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Page last updated at 19:09 GMT, Sunday, 29 June 2008 20:09 UK

Hayles snatches road race title

Rob Hayles
Hayles finished as runner-up in the 2001 road race championship

Rob Hayles gave his chances of reaching the Olympics a lift with victory in the men's National Road Race Championships in Duncombe Park, North Yorkshire.

Hayles, who was suspended after a blood test in March but later cleared to race again, edged out Peter Kennaugh by a narrow margin, with Dean Downing third.

"I know I've been capable of this," said Hayles. "This can only be good for my chances of Olympic selection.

Nicole Cooke won Saturday's women's event for the eighth consecutive year.

British Cycling's performance director Dave Brailsford, was on hand to watch Hayles pull clear of a five-man group to win.

An Olympic medallist on the track at both Sydney and Athens, Hayles is in the hunt to be named in the GB cycling squad for Beijing when it is announced on 14 July.

He earned a two-week suspension on the eve of this year's Track Cycling World Championships at Manchester when a blood result was 0.3% over the permitted 50% haematocrit level, but subsequent tests cleared him.

Another Beijing contender, Mark Cavendish, finished fifth ahead of his participation in this year's Tour de France.

Cooke cruised to a ninth championship victory in the women's race on Saturday, with Emma Pooley in second, to leave her four short of Beryl Burton's record 13 wins.

Cooke, two-times winner of the women's Tour de France, will expect to be named alongside Pooley in the Beijing team next month.

see also
Hayles gets racing licence back
11 Apr 08 |  Cycling
Cooke claims ninth British title
28 Jun 08 |  Cycling
Cooke hails all-British pro team
09 Jan 08 |  Cycling
Team GB for Beijing
26 Jun 08 |  Team GB
Cycling on the BBC
13 May 08 |  Cycling
Liam Killeen's mountain bike guide
02 Mar 06 |  Get Involved

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