UK Championships: Winn Reigns In Rain!
– By Gordon Cameron –
Welshman Julian Winn will have the honour of wearing the British Champion’s white jersey with red and blue bands for the next year after an impressive victory at Rivington, Lancashire, in north-west England. He launched his decisive move only 5 miles from home, to take the title. An attacking performance saw him finish alone, 12 seconds ahead of the youngster Tom Southam, normally based in Holland with Team Nijdam. Proving that the home-based riders have the strength to pull off results against those who spend their seasons in Europe, Winn used his tactical expertise to outwit the Compensation Group RT men John Tanner and Mark Lovatt, and a number of well-known faces such as defending champion Jeremy Hunt who came in 3rd. Another disappointment for Hunt, as his team BigMat-Auber 93 is losing it’s main sponsor at the end of the season. Roger Hammond (Palmans-Collstrop) was 4th, and Mapei’s Charly Wegelius finished 12th, after recent good form at the Tour de Suisse.
Several of the UK’s younger European-based hopes put in good showings, with Nantes 44 team-mates Dayus and Sharman, and Yanto Barker of VC Roubaix, all making the top 10.
Winn knew he had great form coming off the Tour of Serbia where he lifted the sprints jersey, and a stage win, and will now go for gold at the Commonwealth Games over the same course at the end of July, representing a strong Wales team.
Among the former champions to come in off the pace were John Tanner and Matt Stephens, with only 23 riders finishing the rain-soaked race.
Results (210 km, Sunday 30th June, 2002)
1 Julian Winn (Pinarello RT) 5 hrs 22 mins 30 secs
2 Tom Southam (Team Nijdam) @ 12 ”
3 Jeremy Hunt (BigMat-Auber 93) @ 17 ”
4 Roger Hammond (Palmans-Collstrop) same
5 John Tanner (Compensation Group RT) same
6 Janthon Dayus (Nantes 44) same
7 Yanto Barker (VC Roubaix) @ 38 ”
8 Mark Lovatt (Compensation Group RT) same
9 Russell Downing (Travelwise) @ 1′ 23″
10 Robin Sharman (Nantes 44) @ 3′ 03″
12 CharlyWegelius (Mapei-Quickstep) @ 5′ 01″
20 Matt Stephens (Sigma Sport) @ 13′ 02″