We’re days away from May, and all of a sudden it feels like summer is really just around the corner; the optimism that comes with the warming sun.
In conjunction with the weather improving, there’s more positive news on the British cycling scene, with future plans becoming more concrete after a year of uncertainty.
First raft of Tour of Britain teams confirmed
Sweetspot, organisers of Britain’s premier male stage race the Tour of Britain, have announced the first raft of teams for this year’s event.
The headline is that all five of Britain’s UCI Continental teams have been invited to participate. That means Canyon dhb SunGod, SwiftCarbon Pro Cycling, Saint Piran, Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling, and Trinity Racing will all be on the start line, the latter three for the first time.
Introducing the first 𝙨𝙞𝙭 teams for the 2021 Tour of Britain 🇬🇧@BritishCycling // @canyondhbsungod // @RibbleWeldtite // @saintpiran1 // @SwiftProCycling // @TrinityRacing_ #TourOfBritain 🔴🔵⚪ pic.twitter.com/bq8fjujeN5— Tour of Britain 🇬🇧 (@TourofBritain) April 22, 2021
That quintet of top domestic squads will be joined by the Great Britain Cycling Team, continuing the national squad’s run of competition at the event which has stretched to every edition since 2012. Read our thoughts on Sweetspot’s decision here.
Men’s GB team bolsters its race programme
In addition to being confirmed at the Tour of Britain, the men’s GB Senior Academy squad has added the Challenge Mallorca to its upcoming schedule.
The four Spanish races are the Trofeo Calvia (13 May), Trofeo Serra de Tramuntana (14 May), Trofeo Andratx (15 May) and then rounding off with the the Trofeo Alcudia (16 May).
Keep tabs on where all the British teams are competing by bookmarking our race calendar here.
CAMS squad gets new name
A familiar name in Women’s cycling has got a new look, as the CAMS Racing squad has inked a new deal with Basso Bikes.
Now known as CAMS-Basso Bikes, the new look squad debuted at the Amstel Gold Race but with the still-familiar red and yellow kit!
Team Principal Simon Howes said: “This is a really exciting development for the 2021 season and combines a new bike with some new riders, additional team senior management who carry with them a huge amount of experience with what we hope is going to be a full year of racing.”
Brand-new, gender-balanced, team promises to ‘shake-up’ UK cycling
A brand-new team has landed on the British cycling scene: Spectra Wiggle p/b Vitus. Led by team principal/rider Bruce Dalton, the gender-balanced team – six men and six women – will race road, mountain bike and cyclocross events, with the aim of holding UCI licences in the three major disciplines by 2024.
As well as conventional racing, Spectra also want to take on challenges and records that are somewhat outside the box: think everything from Coast to Coast to the TransPyrenees endurance event. With a line-up that includes the likes of multi-time national cyclocross champion Ian Field, top-ranked Zwift racer Chris McGlinchey, and experienced all-rounder Beth Crumpton, as well as a crop of up-and-coming talents, they seem ready to face whatever terrain they please.
Want to know even more about Spectra Wiggle p/b Vitus? The British Continental’s Matilda Price has got the full low-down with all the key details here.
Crimson Orientation Marketing RT launches
Matt Hallam launched his 2021 Crimson Orientation Marketing RT squad on Monday to great fanfare. With a knockout launch video, a stunning new Rapha Custom kit, increased sponsorship, new signings including national circuit champion Joey Walker and young cyclocross talent Toby Barnes, and an ambition to step the men’s squad up to UCI Continental level next season, the team are intent on making their presence felt on and off the bike this year.
Want to know more about the team, and Matt’s views on what he hopes 2021 will bring? Read the full interview and squad reveal here. We’ll also be bringing you an exclusive interview with Joey Walker very soon.
Race calendar news
Mendips hosts British Cycling pilot event
After over a year of disruption, a big step forward has been taken in getting British racing going again after British Cycling held a pilot race in the Mendips.
The 51 km race, a three-lap sprint around the Priddy circuit, was held to test new protocols put in place to ensure cycling events can stick to social distancing measures aimed at reducing the spread of COVID-19. Limited to riders who lived within 20 miles of the race, Primera-TeamJobs’ Conor McGoldrick took a storming win ahead of the chasing pack.
Event organiser and British Cycling Regional Events Officer, Felix Young, said: “First and foremost the riders were absolutely brilliant, and really understood their responsibility when it came to adhering to the rules in place and respecting eachother out on the road. The riders have had to be incredibly patient over the past year but they were all just buzzing to be back racing and even the guys out of the back crossed the line with big smiles on their faces.”
Women’s CiCLE Classic and Junior CiCLE Classic to kick off return to national road racing
In the last Communiqué, we reported that a return to road racing was just on the horizon. Now, we’re delighted to say that CiCLE Classics has confirmed that the Women’s CiCLE Classic and the men’s junior CiCLE Classic will both go ahead on 27 June, marking the return of national-level road racing in the UK.
Entries for both events will open from 30 April on the British Cycling website. Finally, British road racing is back on the horizon! More details here.
No sooner had we published the last edition of the Communiqué, reporting two stage wins at the Tour of Turkey for Mark Cavendish, than Cav went and won stages 4 and 8 to his palmarès, to make it four stage wins in total.
On the same day that Cav won stage 4, Tom Pidcock pipped Wout Van Aert to take his first classics victory at Brabantse Pijl. He then almost took a second win at the Amstel Gold Race, but lost out to the Dutchman by less than a tyre’s width.
Has there ever been a tighter finish than this? 😱— Eurosport UK (@Eurosport_UK) April 18, 2021
Wout van Aert claims victory over Tom Pidcock in the 2021 Amstel Gold Race after an unbelievable photo finish 📸#AGR21
Success also came to Simon Yates, the Team BikeExchange rider absolutely dominating the GC on the Tour of the Alps, set up by a cracking win on the opening stage. The wins now mean there have been ten British UCI road race wins in 2021. See the full list here.
Beyond the wins, there were plenty of other notable results too. At the Amstel Gold Race, Ben Tulett carried on his quietly impressive run of form by taking 17th. The Alpecin-Fenix rider then took a 12th at La Flèche Wallone – where Pidcock took 6th. Another talented 19-year-old, Anna Shackley (SD Worx), also finished 17th at the Amstel Gold Race
Joss Lowden, a recent guest on The British Continental’s podcast, took a belting fifth for Drops-Le Col s/b Tempur at De Brabantse Pijl Feminine. Meanwhile, Claire Steels finished inside the top ten at GP Féminin de Chambéry for her Sopela Women’s Team squad.
There was a great result for MG Kvis VPM’s Paul Double at the Giro di Romagna, where he continued his strong start to the season with second overall. And also in Italy, one of our under-23 riders to watch – Sam Watson – finished seventh at the GP Liberazione in just his second race this season.
The British Continental has its own big announcement to make on Friday. Keep your eyes peeled on our socials and the website for more details…