harris (Young Telenet Fidea) won the women’s event in only her second mountain bike race of the year.
The professional cyclo-cross rider opened up a 60-second over Lee Craigie (Lapierre UK), and Harris continued to extend that advantage to claim the honours ahead of Craigie and Mel Alexander (Cardiff JIF) respectively. British number one Annie Last (Milka Brentjens) skipped the race in order to fine-tune her Olympic preparations.
“This is only my second mountain bike race this year so I’m pretty happy,” said Harris. “I think it would have been a lot closer if Annie was riding but she is focused on the Olympics.”
Men’s top ten
1) Liam Kileen – Team Giant – 1:43.08 hours
2) David Fletcher – Orange Monkey-Cannondale – 1:46.30
3) Oli Beckingsale – Endura MTB Racing – 1:45.59
4) Ian Field – Hargroves Cycles-Specialized – 1:47.25
5) Adrian Lansley – Pedalon.co.uk – 1:48.44
6) Gareth Mongomerie – GT Racing UK 1:49.18
7) Hamish Batchelor – Fluid Fin Racing – 1:49.42
8) Nick Craig – Team Scott UK – 1:50.12
9) Robert Wardell – Alpine Bikes Racing – 1:51.15
10) Paul Oldham – Team Hope Factory Racing – 1:52.26
Women’s top ten
1) Nikki Harris – Young Telenet Fidea – 1:44.41 hours
2) Lee Craigie – Lapierre UK – 1:46.03
3) Mel Alexander – Cardiff JIF – 1:47.02
4) Jessie Roberts – RWD Brakes Racing – 1:47.36
5) Gabby Day – Contessa Scott – 1:50.18
6) Katy Simcock – Team Scott UK – 1:51.44
7) Joanna Clay – WXC World Racing – 1:54.20
8) Maxine Filby – Velocite UK – 1:55.57
9) Sally Gabriel – One Planet Adventure 1:56.52
10) Rachel Fenton – 1:58.06