News

Communiqué – 18 November

Joe Hudson provides another jam-packed round-up of the latest domestic road racing news

The 2020 road season has finished. That doesn’t mean the news has stopped though, there’s still plenty going on as pieces start to fall into shape for 2021.

To make sure you don’t miss any news, The British Continental has wrapped it up in a neat article.

Featured photo: CorVos/SWpix.com. Lizzy Banks (Équipe Paula Ka) wins stage 4 of the Giro d’Italia Internazionale Femminile 2020 (2.WWT) from Assisi to Tivoli

Race News

Carthy finishes on Vuelta podium

After a blazing start in the final week, EF Pro Cycling’s Hugh Carthy ended the Vuelta a España with his best ever Grand Tour finish of third.

In a tight scrap with eventual winner Primoz Roglic and Richard Carapaz, Carthy couldn’t quite make it onto the top step as Roglic – who lost out on the Tour De France win on the penultimate stage time trial – held his nerve to take victory in Madrid.

Tour De Yorkshire delayed again

Fans of elite stage racing in the UK will be disappointed again after Welcome to Yorkshire and the ASO – organisers of the Tour De Yorkshire and the Asda Women’s Tour de Yorkshire – announced the event will be delayed until 2022.

Cancelled this year because of the COVID pandemic, next year’s event has been postponed until 2022 because of ‘uncertainty surrounding the pandemic’.

Welcome to Yorkshire’s CEO James Mason told the Yorkshire Post: “The conversations we’ve had with ASO and British Cycling is that this is what the UK, and specifically Yorkshire, will need come May, 2022.

2019 Asda Women’s Tour de Yorkshire Stage 2 Bridlington to Scarborough – England – Marianne Vos of Team CCC-Liv wins stage 2. Photo: Simon Wilkinson/SWpix.com

“It’s not lip-service, we are determined to bring it back in 2022. The easiest thing would have been to cancel it. We haven’t, and I’m delighted the conversations have been positive about wanting the race to continue.”

The postponement comes at a tricky time for the tourism body, which had to ask its regional council partners for emergency funding after a shortfall in its finance in what has been a tricky year. More information on that is here, thanks again to the Yorkshire Post.

British Cycling confirms Road, Junior Road, and Circuit Series calendars

In better news on the home front, British Cycling has confirmed the calendars for the Road, Junior Road and Circuit Series’s for 2021.

Starting with the National Road Series, there’s an eight-event calendar for both men and women which pretty much focuses itself in the north of England with one TBC event targeting the south of the country. Positive inclusions to the list of events include the two-day Tour of the Reservoir, which was potentially in doubt after the sad passing of long-time event organiser Mike Hodgson earlier in the year.

2019 HSBC UK Men’s National Road Series – Tour of the Reservoir, Northumberland – Tom Moses in the peloton. Photo: Simon Wilkinson/SWpix.com

In equally positive news, eight events will host a women’s race too to get back to something that looks more like parity. More information on the whole series can be found in The British Continental’s explainer.

Five events for men and three for women constitute the National Circuit Series, with two events in the north and one TBC in the Midlands, again an explainer is here.

Finally, the Junior Road Series. In contrast to the other calendars, the juniors will be keeping themselves predominantly in the south with nine events for the men and five for the women – some shared and some standalone. Find out more about those, and the venue for the National Championships here.

Domestic cyclocross season diminished further

With lockdown restrictions across swathes of the country, British Cycling has confirmed that a number of events will be cancelled.

The majority of the cancellations surround the cyclocross schedule, with both the final round of the Cyclocross National Trophy in York on 12&13 December and the National Championships in Crawley, which was scheduled for 9&10 January, both called off.

Also cancelled is the National Track Championships which were due to take place in Manchester at the end of January.

British Cycling’s Head of Sport & Major Events, Jonathan Day, said: “We are naturally disappointed that we have been forced to postpone or cancel the three events, and fully appreciate that the current uncertainty will be frustrating for riders, many of whom will have been training hard in preparation for them over recent months.

“As an organisation we are absolutely committed to delivering every event that we can, in line with the relevant Government guidance, and our team is now working incredibly hard to find alternative dates for the two national championships which we are aiming to reschedule. We are thankful for the support of the event organisers, venues and our Track and Cyclocross Commissions as we work through this process.”

Mein and Mason medal at U23 European Cyclocross Championships

There was double joy for Britain at the Under-23 European Cyclocross Championships as Thomas Mein and Cameron Mason both took medals in the Netherlands.

Beaten to gold by local rider Ryan Kamp, the two Brits had a cracking battle for the final two spots on the podium with Mein – who rides for Tormans CX in cyclocross and Canyon DHB p/b Soreen on the road – pipping Trinity Racing’s Mason by just one second to scoop the silver.

Thomas Mein (GBR) – Kamp Ryan (Ned) – Cameron Mason (GBR) pictured during the European Championships Cyclocross for u 23 men in Rosmalen, the Netherlands. Photo: CorVos/SWpix.com

Team News

Drops renews contracts of entire squad

The Drops team has announced it has renewed the contracts of all 11 of its riders and the team’s staff heading into 2021.

2020 proved to be a fruitful year for the squad, despite the limited programme because of the pandemic, with stage wins in the virtual Tour De France and top tens in real-life stages at Le Samyn and Setmana Ciclista Valenciana high points in what has been a strong year all-round for Drops.

Photo: Drops

As well as re-signing all its existing riders, Drops has also signed 18-year-old Alice Towers and Dutch track and road rider Maike van der Duin.

Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling’s squad begins to take shape

Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling has announced more new signings in the shape of Harry Tanfield (see below) and Frederik Scheske. The 2019 Salisbury Tour Series round winner Frederik Schescke joins from Vitus Pro Cycling p/b Brother UK.

Meanwhile, the team also announced that John Archibald and Kevin McCambridge will leave Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling for other teams. Archibald will join a Pro Conti team (rumoured on social media to be EOLO-Kometa) and Irishman McCambridge will move to a development team.

Finally, British cycling legend and former Madison Genesis manager Colin Sturgess has joined Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling as sports director.

Frederik Scheske wins the Salisbury round of the 2019 Tour Series. Photo: David Hares

British Cycling creates new Elite Development Team status

To help domestic squads better bridge the gap to the UCI’s Continental Level, British Cycling has created a new Elite Development Team status.

Teams will need to meet a soon-to-be-published set of criteria to meet the status, which are expected to revolve around the number of young British riders on the team, supporting riders’ expenses for national and international races, provision of equipment and dedicated support, as well as attendance at national road and circuit series events.

For that, British Cycling says teams granted EDT status will get additional exposure on social media, access to educational courses and workshops for riders and staff, and guaranteed entry into national events.

For more information on the project, check out our first take here.

Transfers and rider news

Tanfield joins Ribble Weldtite

Fresh from a barnstorming ride at the Vuelta, Harry Tanfield has been announced as the latest rider signed by Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling.

Tanfield had been racing with AG2R La Mondiale for his second year of WorldTour-level competition, but it was announced that he wouldn’t be offered a contract extension for 2021.

Harry Tanfield. Photo: Dean Reeve / Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling

Instead, he’ll join the rapidly rising UCI Continental squad Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling for a campaign which will most likely be a mix of domestic and European competition.

He said: “With the current wider situation I’m delighted to have found a place at a team that can support my ambitions of returning to the highest level in the sport.”

Listen to more of Harry Tanfield talking about his new contract exclusively on the latest edition of The British Continental podcast here.

Stevie Williams renews with Bahrain McLaren

Bahrain McLaren’s Stevie Williams has renewed his contract with the squad, signing on for an additional two years.

The 24-year-old has been at the squad since 2018 when he stepped up to the World Tour level, and this year has been the start of a road to recovery for Williams.

After 18 months of the sidelines with a knee injury, he completed the first ten stages of the Vuelta as he continues building back up to the form he was on before – which saw the Welshman win the Ronde de l’Isard in 2018.

Listen to more about his career to date in his episode of our podcast here.

Dowsett keeps busy in the off-season

Giro stage winner Alex Dowsett has not been taking any time to relax in his off-season after announcing two pretty major bits of news.

Firstly, he will be remaining with his Israel Start-Up Nation team for the next two years. Dowsett was initially out of contract heading into the year but confirmed in a Vlog that he will be sticking with the team until the end of 2022, where he’ll of course be joined by Chris Froome.

But in perhaps bigger news, he also announced a bid to reclaim his Hour record. Having taken it for the first time in 2015, he was beaten just weeks later by Bradley Wiggins and then in 2019 by current record holder Victor Campenaerts.

The Belgian completed 55.089km in Mexico, at high-altitude, with Dowsett aiming to beat that on 12 December at the Manchester velodrome.

Lizzy Banks moves to Ceratizit-WNT Cycling for 2021

In a previous Communiqué, we reported on Lizzy Banks looking for a new team for 2021 after the closure of her Équipe Paule Ka squad.

Happily, Banks has found a new home at Ceratizit-WNT Pro Cycling having signed a one-year contract with the squad. She’ll join a team absolutely stocked with talent with fellow riders including Track World Champion Kirsten Wild, also a multiple Classics winner, and 2015 Women’s Tour champion Lisa Brennauer.

Sophie Wright joins Alé BTC Ljubljana Cipollini

Banks’ former teammate at Équipe Paule Ka, promising 21-year-old British Sophie Wright, has also found a new team. She will join the World Tour squad Alé BTC Ljubljana Cipollini next season. She finished second this year at the Setmana Valenciana at the start of the season. 

2018 Road Cycling World Championships Innsbruck-Tirol, Austria – Women’s Elite Road Race – Sophie Wright of Great Britain. Photo: Richard Blaxall/SWpix.com

Wright said: “I was looking to take the next step up in my cycling career for the 2021 season and beyond, so signing for my first ever World Tour team will allow me to do so and have new opportunities, so I’m very excited for what’s to come”.

Of her ambitions for next season, she said: “For next season, I hope to fulfil my allocated role as best as possible, whilst also being able to grasp the opportunity to win the best young rider’s jersey in some stage races and stand on the podium for the team”.

Lawless leaves Ineos Grenadiers

2019 Tour De Yorkshire winner Chris Lawless will leave Ineos Grenadiers at the end of the year, in a switch to Team Total Direct Energie.

Lawless has predominantly focused on the Belgian classics this year for the British squad, where he’s been part of the support squad for the team’s leaders in each of the races.

Speaking at his unveiling, he told Team Total Direct Energie that he wants to continue his Classics development working alongside the squad’s lead rider Niki Terpstra.

2019 Tour de Yorkshire Stage 4 Halifax to Leeds – England – Chris Lawless of Team Ineos on the podium with the trophy in the blue jersey after winning the overall classification of the Tour de Yorkshire. Photo: Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com

He said: “I can’t wait to join my new team! It’s a bit of a leap into the unknown because I’ve always been in English-speaking teams with teammates that I knew well. I can’t wait to take on these new challenges and see what this team can do for me.

“I want to improve even more on the Classics. I felt this year that I had taken a step forward and that I was able to run even more in these races. Alongside Niki Terpstra, I will be able to learn even more and always go further.”

Abby Mae Parkinson stays with Lotto Soudal

Abby Mae Parkinson will extend her stay with Lotto Soudal for another year having signed an extension with the Belgian team.

After joining Lotto Soudal this year, coming across from Drops, the 23-year-old has had a decent first year with the squad with top 20 finishes at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Omloop van het Hageland and a 30th at AG Driedaagse Brugge-De Panne.

Other news

  • One of our 2020 U23 riders to watch, Jacob Vaughan, has joined Adam Yates’ old team CC Étupes, one of France’s top elite teams
  • Meanwhile, Lewis Bulley and Ollie Robinson will stay at Vaughan’s team this season, Indulek-Doltcini-Derito CT, for 2021
  • Georgia Bullard and Olivia Bentley have joined Spanish UCI team Vib Sports Natural Greatness for 2021
  • Red Walters has used to his first journal entry to reveal his new team for 2021
  • Team PB Performance became the first men’s domestic team to confirm its full 2021 squad. See our domestic team guide for more
  • Phil West (formerly of One Pro Cycling and British Cycling) has joined the coaching staff at Team Sunweb.

To keep track of all the team and transfer news:

  • This page captures all of the men’s domestic transfers and renewals involving UCI-level and foreign elite teams
  • This page provides an overview of the squads for men’s domestic teams, UCI and elite level. Similar pages for women’s and junior teams are in development
  • This page logs all of the women’s domestic transfers and renewals involving UCI-level and foreign elite teams.

The British Continental store is open!

Based on Greg Trowman’s brilliant original designs, we’re really pleased to reveal we now have a new range of logo t-shirts – and sweatshirts too – available through our very own store. All the proceeds from sales we make will go straight back into making The British Continental as good as we can possibly make it.

Featured photo: CorVos/SWpix.com. Lizzy Banks (Équipe Paula Ka) wins stage 4 of the Giro d’Italia Internazionale Femminile 2020 (2.WWT) from Assisi to Tivoli