Swift seals back-to-back national titles

17 Oct 2021

Swift seals back-to-back national titles

British National Championships road race : Lincoln > Lincoln, 166km.

Ben Swift put in a tremendous attacking performance to win a second successive British national road race title in dramatic fashion in Lincoln 

Swift out-sprinted Fred Wright (Bahrain Victorious) in an exciting uphill finish to secure his second British title as teammate Ethan Hayter finished third.  

The Yorkshireman had attacked early on, going clear on the second lap and eventually finding himself in a group of six who managed to stay clear of a peloton forced to contend with wet conditions in the early stages of the race. 

Behind, Hayter was well-positioned and was able to react to counter attacks, before bridging the gap to his teammate at the start of the seventh lap. This formed a strong lead group of eight, which remained intact until Swift formed a new group of four which escaped off the front rom the front with four laps remaining. 

The quartet were able to go clear of the field, with only Hayter and Lewis Askey (Groupama-FDJ) able to make any inroads into their lead which was close to one minute at its height. 

This led to a dramatic final lap as Hayter and Askey closed in behind, but it was too late to catch Swift, who battled with Wright on the pivotal final ascent of the Michaelgate climb before going clear to celebrate back-to-back national titles. 

Ben Swift

“I am over the moon, I’ve become used to racing in this jersey. Unfortunately we never got to race last year, so I didn't get to defend the jersey so I got a year for free. Hopefully today I justified that extra year!

"It was an incredible day. I’ve had a bit of an up and down year, some real highlights - I've had my second child, Harry, but in terms of personal results? It just didn’t really go that well at the start of the year and in the middle of the year. It’s started to come together now and to finish it off like this, I’m really happy.

"It was going to be difficult with two of us, and I’ve worked with Ethan a lot this season, and I’ve seen how talented he is and how much of an outstanding year he’s had and career he's going to have in the future. But it was nice to keep this jersey off his shoulders, I know he already had the other two!   

"Having a teammates like Ethan  - who was the strongest guy in the race - coupled with my experience, meant we worked pretty well together. Once I knew he was coming across at the end, I was able to play that card and say ‘I’m not going to work as Ethan’s coming’ and it worked out.
"It’s all about committing on that final climb. I knew Fred was next to me, we were going toe-to-toe and it was about who was first to that corner, and luckily I got it and I took the racing line."