DO­MES­TIC RIDER Of THE year

Five riders who’ve en­joyed do­mes­tic bliss in 2018

Cycling Weekly - - CW AWARDS -

5

GABRIEL Cul­laigh

At the Team Wig­gins pre­sen­ta­tion last win­ter Bradley Wig­gins high­lighted Cul­laigh as one to watch and the 22-year-old has proved him right. He won two stages of the Volta ao Alen­tejo, the Rut­land-mel­ton CICLE Clas­sic and on the first stage of the Tour of Bri­tain he fin­ished fourth be­hind an il­lus­tri­ous podium of sprint­ers made up of An­dré Greipel, Caleb Ewan and Fer­nando Gaviria. We wait with bated breath to see what 2019 holds.

4

Marcin BIALOBLOCKI The Bri­tish-based Pole had an­other record-set­ting year. He took over a minute off his own 25-mile record to bring it down to 42.58 and rode 50 miles in less time than it would take you to watch the movie Trainspot­ting (1:30.31). He also bagged the 25-mile and 100-mile cham­pi­onship ti­tles and the 50-mile ti­tle — also in a quicker time than Trainspot­ting in case you were won­der­ing.

3

JESS ROBERTS

There will have been a goodly num­ber of eye­brows raised in the do­mes­tic women’s pelo­ton this sum­mer, as firstyear se­nior Jess Roberts romped home ahead of some of the best riders in the coun­try to win the Na­tional road race. She won at the Stock­ton GP ahead of a well-estab­lished field and also helped Team Breeze to a win in the Women’s Tour Se­ries, scor­ing top-six in­di­vid­ual places in six of eight rounds.

2

HARRY TAN­FIELD Along­side his hero­ics on the world stage, Tan­field has been just as suc­cess­ful on the Bri­tish scene. A pair of Tour Se­ries wins in Steve­nage and Aberys­t­wyth helped Canyon-eis­berg se­cure the over­all Tour Se­ries ti­tle, which played a ma­jor role in their qual­i­fi­ca­tion for the Tour of Bri­tain. Tan­field also beat a num­ber of World­tour riders to se­cure sil­ver at the Time Trial Na­tional Cham­pi­onships, with only Tour de France win­ner Geraint Thomas get­ting the bet­ter of him.

1

Con­nor Swift Swift’s 2018 season was a case of if you keep knock­ing on the door, it’s go­ing to open at some point. This metaphor­i­cal door was blown off its hinges thanks to Swift’s win at the

Road Race Na­tional Cham­pi­onships on the first day of

July. But it’s Swift’s con­sis­tency over a va­ri­ety of ter­rain through­out the season that jus­ti­fies his win here. Start­ing off the Spring Cup season with a sev­enth-place fin­ish at the Chor­ley GP, he backed that up the fol­low­ing week with a fourth place at the Rut­land-mel­ton CICLE Clas­sic. Then he re­turned to lo­cal roads, but a step up in class, at the Tour de York­shire, where he mixed it in the sprint fin­ishes into Don­caster

and Scar­bor­ough, gain­ing a sixth-place fin­ish into Scar­bor­ough bay.

This knack for gain­ing top-10 fin­ishes con­tin­ued with an­other sixth-place fin­ish at the iconic Lin­coln Grand Prix and a fur­ther five more in the eight rounds of the Tour Se­ries. Still miss­ing that elu­sive win that would de­fine his season, Swift lined up at the Na­tional Cham­pi­onships look­ing to mix it once again with the best riders Bri­tain had to of­fer af­ter a 10th place in the time trial a few days be­fore. Get­ting into the de­ci­sive break­away was one thing, but at­tack­ing 12 kilo­me­tres from the line from the ini­tial 17-man break was a dar­ing make-or­break move from the Madi­son-ge­n­e­sis rider. It could well turn out to be the mak­ing of Swift’s ca­reer, as the break­away hes­i­tated, Swift took full ad­van­tage and by the time the break got it­self or­gan­ised the Don­caster-born rider pow­ered to the fin­ish line in Northum­ber­land.

Se­lec­tion for the Bri­tish team for the Road Race Worlds fol­lowed, as well as a spell as a sta­giaire with Di­men­sion Data. Al­though an ex­pected move to World­tour for 2019 didn’t come to fruition, with a fur­ther year on the do­mes­tic scene he is sure to bur­nish his CV fur­ther to make the step in 2020.

Richard Han­d­ley, Madi­son-ge­n­e­sis

“Al­though it looked like a sur­prise [win­ning the Na­tion­als], it didn’t feel like it when I saw he was in that lead group. I wouldn’t say he was an un­der­dog, be­cause he has shown all year and last year he is strong enough to be there. He just tries his best at every race. I think you can only ex­pect to get good re­sults when you com­bine his at­ti­tude and his power.”

Bi­ałobłocki: beat the clock

cul­laigh: sprint­ing savvy

Tan­field tamed the Tour Se­ries

Roberts: Breez­ing through the ranks

Swift leaves 2018 with a na­tional cham­pion’s jer­sey

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