Explainers Features Races

2020 HSBC UK | National Road Series: an explainer

A guide to the 2020 domestic road racing series for men and women

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.

2019 HSBC UK Women’s National Road Series – Alexandra Tour of the Reservoir, Northumberland, England – Rebecca Durrell of Brother UK – Tifosi p/b OnForm wins Stage 1 ahead of Pfeiffer Georgi of Sunweb. Photo: Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com

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.

DateRoundRace
19 Apr1East Cleveland Klondike Grand Prix 
10 May2Men’s Rapha Lincoln Grand Prix p/b MinebeaMitsumi
30-31 May3Tour of the Reservoir
14 Jun4Lancaster Grand Prix
28 Jun5Beaumont Trophy
5 Jul6Circuit of the Mendips
12 Jul7Stockton Cycling Festival Grand Prix
19 Jul8The 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.

DateRoundRace
10 May1Women’s Rapha Lincoln Grand Prix p/b MinebeaMitsumi
30-31 May2The Alexandra Tour of the Reservoir
24 Jun3Pincent Masons Women’s Otley Grand Prix
28 Jun4Curlew Cup
5 Jul55th Women’s CiCLE Classic
12 Jul6Stockton Cycling Festival Grand Prix
19 Jul7The 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.

2019 HSBC UK Men’s National Road Series – East Cleveland Klondike GP – Rory Townsend of Canyon DHB p/b Bloor Homes sprints for the win ahead of Connor Swift and Scott Thwaites. Photo: Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com

History

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.

Scoring

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.

2019 Women’s CiCLE Classic – Leicestershire, England – The race climbs the Somerberg for the first time. Photo: James York/SWpix.com

Read more

The full set of regulations for the men’s Series can be found here. The women’s regs are here.

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.