National road champions crowned

Full roundup across Europe

Ever wonder why certain riders have different coloured jerseys during the year than the rest of their team? Winning a national championship is a honour to be shared and broadcast to the world in the form of a national championship jersey, and several countries held their annual races this weekend, including Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain and Italy.  

Belgium

Jurgen Roelandts, of the Silence-Lotto team, was crowned Belgium road race champion in Knokke-Heist on Sunday, beating Sven Vanthourenhout and Nico Eeckhout in a sprint finish.

Grev Van Avermaet took fourth in front of reigning Tour de France green jersey winner Tom Boonen, who was earlier this month barred from competing in the July 5 to 27 Tour de France after testing positive for cocaine.

Roelandts, 22, a former under-19 Belgian road race champion, recorded his first victory of the season.

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Britain

Team Halfords-Bikehut won both the men's and women's national championships on offer in the UK. In the men's race, Rob Hayles attacked his breakaway companions on the last lap to beat Peter Kennaugh (100% ME) and Dean Downing (Recycling.co.uk). In the women's, it was Nicole Cooke winning her eighth consecutive title after beating Emma Pooley (Specialized Designs for Women) in a two-up sprint, with Cooke's teammate Jo Rowsell taking third.

For more information visit Cyclingnews.com [men] [women]

France

Nicolas Vogondy (Agritubel) won the 239km French national road championship in Semur-en-Axois.

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Germany

Gerolsteiner rider Fabian Wegmann on Sunday successfully defended his German national road race title in a sprint finish ahead of veteran Erik Zabel.

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Ireland

The Irish national championships saw Garmin-Chipotle's Daniel Martin take the gold medal ahead of Paidi O'Brien (An Post/M. Donnelly/Grant Thornton) and  Brian Kenneally (MyHome.ie).

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Italy

Veteran Filippo Simeoni, of the Flaminia-Bossini team, won the Italian national road race title at Bergamo on Sunday.

The 36-year-old, who made a break with four kilometres to go in the 254km race, said afterwards: "I have dreamed of this moment for nine years."

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Lithuania

Tomas Vaitkus (Team Astana) had two successful days in his homeland of Lithuania. After he took the silver medal in the time trial on Friday, he won the national title in the road race on Saturday. Both races were held in Ignalina.

“The road race was a big goal of mine, which all my competitors knew coming into the race and made me an easy target," Vaitkus said. "I was lucky there was a crosswind, making the race harder and allowing me and to get in a breakaway of six riders."

For more information visit Cyclingnews.com

Netherlands

Lars Boom, of the Rabobank team, was on Sunday crowned Dutch road race champion after finishing two seconds ahead of teammate Koos Moerenhout and Steven de Jongh in Ootmarsum.

Boom, 22, is the reigning world cyclo-cross champion.

Marianne Vos, of the Netherlands, won Saturday's women's event, beating Mirjam Melchers-Van Poppel and Regina Bruins.

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Russia

Sergey Ivanov (Team Astana) won the Russian national road championship in Krylatskoe. 

With the help of the new time trial champion and team-mate Vladimir Gusev, Ivanov managed to go from groups in the background to the front of the race. With 22km to go, Ivanov attacked. After a solo ride he arrived as the first rider at the finish in Krylatskoe.  Alexander Bazhenov finished second, Roman Klimov was third.

For more information visit Cyclingnews.com

Spain

Spain's Alejandro Valverde, one of the favourites for next month's Tour de France with the Caisse d'Epargne team, won the Spanish road race national title near Toledo to the south of Madrid on Sunday.

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Switzerland

Markus Zberg (Gerolsteiner), Marting Elmiger (Ag2r) and Mathias Frank (Gerolsteiner) finished 1-2-3 in the Swiss national road championship in Gansingen after a long breakaway.

For more information visit Cyclingnews.com

For complete coverage of the national championships, visit Cyclingnews.com.

© BikeRadar & AFP 2008 

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