Restrictions are easing – at least in the UK – and that means road racing is slowly coming back to life. The first post-lockdown national road races have taken place, domestic racing calendars are being shaped and then re-shaped and teams’ international race programmes are firming up. We’ve collated all the latest for you here…
Featured photo: Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com. 2015 British Cycling National Road Championships – Lincoln Grand Prix – Lincoln, England – Team Sky’s Peter Kennaugh takes first place at the Lincoln GP.
Race calendar news
Lincoln confirmed as National Road Championships venue
British Cycling has announced that Lincoln will host the 2021 HSBC UK | National Road Championships from 14-17 October.
Returning to the cathedral city for the first time since 2015, this year’s event will be the first where the British national champions’ jerseys will be presented for the road race, time trial and circuit in the same week.
The event will begin with the time trials on Thursday, followed by the circuit races on Friday and the road races on Sunday. There will, in addition, be a sportive on Saturday and the Newells Michaelgate Hill Dash on the Saturday evening.
Here at The British Continental, we’re delighted to see the National Road Championships return to the Rapha Lincoln Grand Prix, and the new format should make for an exciting national celebration of cycling after what has been a torrid time for the national road racing scene. That said, the announcement does have a bittersweet note…
Further changes to the diminished 2021 National Road Series
With the Rapha Lincoln Grand Prix now acting as the National Road Championships, it means it will no longer host a round of the National Road Series this year. The result is that the Series is now down to just three races, from the eight originally planned. This is bad news for elite-level teams as it means they will have very few top-level racing opportunities in the UK this season, whilst the combination of Covid-19 and Brexit make international racing especially difficult for elite teams at present.
Meanwhile, the Beaumont Trophy and Curlew Cup have been postponed from 4 July to 26 September. It means the Lancaster GP (15 Aug) will now open the men’s National Road Series, whilst the Women’s CiCLE Classic (27 Jun) remains the opener for the women’s Series. Organiser Peter Harrison says the move will provide “more breathing room, enables more people to be vaccinated and gives added reassurance to residents in the locality of the races.”
Check out the new dates for the two series’ here.
Saint Piran adds summer dates to calendar
Saint Piran has revealed a number of UCI races on their 2021 schedule. First up is the Grand Prix de la ville Pérenchies on 25 July, followed up by the stage race Kreiz Breizh Elites (30 July – 2 August) and then, later in August, the Grand Prix des Marbriers (24 August).
Upcoming UCI races for domestic teams
Talking of racing plans, there will be plenty of UCI road race action for domestic teams over the next couple of weeks.
Canyon dhb SunGod and Trinity Racing both head to France for the Tour de la Mirabelle, which starts on Thursday. Canyon dhb won two stages of the race the last time it was held, with Daniel Pearson and Alex Richardson taking stages 3 and 4 respectively. Joe Pidcock (Groupama-FDJ), Oliver Knight (AVC Aix-en-Provence) and Stuart Balfour (Swiss Racing Academy) are also on the provisional start list.
On Friday, Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling begin their first UCI race of the season at the Tour of Estonia (2.1). They look to be one of the strongest teams at the race – new signings James Shaw and Matt Gibson both feature – so will no doubt be hoping to come away with some success. Sam Brand (Team Novo Nordisk) and James Jobber (Kuwait Pro Cycling) are also on the provisional start list.
The GB Senior Academy have back-to-back Nations Cup races, with the Orlens Nations Grand Prix (29-30 May), followed by the Course de la Paix (3-6 Jun). And one of the most important under-23 races of the year, the Baby Giro, begins on 3 June. The race will feature Trinity Racing, Holdsworth-Zappi and a host of young foreign-based Brits too. We’ll have a full preview on the site in the coming days.
There are no British women’s teams on UCI race start lists over the next couple of weeks, as far as we can see, but we do expect a smattering of Brits to be racing at the Dwars door het Hageland (5 Jun) and Dwars door de Westhoek (6 Jun), so keep an eye on the start lists for those races.
Keep track of all domestic teams’ UCI racing plans on our calendar here.
Domestic racing round-up
National road racing is back in the UK after long, long wait. And with a reduced the domestic UCI and National A racing calendar this year, we’ve decided to give greater attention to National B racing over the coming months.
Ella Barnwell secured herself a little slice of history as she triumphed in the first national road race for 428 days, after winning the Halesowen A&CC’s Women’s Road Race. In a field packed with talent, the Great Britain Senior Academy rider pipped her team-mate, Eluned King, to the top step of the podium. Read our full report of the race here.
A week after Barnwell kicked off a successful return for National B racing for women, Dolan Ellesse Race Team’s Theodor Obholzer put his name on the map as he claimed victory in the first national men’s race on British shores in 435 days. He won the Return to Racing for Big Dogs event ahead of SwiftCarbon Pro Cycling’s Alex Peters. Report and results here.
Just hours later, another National B event – the Chitterne Road Race – was won by Zeb Kyffin. He shared the podium with Samuel Painter (TBW23 Stuart Cycling) and veteran Yanto Barker (Onyx Racing). Chitterne was the latter’s first race since 2017. Find out short report and results here.
A big shout must also go to junior rider Flora Perkins (VC Londres) who took her biggest win yet at the Banbury Star Women’s Road Race, edging Danielle Shrosbree (Team Brother UK- LDN) in a two-up sprint. Read our full report of that encounter here.
You can access all of our National B racing coverage at The B-side.
International racing round-up
Having secured his second UCI-level win of the year in our last edition of the Communiqué, Ethan Hayter wasted no time claiming another two as he triumphed on stages two and five of the Vuleta a Andalucía.
He wasn’t the only Brit to triumph at the top level, Arkéa-Samsic’s Connor Swift took a hard-fought win at the always entertaining Tro-Bro Léon, after a nail-biting in a photo-finish. Keep track of all the Brits winning UCI races with our handy tracker.
Fred Wright took a podium for Bahrain Victorious on stage three of the Tour de Hongrie, after a spectacular lead-out for team-mate Phil Bauhaus allowed the latter to snatch victory from Mike Teunissen. Wright took third behind the lead pair.
It was a successful outing for Trinity Racing at just their second race of the year at the Tour d’Eure-et-Loir. 18-year-old American Luke Lamperti won stage 2, while Ben Turner finished in the top ten on every stage- including 3rd on stage 3, eventually bagging 7th overall.
There was also a good result for our regular contributor Lewis Askey who finished sixth on the second stage of the Alpes Isère Tour. Stuart Balfour was 13th overall in the same race. And in Spain, Gabz Cullaigh (Movistar) was 5th and Ethan Vernon (GB) 10th at the Trofeo Alcudia.
Two Brits featured in the top 10 of the Circuit de Wallonie, as Daniel McLay took ninth for Arkéa-Samsic ahead of Canyon dhb SunGod’s Matt Bostock. McLay went even better a couple of days later at the Ronde van Limburg, finishing just behind race-winner Tim Merlier. At the same race, Rory Townsend secured tenth for Canyon dhb SunGod. That was Canyon dhb SunGod’s third top 10 in a row in .1 race. An impressive run for a UCI Continental team.
Finally, there was a strong start to the Thüringen Ladies Tour for Anna Henderson (Jumbo-Visma) with 4th place on stage 1 from a select leading group Lizzie Deignan (Trek-Segafredo) finished just outside the top ten on her return to racing.
Elsewhere, Oliver Knight (AVC Aix-en-Provence) was 5th at the GP de Cintegabelle, Tom Martin was 8th overall at the Volta a São Miguel, Ollie Robinson finished 5th at the Ruddervoorde Koerse pro kermesse, Henry Lawton (AG2R Citroën U23) was 2nd at the Grand Prix d’Is-sur-Tille, Charlie Paige (Team U Cube 17) was 5th and Matthew Warhurst (Creuse Oxygène Guéret) 7th at La Chapelle Faucher and Xeno Young (Creuse Oxygène Guéret) was in the top ten at the Prix de la Saint-Jean.