Communiqué – 26 May

A new British team (?); revised racing calendars; quarantine rules; RideLondon and Sheffield GP cancelled; Hollyman and Wood shine in eRacing series; Backstedt injured

The road racing season may have stalled, but the news still continues to roll in. Here’s a round-up of some of the more noticeable British road racing over the past ten days. Let’s start with the good news…

Featured photo: David Hares

A new British team for 2021?

A recent piece in French newspaper l’Equipe suggests that there will be a new British team next season with an English sponsor.

Update. Not long after we published a post about this communiqué on our Instagram page, it was liked by @new_pro_cycling. An account with few words so far, but its bio is intriguing: “Soon releasing details – stay tuned.
See you on the start line 2021.” We understand that it is not the same team mentioned by L’Equipe. But it is nonetheless a new venture which hopes to race from 2021 or 2022.

Revised international racing calendars published – but will quarantine rules prevent British-based riders racing?

The UCI has published a full revised 2020 race calendar. As well as all three Grand Tours and a smattering of classics (including, for the first time, a women’s Paris-Roubaix), it includes a host of lower-classification races, including under-23 and junior races. In theory, it means there should now be a fairly full race calendar from August this year until November.

With the international race calendar falling into place, domestic teams are now considering what kind of programme they can potentially put together for the rest of the season. Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling, for example, indicated they were tentatively putting together a global calendar of races from mid-August.

The Government’s subsequent announcement of its new 14-day quarantine rules, however, has thrown into doubt how practical it will be for any British-based team or rider to race internationally this season, especially with countries like France saying they will put reciprocal rules in place. The rules will be updated every three weeks, so there may yet be exceptions or changes to the rules which make international racing possible for UK-based cyclists. Fingers crossed.

If British-based riders can make it abroad to race, there will be a decent diet of Pro Kermesse riders to get stuck into, according to the recently revised calendar.

RideLondon festival cancellation leaves the UK without a UCI road race in 2020

Two races on the initial UCI race calendar that won’t go ahead are the Prudential RideLondon Classique (15 Aug) and the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic (16 Aug). Part of the Prudential RideLondon festival, the races were the only remaining UK UCI road races left on the 2020 calendar.

A new contract for the organisation of the festival begins next year, and the organisers have indicated that the format will be reviewed for 2021: “with the current unknowns about the short-term future for mass participation events and the importance of inspiring as many people as possible to cycle more often, we’re taking the opportunity to fully review the format and timing of the event over the next few months.”

Sheffield Grand Prix cancelled

We announced a series of domestic race cancellation and postponements in our last communiqué. The Sheffield Grand Prix, won by Ollie Wood (Canyon dhb p/g Bloor Homes) last year is now the latest to join a growing list of race casualties. The organisers said they “are hopeful that the event will be back on the calendar for 2021.”

Hollyman and Wood shine in SEG eRacing stage race

Two of our under-23 riders to watch in 2020, Mason Hollyman (Holdsworth-Zappi) and Harrison Wood (SEG Racing Academy) put in strong performances in SEG’s eRacing stage race, including a final stage up a virtual Mont Ventoux. Hollyman was third overall, just 13 seconds back on GC, whilst Wood was fourth.

Elynor Backstedt injured in mountain bike accident

18-year-old Elynor Backstedt crashed on Sunday and suffered a spiral fracture of the right tibia. A press release from her team, Trek-Segafredo, reveals that she was “mountain biking with her family in some local forests close to their family home in South Wales when she suffered the accident. She was descending a steep off-road section at around 10kph when her front wheel lost traction and slipped away, causing her to fall.”

The press release continues, “After being transported to the nearby Royal Glamorgan Hospital, X-rays confirmed that she had a spiral fracture of the tibia, her only serious injury. She was kept overnight for monitoring and discharged early afternoon, on May 25th.” We wish her well with her recovery.