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National Championships day 1 round-up

This year’s national championships block got properly underway today, with a whole host of time trials across Europe seeing new champions and old champions retain their titles. Estonia got underway yesterday, seeing AG Insurance-NXTG U23 rider Laura Lizette Sander take her maiden title. Today though, all of Great Britain, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Luxembourg, Netherlands and Poland had some racing.

Great Britain

The U23 and Elites titles were up for grabs and were raced as separate events (this will become important when we get to Luxembourg in a bit). The uU23 race had 8 starters and was won by Maddie Leech of Lifeplus-Wahoo by a minute from Lucy Gadd and 1’16” from Flora Perkins of Fenix-Deceuninck Development. Held over 27.4km on Croft Circuit, a track that normally sees motor racing, Leech’s time was good enough that she would have finished 8th in the Elites if she had entered up.

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The Elites race saw a maiden victory for Lizzie Holden of UAE Team ADQ. A close affair, she was just 14 seconds ahead of Anna Morris (already the Welsh TT champion) and 16 seconds from Elinor Barker of Uno-X. Big names like last year’s U23 winner and runner-up, Pfeiffer Georgi and Elynor Backstedt, finished 4th and 5th. The top 5 were covered by just 30 seconds. 2021 winner Anna Henderson finished down in 11th at exactly 2 minutes behind Holden. The word from the race is that she was seen with her front tyre wrapped around her fork and a grazed shoulder, so likely crashed.

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Riejanne Markus
Photo Credit: Cor Vos

A major battle was held in the Netherlands TT, with big names like Annemiek van Vleuten, Demi Vollering, Riejanne Markus, Loes Adegeest, Mischa Bredewold and Shirin van Anrooij. In the end, it was a comfortable win by Riejanne Markus of 55 seconds over Demi Vollering. With the TT in the Tour de France Femmes coming up, that ride sent a message and there will be another one from Vollering to Van Vleuten as she beat her rider into 3rd by 18 seconds.

Daniek Hengeveld suffered a puncture when she was riding well. In the end, it was Maud Rijnbeek who took the U23 title after finishing as the best age group rider in 7th Overall. Shirin van Anrooij had a very off day finishing in 9th, just over 3 minutes back. A contact on the ground reported that she appeared to be suffering from the heat during warm-ups and that likely continued into the racing.

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In the juniors, it was Fee Knaven who took the title for the AG Insurance-Soudal Quick-step U19 team. She was 36″ ahead of Tessa Kleijn and 39″ from Silje Bader. Knaven has had a solid junior year with 7th in GC at the Omloop Borsele Juniors, 9th at Trofeo Binda Junior and 12th at the Tour of Flanders Juniors.

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It was initially reported that Nina Berton of Ceratizit WNT had taken the 7.1km long Luxembourg TT title, ending the winning streak of Christine Majerus that stretches back to 2007 – a total of 16 wins. However, the Luxembourger Federation clarified the situation this evening. It turns out Majerus was the only rider who had declared to race the Elites race, so effectively won by default. Nina Berton, despite having the quickest time, instead wins the U23 title she had declared for. Marie Schreiber was 2nd in the U23 and Liv Wenzel 3rd.

A similar thing happened earlier this year when Ally Wollaston set the quickest time in the New Zealand TT but ‘only’ won the U23 title and the Elites title when to Georgia Williams instead. It’s not the best optics to see a winner effectively deposed and a one-rider podium for a national title. Back in 2021, Marie Schreiber and Nina Berton finished on the podium spots a long long way behind Majerus and so a U23 championship was put in last year, won by Berton. Now that the new generation has shown it can challenge, expect to see Berton declare for the Elites in 2024.

I expect to see the below result slightly changed in its presentation eventually.

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Makhabbat Umutzhanova comfortably won the 25km time trial by 1’08 from Violetta Kazakova and 1’18” from Akpeill Ossim. Umutzhanova spent many years on the Astana Women’s Team before moving to the Dubai Police Team in 2021. She’s been without a team since then but still regularly races with the Kazakh national team.

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Yelizaveta Sklyarova won the junior championship. She finished 16th in the bunch at the Tour of Flanders Juniors this year.


The back and forth between Dana Rozlapa and Lija Laizane continued this year. The pair have been battling over this title since 2011 when Laizane won her first. Since then, Laizane has won 4 more in 2015-2018 but Dana Rozlapa has won 8 times (2012-2014 & 2019-2023). The gap was 1’11”, so a comfortable win. Ktija Siltumena of the Grouwels-Watersley R&D team was 3rd back at 2’06”.

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In the juniors, Beate Bula won by 1’38” from Ruta Zibene. This is the first result I can see listed for Bula, so that’s a strong way to start.


Poland only raced the juniors today. It was won by Martyna Szczesna by 29″ from Barbara Cywinska and Maria Klamut rounding out the podium in 3rd at 37″. Szczesna has had some respectable junior results this year, 23rd in GC at Omloop Borsele Juniors, where she was 26th in the TT there and a 22nd place at Trofeo Binda Juniors.

Main photo credit: British Cycling