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!
But in addition to our VeloVeritas hats, we had our “Supporter Hamish Haynes” bonnets on too.
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.
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 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.
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.
Next year will be better, Steve – maybe the Sky will be the limit.
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 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.”
Big hero of the day for Scotland was another ex-PC man gone Endura, Evan Oliphant.
” 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.
And finally, Kristian House’s manager, John spoke to us.
“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!”
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?