Previews Races

Grasscrete Ryedale Grand Prix: men’s race preview

Preview of the 10th and final round of the National Road Series

The HSBC UK | National Road Series concludes this Sunday, 18 August, with the Ryedale Grand Prix.

2018, HSBC UK Grand Prix Series – Ryedale Grand Prix – Ampleforth, North Yorkshire, England. Photo. Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com.

What is it?

Set in the rolling countryside of Ryedale and Hambleton in North Yorkshire, the Ryedale Grand Prix is now in its 15th year. In this time, the race has been host to no less than three editions of the National Road Championships. This year, the race forms the final round of the National Road Series for both men and women.

Last year’s edition took place in awful weather, with Graham Briggs (JLT Condor) winning a four-up sprint against Max Stedman (Canyon Eisberg), Connor Swift (Madison Genesis) and Tom Moses (JLT Condor). Ollie Wood (Team Wiggins) and Ian Bibby (NFTO) won the 2017 and 2016 editions respectively.

Briggs, now with Vitus Pro Cycling p/b Brother UK, is back to defend his title this year, but Wood and Bibby have both been withdrawn from the provisional startlist.

The route

The stately grounds of Ampleforth Abbey play host to the start and finish of the race. The course is typical of many other races in the National Road Series: a series of hilly circuits featuring narrow, twisty country lanes, ideal for riders looking to establish a break.

The race is just shy of 151 km long and involves over 2500m of climbing. Riders take in 3 laps of a longer circuit, before completing 5 laps of a shorter finishing circuit.

Contenders

This type of parcours lends itself to a sprint from a small group or reduced bunch. It’s hard enough that selections will be made, so favours a fast finisher who can get over the lumps and bumps.

Eyeing up the provisional startlist, expect to see some familiar names contending for the top places. From the Continental teams, the course suits riders like Ali Slater (Vitus Pro Cycling p/b Brother UK), Tom Stewart and Max Stedman (Canyon dhb p/b Bloor Homes), series leader Matt Holmes (Madison Genesis), Jacob Scott (SwiftCarbon Pro Cycling) and new Ribble Pro Cycling recruit Damien Clayton. Team Wiggins Le Col have decided to skip this round.

Others to look out for include the ever-consistent Steve Lampier (Saint Piran), Isaac Mundy (Richardsons-Trek), young ‘cross specialist Ben Turner (Corendon-Circus), comeback kid Alex Peters (independent) and young Guernsey talent Sam Culverwell (Team Estera).

Standings

Matt Holmes has sewn up the individual series standings, whatever the result on Sunday. Behind him, Jacob Scott has the opportunity to consolidate his second place. Max Stedman, Steve Lampier and Dan Pearson (Canyon dhb p/b Bloor Homes) all have the opportunity to leapfrog over non-starters James Shaw (SwiftCarbon Pro Cycling) and Mark Christian (Team Wiggins Le Col) and reach the series podium.

Canyon dhb p/b Bloor Homes have the team competition all wrapped up and it’s unlikely there will be any big changes to the standings.

Timings

Start: 14.00

Finish: 18.00 approx

Weather

The forecast is for mild, dry but breezy weather.

TV

Highlights of the race will be shown on Eurosport (timings tbc).

Featured photo: Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com – 26/08/2018 – British Cycling – HSBC UK Grand Prix Series – Ryedale Grand Prix – Ampleforth, North Yorkshire, England – Graham Briggs of JLT Condor wins.