The British Cycling Junior Road Series is the premier road racing series in the UK for junior riders. This explainer tells you what it is and how it will work in 2021.
What is it?
The series comprises a set of one-day and stage races for both junior men and women. As explained below, points are awarded to the top finishers in each race, with the overall series winners being the riders with the most points. The series helps to highlight future prospects; many of the riders at the top of the standings tables have gone on to forge successful careers as bike racers (see ‘past winners’, below).
In 2019, Leo Hayter (VC Londres, now Development Team Sunweb) won the men’s nine-race series in 2019, whilst Abi Smith (Campinense ‐ Velo Performance, now GB Cycling Team Senior Academy) won the three-race women’s equivalent.
What are the races?
As the last sentence highlights, there has been a significant disparity in the number of races for men and women. The deficit is reduced though in 2021, with the welcome addition of the very first Junior Women’s Tour of Wales (originally due to debut in 2020), a women’s version of the Hatherleigh Junior Road Race and a new race in Loughborough.
Men’s junior series
The junior men’s series boasts more rounds and race days than the senior men’s National Road Series. In total, nine rounds are planned races (the same as in 2020), including four stage races. The Monmouthshire Junior Grand Prix doesn’t continue but a new race, in Loughborough, keeps the number of rounds at nine. The jewel in the crown is undoubtedly the Junior Tour of Wales, which has previously acted as grand finale to the series and has an illustrious list of past winners. This time around though, a rescheduled Spokes Junior Road Race will end a six-month domestic road season for junior men.
|4 Apr||1||Hatherleigh Junior Road Race||Devon|
|30 Apr – 2 May||2||Isle of Man Youth & Junior Tour||Isle of Man|
|16 May||4||Cadence Junior Road Race||Powys|
|27 Jun||5||Junior CiCLE Classic||Leicestershire|
|18 Jul||6||Bath RC Junior RR||Somerset|
|13-15 Aug||7||Fenwick’s Junior Tour of the Mendips||Somerset|
|27-30 Aug||8||Junior Tour of Wales||Blaenau Gwent|
|11-12 Sep||9||Spokes Junior Road Race||Fife|
Women’s junior series
The women’s series expands the five rounds in 2021 (an increase on the four planned for 2020). of 3 stage races and a one-day race this year. The addition of the Junior Women’s Tour of Wales is an exciting development, which will hopefully encourage more race organisers to follow suit.
|4 Apr||1||Hatherleigh Junior Road Race||Devon|
|tbc||2||Witham Hall Road Race||Lincolnshire|
|13-15 Aug||4||Fenwick’s Junior Tour of the Mendips||Somerset|
|28-30 Aug||5||Junior Women’s Tour of Wales||Blaenau Gwent|
Junior National Road Championships
The Junior National Road Championships feature a road race and time trial. They are not part of the Junior Road Series as such, but nonetheless, carry the prestige of crowning the national junior champions in both disciplines.
This will be the first time that a time trial championships will take place alongside the road race, with the time trial taking place on the Saturday ahead of the road race the following day.
Chitterne in Wiltshire will host the championships in 2021.
|10 Jul||Time trial||Chitterne, Wiltshire|
|11 Jul||Road race||Chitterne, Wiltshire|
For both the men’s and women’s series, there is an overall rider 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 the series will be the rider who gains the highest total number of points across the series, with all rounds to count.
The men’s series has been running since 2006 and past winners include Simon Yates, Pete Kennaugh, Matt Gibson, Alex Peters and Erick Rowsell. The women’s series has much less history, with Abi Smith (2019) and April Tacey (2018) the two series winners to date.
|2019||Leo Hayter||VC Londres|
|2018||Mason Hollyman||Zappi Racing Team|
|2017||Oscar Mingay||Giant Cycling Club – Halo Films|
|2016||Charlie Meredith||Giant Cycling Club – Halo Films|
|2015||Harry Hardcastle||Speedflex Race Team|
|2014||Matthew Gibson||Velocity WD-40|
|2013||Jake Kelly||Manx Viking Wheelers CC|
|2012||Alex Peters||Mosquito Bikes|
|2011||Alistair Slater||Hargroves Cycles-Trant-Next-Specialised-GSI|
|2010||Simon Yates||Maxgear RT|
|2009||Joe Perrett||Glendene CC/Bike Trax Junior Team|
|2008||Erick Rowsell||Team Corridori|
|2007||Peter Kennaugh||Pinarello RT|
|2006||Andrew Griffiths||Glendene CC / Bike Trax|
|2019||Abi Smith||Campinense ‐ Velo Performance|
The British Cycling pages on the Junior Road Series, for men and women, can be found here.
The full set of regulations for the junior men’s and women’s road series can be found here.
Featured photo: David Partridge / 2019 Junior Tour of Wales. Thomas Gloag (VC Londres) wins stage 2.