We’re into May and that means much of the cycling world’s gaze is on Italy for the Giro. Closer to home, however, there’s still plenty of news to keep apprised of. So we’ve summed up all the domestic road racing happening here for you.
Featured photo: Matt Bostock (Canyon dhb p/b Bloor Homes) wins the 2019 Otley GP ahead of Tom Pidcock (Team Wiggins Le Col). Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com
Race calendar news
National Circuit Series diminished
It continues to be an uncertain time for national road racing in the UK, with further race cancellations and uncertainty about the status of others.
First off, four National Circuit Series races have been cancelled in the last two weeks. British Cycling announced the cancellation of three races on 30 April: the Sheffield GP (14 July), the Fort Vale Colne GP (20 July), and the Midlands round (30 July). “Local factors and the ongoing challenges associated with Covid-19” were cited as the key reasons for the cancellations. Then yesterday came confirmation that the Barnsley Town Centre races had also been cancelled for 2021.
The result is that the LOGCO Otley Cycle Races (30 June) are now the only remaining rounds in both the men’s and women’s series, if indeed they can be called series with only one race left.
The more positive news is that British Cycling says it is working towards adding an additional round into both the men’s and women’s series. Furthermore, Barnsley Town Centre Races organiser Chris Lawrence has planned two additional National B races (18 July) instead. There is no word so far on whether British Cycling will hold a national circuit championship this year.
More National Road Series woes?
Meanwhile, Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling’s DS Colin Sturgess asserted on Twitter that the Beaumont Trophy and Curlew Cup might be moved to a date after the Tour of Britain. There has been no official word on that potential move, however. We’ll be keeping a weather eye on that one.
Finally – and again we’re into the realms of hearsay here – we’ve heard rumblings that the postponed Rapha Lincoln Grand Prix will indeed take place this year, with an October date being schedule. Again, one to watch.
National road race championships announced due soon
British Cycling says it hopes to make an announcement on the 2021 HSBC UK | National Road Championships in the coming weeks, confirming that the event will be moved from its current position in the calendar (24-27 June) to later in the year.
Junior National Road Series expands
A new Yorkshire-based event has been added to the Junior National Road Series calendar, and it’s shaping up to be a cracker. The Fensham Howes – MAS Design Junior Tour of Yorkshire has been organised by Giles Pidcock and promises three tricky stages for the men and two for women on the well-loved roads of North Yorkshire.
The men’s tour starts on 12 June with a five-mile time trial in the morning and a 67-mile road race in the afternoon, with a similar length route the following day too. For the women’s tour, it’s one-day, two-stage affair, with the same five-mile TT joining a 44-mile race on the afternoon.
Ribble Weldtite adds Slovenian test to calendar
Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling has confirmed a stack of dates to its race programme over the coming months. The team will kick off their season at the Tour of Estonia (27-29 May), followed by the Tour of Slovenia (9-13 June). The latter will also feature Canyon dhb SunGod and, according to some reports, Tour winner Tadej Pogačar!
You can check out the full schedule here. Use the team filter at the top if you want to see the teams races only.
Canyon and Trinity to face off in Wallonie
Two British squads will race against each other in a UCI event for the first time since last September as Canyon dhb SunGod and Trinity Racing are on the start list for the Circuit de Wallonie (13 May).
The race looks set to be packed with Brits. Besides the Canyon and Trinity teams, the provisional startlist includes: Chris Lawless, Connor Swift, Ollie Robinson, Josh Teasdale, Harrison Wood, Sean Flynn, and our podcast journal-keeper Lewis Askey.
The event will also be notable as the first race of the year for Trinity Racing, after earlier events for the team were cancelled due to COVID-19. They’ll quickly follow up the race with the Tour d’Eure-et-Loir a day later. They’ll debut their bold new kit on the road too.
And don’t forget, as reported in the last Communiqué, the GB Senior Academy’s men’s squad will compete in the Challenge Mallorca this week too.
Keep track of all the men’s domestic team’s schedules here.
Super six take on the Giro d’Italia
Six British riders are tackling the Giro, which got underway at the weekend.
The contenders include Israel Start Up Nation’s Alex Dowsett, who won a stage at last year’s event, James Knox (Deceuninck-QuickStep), EF Education-Nippo duo Simon Carr and Hugh Carthy, Team BikeExchange’s Simon Yates and Mark Christian, who is plying his trade for EOLO-Kometa.
Good luck to all of them! We’d be surprised not to see at least one of the six winning a stage by the end…
Speaking of winners, there’s been plenty of success for British riders in UCI-level races – which you can keep an eye on here.
Geraint Thomas (Ineos Grenadier) beat his team-mate Richie Porte by 28 seconds to win the Tour de Romandie (27 April – 2 May). His teammate Ethan Hayter nearly emulated this GC success at the Volta ao Algarve (5-9 May). A stage win put him in the overall lead, but bad luck conspired to prevent him from completing the GC win. A crash during the time trial on the penultimate stage lost him time and then hampered him enough on the final stage to allow W52-FC Porto-Reconco’s Joao Rodrigues to jump ahead of him and take the GC by nine seconds.
There was more success on the Iberian peninsula as Canyon//SRAM’s Alice Barnes won a cracking stage at Setmana Ciclista Valenciana (6-9 May) ahead of Movistar’s Sheyla Gutierrez. On the same stage, one of our ten under-23 women to watch – April Tacey – finished 13th for Drops Le Col s/b Tempur.
Speaking of our under-23s to watch, Eluned King and Pfeiffer Georgi both took strong results at the GP Eco-Struct (8 May), with the latter finishing fifth for Team DSM and Team GB Cycling Academy’s King just one-second behind in sixth. King’s result was all the more remarkable considering that (a) this was her first race as a senior rider, and (b) her last road race was all the way back in September 2019 at the Harrogate world championships. Our journal contributor Abi Smith also put in a fine showing, getting caught solo on the final bend, after bridging to (and disposing of) the breakaway trio.
In case you missed it, we’re really delighted to announce that Rapha Custom has joined The British Continental as a key sponsor, alongside Hunt Bike Wheels and Condor Cycles. We are also teaming with Rapha Custom to produce Rapha x British Conti kit. With luck, the range will be available in the summer, just in time for the return of elite road racing in the UK. Read more here.