Kelly Murphy captured her maiden national time-trialling title as Marcin Bialoblocki was imperious once again in the men’s category, winning the National Circuit Championship and final round of the Sigma Sports Classic Series near Marshfield on Sunday.
While some riders had an eye on the Sigma Series, Marcin Bialoblocki’s attentions were solely focused on the National Circuit title, one that beforehand was missing from the NOPINZ rider’s ever-expanding trophy cabinet.
The Bridgewater-based 35-year-old Polish rider was in his usual strong form, clocking 1-20-40, a time that could not be surpassed.
“I rode the course before today and thought it would be very hard but it was windier than last week. There wasn’t much wind today, so it was fine,” he said.
“I was quite happy with my timing of the two laps. Maybe I went too easy because with five minutes to go I still felt like I had something left in the tank.”
His next goal is to break Adam Duggleby’s national competition record in the Eastern Counties CA 100 of 3-16-51 - and who would bet against him?
If Marcin was only focusing on the National title, Phil Williams (Liverpool Phoenix CC) had eyes on both with a possible Sigma Sport Classic Series win on the cards.
Williams needed a first place to have any hope of the Sigma title, and his time of 1-23-49 couldn’t be beat by the Sigma Sport Classic Series leader Adam Wild (GS Metro) who finished fourth in 1-25-02 but Williams’ eventual second place finish meant Wild would seal the series by a single point.
Rupert Graham (Spirit Tifosi RT) finished third with a great showing of 1-24-30.
Harry Tanfield (Team Katusha Alpecin) covered the course in 1-24-22, but a puncture just before his start time cost him 7-45 and saw him placed down the field.
In the women’s category, Kelly Murphy (Storey Racing) was crowned champion of both National title and Sigma Sport Classic Series title after completing her lap in 46-26 to see a clear gap between herself and second-placed Megan Dickerson.
With Joscelin Lowden missing the previous round of the Sigma Series, the mantle was left to Murphy to challenge Fiona Burnie at the top of the leaderboard and for an overall series win.
She needed to place ninth or higher while keeping Burnie and Jennifer Smart (Team Velovelocity) behind her. She did just that, with Burnie finishing series runner up.
“This was my first appearance in the National Circuit Championships – my aim was to defend my Sigma Series title so I was really happy to achieve that firstly – the National title made it all the sweeter though!” said Murphy.
“Everything went great – the conditions couldn’t have been better even though we thought some rain may come but it held off and I really enjoyed it,” she continued.
Murphy’s attentions will now turn to the Irish National Championships before gearing up to contend the Road World Championships in Yorkshire in a few months’ time.
The up and coming Megan Dickerson (Bristol South CC) finished second behind Murphy, one minute and thirty seconds down in 47-56.
Dickerson has had a fine opening few months on the bike nearing double-digit event wins already and the silver medal here only confirms she is one to watch in the coming years.
Helen McKay (Les Filles Racing Team) completed the podium with a time of 49-09.
Thomas Day (Giant CC Halo Films) and Sophie Heighton (Stockton Wheelers CC) were boys and girls junior champions respectively.
Day clocked a time of 44-51 to beat the in-form Fabien Large (NOPINZ) while Heighton clocked 1-04-58. Large and Heighton both went on to take the overall Sigma Sports Classic Series titles.
Like Large and Heighton, paracyclist Graeme Church’s first place in Gloucestershire meant he was confirmed as the overall Sigma Series winner – Church clocked a time of 1-09-32.
To recap the Sigma Sports Classic Series overall standings; Adam Wild claimed the men’s and espoir titles and Kelly Murphy finished as women’s champion.
Ben Lane (GS Metro) edged Simon Deeley (Team HUUB) to the veteran men’s crown with Karen Taylor (Team Sportslab) taking the women’s equivalent and David Hargreaves (North Lancashire RC) topping the veteran on target standings.
Fabien Large (Nopinz) and Sophie Heighton (Stockton Wheelers CC) were junior winners while Graeme Church edged Nicholas Fairfield (City RC) to the paracyclist title.
* All reports are copyright of Cycling Time Trials/Snowdon Sports. Not to be used without permission. This report by Jack Cudworth.