It’s finally a new year and we can only hope 2021 brings even a smidgen more positivity than the year just gone…
There is certainly no shortage of news. The year is barely a week old and already we are swimming in stories of teams moving up, rider signings and race news.
To keep you up to speed, The British Continental has rounded it all up in our latest Communiqué.
Featured photo: CorVos/SWpix.com. Tom Pidcock, Trinity Racing during the third leg of the men’s elite UCI cyclo-cross World Cup 2020 cross, on December 27, 2020 in Dendermonde.
Brits in the mix at top cyclocross events
The last Communiqué highlighted a string of spectacular results by Tom Pidcock at events across Europe. More top results have followed since.
The Trinity Racing rider finished December in style with a trio of third-place finishes, two at the UCI World Cups in Namur and Hulst and another at the Robotland Cyclocross Essen – all those events won by that force of nature Mathieu van der Poel. He also added a ninth to his palmarès at the Telenet Superprestige Heusden-Zolder. His teammate Ben Turner, meanwhile, has been hovering near the top ten mark, finishing 10th in Essen, followed by 11th in the Dendermonde World Cup race and 12th in the X2O Trofee Baal – GP Sven Nys.
Another 21-year-old, Anna Kay, has also been notching up noteworthy results in the Women Elite races, The Starcasino CX Team rider picked up a hat-trick of seventh places in Belgium and a fifth in Essen to continue her cracking run of form in the 2020/21 ‘cross season, in which where she’s finished outside the top 20 only once, at the UCI World Cup at Dendermonde.
Race calendar news
Tour of Antalya cancelled
February’s Tour of Antalya, which was won last year by Canyon dhb SunGod’s Max Stedman, has been cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The 2.1 race was due to take place between 11-14 February, with WorldTour squads including Israel Start-Up Nation, Team DSM and UAE Emirates planning to send teams for some early season warm-weather competition.
National Hill Climb Champs head to Winnats
Winnats Pass will host the National Hill Climb Championships for the first time in 44 years, after it was confirmed late last year.
Taking place on 31 October, the Peak District pass will be a stern test of competitor’s climbing abilities with an average gradient of 11.4% over the 1.8km route.
Organisers myHill Cycling and Rutland CC said: “We are proud to announce that – for the first time in 44 years – the venue for this event will be the ‘home of hill climbing’: the leg shattering; VO2 busting; cadence crumbling Winnats Pass. In case you hadn’t guessed.”
Follow @WinNats21 on Twitter to keep track of plans for the event.
National CX championships get axed…
British Cycling has confirmed the National Cyclocross Championships, which were scheduled for this weekend in Crawley, have been cancelled because of coronavirus restrictions.
With the individual nations of the UK now under lockdown, the event wasn’t feasible to run during the current restrictions. Read the full story on the British Cycling website.
Domestic riders head for New Zealand test
Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling’s Mark Stewart and Canyon dhb SunGod’s Ryan Christensen look set to be the first riders from domestic teams to compete in a UCI race in 2021 as they take part in the early-season race New Zealand Cycle Classic (UCI 2.2). The full start list for the five-stage race can be found here and the action gets underway on Wednesday 13 January.
EDT Status now open for applications
British Cycling has confirmed applications are open for squads to apply for Elite Development Team (EDT) status. It has also published the criteria which teams need to meet in order to qualify, including age, nationality, squad size and race calendar obligations.
We’ll be taking a closer look a the criteria later this month. In the meantime, to get up to speed on what EDT status means, read The British Continental’s explainer here and for how to apply, head in the direction of British Cycling.
Trinity announces squad and Continental upgrade
Busy in the midst of an action-packed CX season, Trinity Racing has confirmed its road team for 2021, as well as the news that it’ll be making the jump to Continental Level.
The team debuted with a very successful season in 2020 – despite a disrupted year – following Tom Pidcock’s Baby Giro win, Tom Gloag’s breakthrough Giro ride and Ben Healy‘s wins at the Ronde de L’Isard (stage 4) and the Irish road race championships.
The squad expands from 12 riders to 15 in 2021, 13 men and 2 women and will compete across multiple disciplines, including road, MTB, gravel and e-Racing.
Read more about the team’s new squad in our domestic team guide here.
Saint Piran become fifth British UCI Continental men’s team
First, in no major surprise if you’ve been spotting the small clues being left around social media and in the press, is Cornish squad Saint Piran. The highest-finishing elite squad in the National Road Series in 2019, the team decided 2021 was the right time to move up.
Team founder Richard Pascoe said: “After this year, I just want to see the smiles back on the faces of our riders this year. Competing at the Continental level in the UK and racing against the top teams will be a privilege for Saint Piran. We look forward to bringing our brand of racing to the highest level of the sport here.”
New signings include Vitus Pro Cycling p/b Brother UK pair Stephen Bradbury and Tom Mazzone. Up-and-coming Welsh sprinter Iwan Evans also joins the team for 2021, his first year in the senior ranks.
Read our domestic team guide to study their full squad.
Taking the step alongside them is Liv AWOL Spok’d, which is being rebranded as AWOL O’Shea this year. The team said it wanted to make the step up to ‘create a healthy, supportive environment for young women to realise their potential on the international stage’.
The thirteen rider squad includes our new journal contributor Charlotte Broughton.
SwiftCarbon Pro Cycling confirms team
Yorkshire-based SwiftCarbon Pro Cycling has confirmed it will continue for a third year and has revealed its 2021 squad. The team expands from 12 to 13 riders for 2021. Continuity is the watchword, with ten re-signings, three new signings and two departures.
New signings include sprinter Chris Latham from the now-defunct Vitus Pro Cycling p/b Brother UK, Mitchell McLaughlin and Alex Peters. Peters’ switch from Canyon dhb is perhaps the biggest surprise. The ex-Team Sky made a promising return to racing in 2019 and, if managed in the right way, is a rider capable of achieving some top results next season. Latham could also pick up results if he can re-find his mojo. Either way, it’s good to see both riders continuing into 2021.
Multiple elite teams confirm squads
Storey Racing, Vredenstein Basso, TAAP Cervolo and TBW23 Stuart Hall Cycling p/b Transharp have also all made squad announcements this year. Our men’s domestic team guide has all the details. Our women’s team guide will (finally) be published next week too.
Transfer and contract news
Shaw ends future uncertainty
Carr moves to the WorldTour with EF Pro Cycling
Simon Carr will make the jump up to the WorldTour having been announced as the latest rider to join EF Pro Cycling.
The 22-year-old Brit had his strongest season to date in 2020, having won the Prueba Villafranca-Ordiziako Klasika while riding for Nippo DELKO One Provence.
“The team appears to be a really fun environment and somewhere ideally suited for me to develop as an athlete and person,” said Carr.
Read more about Carr in his 2019 interview with The British Continental here.
Barnes sisters continue with Canyon-SRAM
Alice and Hannah Barnes will continue racing with Canyon-SRAM after signing contract extensions.
Hannah signs her extension off the back of a solid season for the team, despite the disruption to the international cycling calendar, which garnered a second-place on stage six of the Giro Rosa, a sixth at Liège-Bastogne-Liège and a top ten at La Périgord Ladies. Alice’s results in 2020 included 10th in the GP d’Isbergues, 6th in the De Panne-Koksijde and two top 10s in the Madrid Challenge.
Dan Pearson’s Italian job
Dan Pearson is following in the footsteps of Ian Stannard as he joins Italian outfit Vini Zabù-Brado-KTM. The climber moves to the continent after two years at Canyon dhb SunGod, a spell which included a stage win and the mountains jersey at the Tour de la Mirabelle in 2019.
Condor comes onboard
We’re chuffed to bits that Condor will be a main website sponsor of The British Continental until at least March this year. Condor has a rich heritage in the domestic sport, not least its creation, with Rapha, of the successful and much-missed men’s UCI Continental team that ran from 2007 to 2018.
Founded in 1948 by Monty Young, the original Gray’s Inn Road Condor store continues to this day. Condor’s framesets are world-renowned. As more and more marques take their manufacturing to the Far East, they continue to produce their frames by hand in Italy, creating everything from race bikes to gravel ready machines, from all sorts of materials. The current range features carbon frames, performance aluminium and steel, including stainless steel. Condor’s online shop also stocks a full range of components, clothing and accessories.
Fancy a new bike for the new year? Check out the full Condor range here.
And don’t forget that you can still get 10% off of all VeloSkin’s specialist skincare range. All you need to do is head to veloskin.cc and use the code TBC-10, which will give you a 10% discount on your first and future orders. And better still every order made using the code will support The British Continental too.