Kristian House of Rapha-Condor won the British Road Championships 2009, we gave Chris Froome our “man of the match” award and there was plenty of sunshine.

That’s the British Champs in a nutshell, it really was a great day.

We thought we’d bring you a photo-rich piece from the race, since we took so many pics, and because over 11 hours in a car in one day has somewhat dulled our senses!

British Road Championships 2009
Laydeez an Genulmen…your new champ, Kristian House! Photo©Martin Williamson
British Road Championships 2009
Kristian took a very fast downhill sprint through the narrow, barriered streets, from Dan Lloyd and Peter Kennaugh. You can see Chris Froome in the background, disappointed with 4th after all his attacking riding. Photo©Martin Williamson
British Road Championships 2009
Chris Froome checks his computer to see how long a lap of the finishing circuit is taking. It was taking him less than nine minutes to do the four hilly miles! Photo©Ed Hood

The Tumble

British Road Championships 2009
Before that though, he and Wiggins blasted the race to bits on the Tumble. We couldn’t believe how fractured it was this early in the race, and discussed whether it added to the race, or helped it reach it’s conclusion prematurely. Photo©Martin Williamson
British Road Championships 2009
20 seconds after Wiggins and Frooms, Millar sauntered past looking like he was on the way to the shops for the rolls. We were convinced that he was the man for today, and Wiggins was doing the “softening up”. Later though, he said that it was all “smoke and mirrors”. Photo©Martin Williamson
British Road Championships 2009
Ian Stannard and Cav came by, with several others tucked in, including Evan Oliphant. Photo©Ed Hood
British Road Championships 2009
At this point on the Tumble, Russ Downing was in the group with Cavendish, but looked to us as if he was struggling to stay in contact. Photo©Ed Hood
British Road Championships 2009
Chris Newton. Photo©Martin Williamson
British Road Championships 2009
Our pal Matt Brammeier chats to Phil Griffiths. Photo©Martin Williamson
British Road Championships 2009
Suddenly, there’s Hamish Haynes, and he’s going pretty fast! Martin needs to run to make sure he gets his two bottles. Photo©Ed Hood
British Road Championships 2009
Jon Bellis, here with Deano Downing, found it tough today, and didn’t feature in the second half of the race. Photo©Ed Hood
British Road Championships 2009
Jez Hunt rode well to get in the chase group, but before that, he suffered like everyone else on the Tumble. Photo©Ed Hood
British Road Championships 2009
Dan Fleeman spots us and pulls across to say hi. We think he was looking for an expresso. Photo©Ed Hood
British Road Championships 2009
Another returnee from the continent, Ben Swift, found it a brutal race. Photo©Ed Hood
British Road Championships 2009
Ex-champ and recent Tour Series winner Rob Hayles didn’t see the front half of the race again after the Tumble. Two months of riding one hour criteriums aren’t the best preparation for this. Photo©Ed Hood

Finishing Circuit

British Road Championships 2009
Once on the finish circuit, Kristian House (front) and young Peter Kennaugh, fresh from a stage win and third overall at the “baby Giro” made the final selection of four riders. Photo©Ed Hood
British Road Championships 2009
It was a little odd seeing Mark fend for himself, without a brace of teammates alongside. Photo©Martin Williamson
British Road Championships 2009
Hugh Porter did a great job of whipping up the crowd’s excitement throughout the day. Photo©Ed Hood
British Road Championships 2009
Cav leads Evan Oliphant, with Ian Stannard still there at this point. Photo©Ed Hood
British Road Championships 2009
Chris Froome attacked the lead group and got clear three times, building a healthy lead of over 30 seconds with 8 miles to go. Photo©Ed Hood
British Road Championships 2009
Lap after lap, Chris came past us at the Feed Station on his own, time trialling to the win, or so it seemed. Photo©Martin Williamson
British Road Championships 2009
Riders who had packed today still wanted to help their teammates, rather than slink off to the showers. We liked that. Photo©Ed Hood
British Road Championships 2009
Here’s Emma Pooley, who finished third yesterday in the Women’s Champs, and won the recent Grande Boucle Feminine Internationale, not to mention 2nd in the Olympics last year. Photo©Martin Williamson
British Road Championships 2009
Froome really attacked the circuit, and took a lot of risks with his cornering, trying to stay clear. A very impressive bike rider. Photo©Martin Williamson
British Road Championships 2009
Having said that, House, Lloyd and Kennaugh weren’t hanging around either. Photo©Martin Williamson
British Road Championships 2009
Organiser Gary Baker and his team worked on the preparation for this weekend’s racing for over nine months, and it showed. It was clear that everything had been thought about, and it all went very smoothly. We anticipated the usual “getting creds” issues, á la Tour de France, but Gary made it very easy for us. We have never seen so many motos on a race outside of the Tour, it was all very thorough and professional, and did British Cycling and the competitors proud. Photo©Ed Hood
British Road Championships 2009
Cav and Hammond came across the line smiling and resigned to 5th and 6th place. Photo©Ed Hood
British Road Championships 2009
Cav shows his, er, typical cyclist’s physique. Photo©Ed Hood
British Road Championships 2009
Roger Hammond and the ProTour guys recover from 100 miles in 4 hours pretty quickly. Photo©Ed Hood
British Road Championships 2009
Dan Fleeman tells Martin all about his new coffee machine. Photo©Ed Hood
British Road Championships 2009
Dan Lloyd has grown as a rider with the Cervélo Test Team, and rode superbly today for silver. Photo©Martin Williamson

Hamish Haynes

But in addition to our VeloVeritas hats, we had our “Supporter Hamish Haynes” bonnets on too.

British Road Championships 2009
Hamish takes delivery of his nutritional bits and bobs. Photo©Ed Hood

Hamish lives the dream, a wee house in the wilds of Belgium, slugging out it with the big hitters of he kermesse world, week in, week out.

He’s had some big wins out there, but ploughs-on, largely forgotten here in Blighty.

For the last few years we’ve helped Hamish out with race food and drink – the man who rides for Yawadoo and has earned the right to wear the red, white and blue stripes of a former British elite road race champion around his shorts and jersey.

British Road Championships 2009
Hamish sits tight in the bunch in the early miles. Photo©Martin Williamson

Hi-5 and Cliff Bar were the precious cargo we carried and Hamish will be advising us how he’s getting on with them, as the season progresses.

Hamish gave us his take on the day;

“The Tumble climb was a kilometre too long for me – all my training is geared towards courses like the finish circuit is here – I just couldn’t stay with the leaders over the top, but I was riding strongly on the circuit.

“It’s difficult for the ProTour riders to get a result on a day like today; there’s so much weight of expectation on them.

“I knew Kristian was very well prepared, I saw that he had been getting good results in the Tour of Beauce in Canada – and that’s a hard race.”

As well as Hamish and the top four we grabbed a few words with some of the other names who mattered in Sunday’s epic.

Steve Cummings

Steve grabbed two big wins in Italy last year, this season it’s obvious that his morale isn’t the best – which is a shame; this is a man who Alberto Contador rated as a top team rider when they shared their tenure at Discovery Channel.

British Road Championships 2009
Steve Cummings summed up his recent few weeks in one word – which we can’t use here. Photo©Ed Hood

Barloworld has the reputation of not being the best organised of teams, Steve has just one race on the calendar for July and 11 for the whole of the rest of the season.

British Road Championships 2009
Tired though he may be, Steve takes time to sign dozens of kids’ jerseys like a true pro. Photo©Ed Hood

Next year will be better, Steve – maybe the Sky will be the limit.

British Road Championships 2009
Chris Froome gets cleaned up by the GB soigneur, whilst chatting to Dave Brailsford. Maybe Steve and he will still be teammates next year? Photo©Martin Williamson

Alex Coutts

British Road Championships 2009
Coutsie was one of loads of riders who told us they didn’t feel great today, probably something to do with the 26 degree heat! Photo©Martin Williamson

Alex was down with his dad for the day and did well to finish; he’s not had the racing required to build the form to go jousting with the ProTour boys;

“it was a hard race, The Tumble was tough, I tried to go with the front group but started to go backwards when I was three quarters of the way up!”

Ross Creber

Ross was one of those who suffered when Plowman Craven joined the long list of “imaginary pro teams” that have caused us to shake our heads, over the years. Now an Endura man, he took time to chat as he wiped away that Welsh dirt from his legs;

“I crashed before The Tumble, I got back but the birds had flown. I was 30th and top ten in the Under 23’s, so it wasn’t a bad ride; but I had a better one in me.”

Evan Oliphant

Big hero of the day for Scotland was another ex-PC man gone Endura, Evan Oliphant.

British Road Championships 2009
Evan cames across the line just behind ProTour riders Roger Hammond and Milan-San Remo winner Mark Cavendish, an outstanding ride for the Scot. Photo©Martin Williamson
British Road Championships 2009
Evan was in the chase group with top riders – a fantastic ride. Photo©Ed Hood

” James McCallum looked after me until the Tumble; there was a split just before it but we saw it coming and James ripped me right up to the front; I freewheeled into the lead group!

“Wiggins and Millar smashed it on The Tumble but I rode within myself and stayed close to Dan Lloyd and Roger Hammond; I knew they’d be a safe bet to get back on.

“We drove hard down off the Tumble; I only had a ’12’ and was revving-out.

“When House went, I hesitated, I thought Wiggins and Cav would bring him back. On the last lap, I attacked but Cav and Hammond countered and I couldn’t hold them when they came back at me.”

If we were rating Evan out of 10, Gazzetta style; we’d give him 8.5.

British Road Championships 2009
Evan tails eventual winner House. Photo©Ed Hood
British Road Championships 2009
The Tumble is a brute of a climb, as Gary Hand found out. Photo©Martin Williamson

John Herety

And finally, Kristian House’s manager, John spoke to us.

British Road Championships 2009
John Herety tells Ed what the Rapha-Condor plan had been, and how it changed as the race progressed. Photo©Martin Williamson

“Our early plan went a little astray; we had Tom Southam and Chris Newton down as leaders with Kristian and Simon Richardson as “floaters” – meaning that they would either adopt a supporting role for Tom and Chris or fall into a leadership role themselves.

“Half way up The Tumble it became “everything for Kristian” as we saw how things were going. He read the race perfectly; he’s been try so hard to get a win – too hard.

“He’s been so frustrated at the lack of results; in that respect it was a classic national championship – a good rider who’s off the radar comes along and wins it!”

British Road Championships 2009
Rapha ask us for a drink on the Tumble. Photo©Martin Williamson
British Road Championships 2009
The Rapha-Condor team are exhausted at the finish, but chuffed for Kristian. Photo©Ed Hood

VeloVeritas knows that self-praise is no praise, but we spotted Mr. House’s form way back in March, that’s why we interviewed him; and even back then, notice he spoke about winning today. Job done.

Martin, are we nearly home, yet?