LONDON (AFP) — Mark Cavendish was stunningly beaten by Adam Blythe in a sprint finish at the British national championships road race on Sunday.
Cavendish (Dimension Data) was world champion in 2011 and national champion two years later but was overhauled by Tinkoff’s Blythe in the final 20 meters of the 207km race that finished in Stockton-on-Tees.
Manxman Cavendish, 31, has won 26 Tour de France stages and recently secured a place in the British Olympic team for Rio. But Blythe, 26, produced the faster finish to take the greatest win of his career.
“I wanted that one. I was all day thinking about it, always trying to be in the right move. With a couple of laps to go I thought we might hold off the chasers but it came back together. Luckily I got round Cav [in the sprint],” Blythe told British Cycling.
Andy Fenn took third while last year’s winner Peter Kennaugh missed the race due to a broken collarbone.