Communiqué – 29 September

Joe Hudson returns with a round-up of recent domestic road racing news

After a delayed start, the 2020 season has exploded into life with races long and short taking place across the continent.

With so much action crammed into the end of the year, Joe Hudson rounds up all the news you might have missed and puts it in an easy-to-read summary for you to enjoy…

UCI 2020 Road World Championships IMOLA – EMILIA-ROMAGNA ITALY – Men’s Elite Road Race – Thomas Pidcock, Luke Rowe, James Shaw, Ethan Hayter, James Knox and Hugh Carthy of Great Britain. Photo: Simon Wilkinson/

Rule change allows Pidcock to ride at the Worlds

A temporary rule change by the UCI cleared the way for under-23s to compete at this year’s Road World Championships – which were rearranged to be hosted in Imola.

With the event no longer hosting under-23s events, the UCI suspended rules – specifically 9.2.013 and 9.2.020 – which would ban racers from competing in the under-23 category in future years if they’d previously participated in the Elite category.

The relaxation of the rules meant Baby Giro winner Tom Pidcock joined the Men’s Elite race in Italy, clear to rejoin the under-23 ranks for the 2021 World Championships in Flanders.

He ultimately finished 42nd, and first of the British squad across the line. This followed fine GB performances in the other races, including 6th for Lizzie Deignan in the women’s elite road race, 4th for Geraint Thomas and 9th for Alex Dowsett in the men’s time trial, and 15th for Lizzy Banks in the women’s time trial.

The absence of a men’s under-23 road race news, however, reignited a debate over the lack of a women’s equivalent at the Road World Championships with riders, including Lotto-Soudal’s Abby Mae Parkinson, calling out the unequal nature of the sport’s blue riband event.

Two UCI road races drop off British calendar

The UCI has recently confirmed its calendar for 2021 and for British fans, the news isn’t completely positive as two races have dropped off the schedule, as highlighted on The British Continental recently.

Gone is the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic – Britain’s only men’s WorldTour race – and The Women’s Tour of Scotland (2.1). What is left are six races, but both the Tour de Yorkshire – and the women’s edition of the race – are both yet to be confirmed. Check out the full list of dates here.

Simon Yates tastes Tirreno-Adriatico success…

Simon Yates avenged his brother Adam’s narrow defeat at last year’s Tirreno-Adriatico to take a dominant victory in this year’s event for Mitchelton-Scott.

Victory on a climber-friendly stage five – Norcia-Sassotetto – propelled Yates to the top of the General Classification by 16 seconds over Bora-hansgrohe’s Rafal Majka and then rode the rest of the race faultlessly to maintain his lead all the way to the final time trial in San Benedetto del Tronto.

Despite a late charge by Geraint Thomas, who gained 22 seconds on Yates on the eighth stage, Yates took his first World Tour stage race victory with 17 seconds in-hand over the Ineos Grenadier.

… as Banks takes Giro Rosa stage win

Equipe Paule Ka’s Lizzy Banks doubled up on her win in last year’s Giro Rosa by adding another stage success to her palmares.

Banks broke away with Eugenia Bujak on stage four, from Assisi to Tivoli, and pulled away from her Ale BTC Ljubljana rival in the final kilometre to cross the line with seven seconds in hand over Bujak and more than a minute over then race leader Annemiek Van Vlueten.

Her feat was almost repeat by fellow Brit Hannah Barnes on stage six, but the Canyon-SRAM rider was pipped on the line by Marianne Vos after a bunch sprint to the finish.

Hayter takes stage win on Ronde de l’Isard

Leo Hayter tasted victory in the team time trial at the under-23 Ronde de l’Isard as his Development Team Sunweb squad stormed the third stage.

Tackling the 11.6km route around at Bagnères-de-Luchon two-seconds faster than nearest challenger Jumbo-Visma Development Team – which featured Ireland’s Archie Ryan – victory added to a generally strong race for Hayter, who took a top ten on the previous stage. His strong form culminated in a 12th place finish on the GC and ninth in the Blue Jersey competition for youth riders.

Tom Gloag. Photo: Trinity Racing

Another Brit who had a strong showing in the mountains was Hayter’s VC Londres club mate Thomas Gloag (Trinity Racing Team) who finished seventh on stage two – four seconds ahead of Hayter.

Also performing well was Ireland’s Ben Healy. The Trinity Racing rider won stage four and you can hear more from him in our latest podcast!

Van der Haar announces retirement

Double Junior World Champion Lucy van der Haar has announced her retirement from cycling at the end of the year.

The Hitec Products-Birk Sport rider gained the rainbow jersey in both 2011 and 2012 – winning the European Road Race championships as well in the latter year – and started this year with overall and points jersey success in the Dubai Women’s Tour.

Van der Haar announced her retirement on Twitter over the weekend, confirming she’s still got a few races in her calendar for the remainder of the year.

National 25 mile championships take place

Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling’s John Archibald secured his first victory in the National 25 mile championships in Leicestershire.

Despite the blustery conditions, the 29-year-old completed the course in 44m50sec – 50 seconds clear of his team-mate Dan Bigham. Chris Fennell, of The Independent Pedaler-Nopinz secured third, with Israel Start-Up Nation’s Alex Dowsett in fourth – just days after finishing ninth in the World Championship Time Trial.

Joss Lowden. Photo: Breakaway Digital

In the Women’s race, Joss Lowden (Drops Cycling) secured the title with a storming ride to put herself clear of The Independent Pedaler-Nopinz duo Emily Meakin and Alex Clay.

Other news

  • Max Stedman (Canyon dhb p/b Soreen) broke the British Everesting record in a time of 7 hours and 32 minutes.
  • A slew of transfers have been revealed, including Tom Pidcock to INEOS Grenadiers, Adam Lewis to Côtes d’Armor-Marie Morin-Véranda Rideau and many of Holdsworth-Zappi’s 2021 squad. Click here for more.
  • The Rayner Foundation has opened its application process for 2021.

Featured photo: Alex Whitehead/ – 27/09/2020 – Cycling – 2020 UCI Road World Championships – Imola, Emilia-Romagna, Italy – Tom Pidcock of Great Britain in action during the Elite Men’s Road Race.