ALEX Dowsett's reign as british time-trial champion is over after he was beaten by Olympic champion Sir Bradley Wiggins.

Dowsett finished 1 minute 21 seconds behind Team Sky's Wiggins, who posted a winning time of 53 minutes 56 seconds, in rainy conditions.

Dowsett had enjoyed unprecedented success in the event, having worn the stripes of the British champion for the last three years.

However, the race in Monmouthshire, Wales was not typically suited to Dowsett, with the hilly route taking its toll on the Movistar man.

The halfway split showed Dowsett to be slower than Wiggins and Thomas - 57 seconds slower than Wiggins - and Dowsett couldn't recover.

Wiggins will now wear the famous stripes until next year's race in Lincolnshire.

Dowsett is expected to find out on Monday if he has been chosen to ride in his maiden Tour de France, which comes through Essex on Monday, July 7.

Halstead Gazette:

Russell Hampton in action

Earlier in the day Basildon pro Russell Hampton (AthlonSport Cloud Nine Telecom) set a fastest time of 59 minutes 16 seconds - becoming the first man to go under an hour. However, his lead was short lived, with a number of riders following him home in quicker times.

Meanwhile, former Tour de France, Giro d'Italia and Vuelta España stage winner David Millar was forced to retire.

Emma Pooley claimed the women's title.