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House beats GB stars to win title

Kristian House beats Dan Lloyd and Peter Kennaugh
Kristian House beats Dan Lloyd and Peter Kennaugh to win in Abergavenny

Kristian House beat a host of Olympic superstars to claim the first major win of his cycling career at the British National Road Race Championships.

The relatively unknown Canterbury rider won the national jersey in a time of four hours and 4.41 seconds from runner-up Dan Lloyd and Peter Kennaugh.

Olympic gold medallist Bradley Wiggins finished in the peloton while Mark Cavendish was down the field.

Olympic team pursuit champion Geraint Thomas failed to finish the race.

Home hope Thomas, third at the 2006 national championships, is still returning to full fitness after undergoing hand surgery in May.

Thomas rode one-and-a-half laps of the Monmouthshire course that passed through the towns of Abergavenny, Monmouth, Blaenavon and Brynmawr before dropping out as the riders climbed the Tumble mountain.

But the 23-year-old double world and Olympic champion's pursuit team-mate Wiggins did finish the 104-mile race, in the field behind House and the leaders.

Kristian House
It's phenomenal - a dream come true

Kristian House

House, 29, who has ridden for Great Britain at the UCI World Cup on the track, had claimed road race victories in Europe and Australia, most notably at the Rás Tailteann in Ireland in 2006.

But having the distinction of wearing his national jersey is House's greatest achievement as the Canterbury-born cyclist beat off Lloyd, who was also second to David Millar in 2007.

And he said: "It's phenomenal - a dream come true. I raced well and it was all down to me at the end. I'm speechless.

"We knew that the race was going to come down to the five of us and, when Ian Stannard got dropped, it was down to us with two laps to go.

"We organised together and got back at Chris. At the end of it, I bided my time and went for it. Froome was on fire but he went a bit early at the end I think."

But beating four-times Tour de France stage winner Cavendish is a huge scalp for House as Cavendish prepares for cycling's premier road race showpiece, which starts in Monaco next weekend.

Chris Froome had led for most of the day and enjoyed a three-minute advantage ahead of the main group of riders that included Wiggins.

But, with Cavendish leading the fightback, that gap was closed down to nothing by the third of the final 10 finishing laps around Abergavenny.

While Wiggins wilted, Froome looked certain for victory when he went for glory and took a 33-second lead into the last four-and-a-half mile circuits.

But Froome was caught just yards from the line in a thrilling finish.

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see also
Cooke claims 10th British title
27 Jun 09 |  Cycling

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