The 2020 men’s HSBC UK |National Road Series kicks off with the East Cleveland Klondike Grand Prix on 19 April, whilst the women’s National Road Series begins the following month at the Lincoln Grand Prix on 10 May.
This explainer tells you what the Series are, how they works and why they are important.
What is it?
The premier road racing series in the UK for men and women. It is a season-long competition run by British Cycling comprising 8 road races for the men and 7 for the women. The races typically attract the top domestic teams, including UCI Continental teams.
There is also a separate HSBC UK | National Circuit Series for men, a criterium series beginning 24 June in Otley. Unlike last season, however, the women’s domestic racing calendar doesn’t get its own circuit series, with the one circuit race remaining on the women’s calendar, the Otley Grand Prix, incorporated into the road series.
What are the races?
Men’s National Road Series
The Series is made up of 8 National A races. These are a mixture of longstanding races like the Lincoln Grand Prix and the Beaumont Trophy and newer races like the Circuit of the Mendips and the Lancaster Grand Prix.
There are fewer races in the men’s series this season. The Manx International should return again next season; the organisers say they will only run every other year. The South Coast Classic isn’t running either this time around but the organisers hope to to resurrect the race again in 2021.
|19 Apr||1||East Cleveland Klondike Grand Prix|
|10 May||2||Men’s Rapha Lincoln Grand Prix p/b MinebeaMitsumi|
|30-31 May||3||Tour of the Reservoir|
|14 Jun||4||Lancaster Grand Prix|
|28 Jun||5||Beaumont Trophy|
|5 Jul||6||Circuit of the Mendips|
|12 Jul||7||Stockton Cycling Festival Grand Prix|
|19 Jul||8||The Ryedale Grasscrete Grand Prix|
Women’s National Road Series
For the first time in 2019, the women’s domestic racing calendar was divided up into a circuit series and a road series. There is no separate circuit series in 2020, however.. Furthermore, the overall women’s calendar is reduced from eleven races in 2019 – eight road races and three circuit series races – to an amalgamated series of seven races incorporating six road races and one crit.
The races that have been lost are the East Cleveland Klondike Grand Prix, the South Coast Classic and the Bristol GP. We understand the Barnsley Town Centre Races will continue but will host the national circuit championships this season.
|10 May||1||Women’s Rapha Lincoln Grand Prix p/b MinebeaMitsumi|
|30-31 May||2||The Alexandra Tour of the Reservoir|
|24 Jun||3||Pincent Masons Women’s Otley Grand Prix|
|28 Jun||4||Curlew Cup|
|5 Jul||5||5th Women’s CiCLE Classic|
|12 Jul||6||Stockton Cycling Festival Grand Prix|
|19 Jul||7||The Ryedale Grasscrete Grand Prix|
Why is it important?
It is the only series of races in the UK that will feature all of Britain’s top domestic Continental and elite-level teams. The winners – at individual and team level – can therefore stake a claim to be the best road racing performers in the country. Individual races like the Lincoln Grand Prix are also nationally-revered races in their own right.
2020 is the National Road Series’ second year but the UK has long had a domestic road race series.
The first domestic men’s road race series was called The Star Trophy, which began in the 1950s. It was renamed The Premier Calendar in 1993. Many people still refer to the series as The Premier Calendar and call National A road races ‘Prems’. In recent years, from 2014, the men’s series was known as the Elite Road Series consisting of two competitions: a Spring Cup series in the first part of the year and a Grand Prix series in the latter half. Previous winners of these series include Scott Thwaites, Russell Downing, Malcolm Elliot, Chris Newton, Paul Curran, Steve Joughin and Paul Sherwen. Last year’s winner was Matt Holmes (Madison Genesis), with Canyon dhb p/b Bloor Homes taking the team classification.
There has been a national women’s road race series since at least 1981, when it was called the Jo Bruton Trophy (h/t William Fotheringham). Previous winners include Sophie Wright, Lizzy Banks, Nicola Juniper (who won it from 2014 to 2016), Hannah Barnes, Dame Sarah Storey, Joanna Rowsell and Lisa Brambani. Rebecca Durrell of the the Brother UK – Tifosi p/b OnForm won last year’s individual series, with her team the resounding winners of the team classification.
For both Series, individual classification points will be awarded for:
- The first 20 places in each single day road race and overall classifications in stage races: 30, 28, 26, 24, 22, 20, 18, 16, 14, 12, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1
- The first 10 places in individual stages in stage races: 12, 10, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1
The overall winner of each Series will be the rider who gains the highest total number of points across the Series, with all rounds to count.
For the team classification, points will be calculated based on the sum total of the finishing positions for the first three riders of each team, based on the scoring system for single day road race and overall classifications in stage races.
Points are only allocated for the top 20 finishing places. Where more than three riders from any one team are present in the top 20 finishing positions, the points for the other riders from that team finishing in the top 20 will not be calculated in the final result or reassigned to another rider. No points are awarded for individual stage placings in stage races.
The team that accumulates the most points at the end of the Series shall win the overall team classification.
The British Cycling pages on the National Road Series, for men and women, can be found here.
Featured photo: Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com – 04/08/19. HSBC UK National Road Series – Cycle 360 Manx International Stage 4 – Matt Holmes of Madison Genesis celebrates winning the stage and overall GC.