Saint Piran take on the big guns in the British Road Race Championships

Three Saint Piran riders lined up at the start of the British Road Race Championships last Sunday. Will Harper, Ollie Maxwell and Joe Evans made the trip to Norwich for the 190km race, with the Cornish team up against some of the biggest and best-funded UCI World Tour outfits.

There were some big individual names there as well, including Team Dimension Data’s Mark Cavendish (who has 30 Tour de France stage wins to his name) and Commonwealth Games gold medalist Alex Dowsett of Katusha – Alpecin.  

On a windy coastal course, the bunch stayed together for the first 100km or so before a group of six went off the front. Joe Evans instigated a move to try and bridge across to the breakaway with Ollie Maxwell also in the mix, alongside Mark Cavendish and Owain Doull.

But Saint Piran were struck with bad luck as Evans punctured on a narrow, twisty part of the course and had to wait for a wheel from the neutral service vehicle. A second puncture with just 10km remaining then put an end to Joe’s race.

At the finish, Team Ineos (formerly Team Sky) took the first two places with Ben Swift coming in ahead of teammate Ian Stannard. Will Harper and Ollie Maxwell finished in the group behind the leaders, 5:48 down overall.

Joe summarised the day; “We went in with big ambitions and rode well for the most part but luck was not on our side. And only being there with three riders made it extremely difficult.” Highlighting the difference with the big UCI World teams, with their large supporting infrastructure, Joe said, “A special mention goes to my girlfriend Alice for being our sole helper on a very hot day! Without her we would never have got to the finish!”

Next up is another long trip to the north east for Round Six of the HSBC National Road Series, the Beaumont Trophy, on Sunday 7th July, when Saint Piran aims to continue to punch above its weight across the UK race scene.

Ricci Pascoe