DOMESTIC RIDER Of THE year
Five riders who’ve enjoyed domestic bliss in 2018
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.
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.
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.
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.
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