We were so busy with our Baby Giro diary show that we neglected to bring you our fortnightly round-up last week, so this edition is even more packed than usual. We’re somehow now halfway through the year, the first thrilling Grand Tour of the year is in the books and the Tour is just around the corner. Meanwhile, domestic riders have been in action both home and abroad.
As usual, we’ve been doing our best to keep track of everything here in our latest Communiqué.
Featured photo: Will Palmer/SWpix.com. 2021 Junior Tour of Yorkshire – Boys Road Race (Stage 2), Harrogate, England. Lukas Nerurkar (VC Londres) celebrates winning the Boys Road Race (Stage 2) at the top of Bland Hill climb.
Race calendar news
Two WorldTour races for Britain in 2022
Mixed news came from the UCI when it recently published the WorldTour calendar for 2022. The good news is that the calendar reveals that Britain will be hosting two Women’s WorldTour-level events next year.
One is the familiar and highly-respected Women’s Tour, while the other is an event that has undergone something of an evolution. That’s because the RideLondon Classique has expanded to a three-day event which will run between 27-29 May next year. There are no details yet on the route or format for the event.
On the flip-side, the calendar confirmed there will be no men’s WorldTour races in the UK next year.
Rapha Lincoln GP releases details of National Circuit Championships course
As revealed in our last Communiqué the National Circuit Championship will be held as part of the National Road Championships for the first time this year. The organisers of the Championships, the Rapha Lincoln Grand Prix, have now released initial details of the National Circuit Championship course. They describe the 900m circuit around Lincoln Castle as ‘tight and twisty’, finishing on the same finish line as the iconic Lincoln Grand Prix.
Opening event of men’s National Road Series confirmed
The first round of the much-amended men’s National Road Series, the Lancaster Grand Prix, has confirmed it will go ahead on 15th August.
The premier British series has undergone a number of changes with events delayed and cancelled because of the ongoing uncertainty and will be limited to three races this year.
Race added to National Circuit Series calendar
British Cycling has added the existing Ilkley Cycle Races to the National Circuit Series, meaning the Series will now have two rounds for both men and women. The will event take place on 23 July. The circuit is a more compact version of the well-known course used for the Otley Town Centre Races, sharing many of the same elements.
New jerseys revealed for Tour Series
As the build-up begins for the Tour Series in August, organisers SweetSpot has unveiled new jerseys for GC leaders in both the men’s and women’s series.
The kit, designed by long-time partners Pearl iZUMi will certainly be eye-catching out on the road. Read more about them here.
Jacob Hennessy joins Saint Piran
Jacob Hennessy has made a mid-season from Canyon dhb SunGod to Saint Piran for the rest of 2021. It’s an interesting move that should give Hennessy a greater chance of riding the Tour of Britain this year, as well as added security.
Hennessy said, “Saint Piran have given me a two year minimum contract and, having just returned to the UK, I need the security of knowing that myself and Keira are part of a project that furthers my ambitions”.
Jo Tindley to Pro-Noctis – Redchilli Bikes – Heidi Kjeldsen
Jo Tindley has also made a mid-season move, switching from CAMS – Basso Bikes to Pro-Noctis – Redchilli Bikes – Heidi Kjeldsen. The team say that Jo will be a valuable addition to the team as one of the most experienced riders in the UK by helping our development riders become the best they can be in a team environment.
Joss Lowden plans official Hour Record attempt
After unofficially breaking the women’s Hour Record earlier in the year, Joss Lowden revealed on a recent edition of The British Continental’s podcast that she’s planning on an official attempt on the famous record this year.
The Drops-Le Col s/b Tempur rider has now confirmed that her attempt will take place at the Velodrome Suisse in Grenchen, Switzerland on either 30 September or 1 October. To find out more about her cycling so far and her plans for tackling the record, listen to the full episode of the podcast here.
Adam Kenway confirms climbing programme
Former Vitus Pro Cycling rider Adam Kenway has confirmed a programme of hill climbs and time trials for 2021.
Having announced sponsorship from Brother UK, Kenway will tie his climbing exploits with a number of time trial events as he looks to get a number of competitive rides under his belt after a lot of disruption to his calendar over the last year.
Holdsworth-Zappi plans UCI Continental team
The Zappi team has announced on Instagram that it is creating a UCI Continental team for next season. The team will run alongside the existing elite development set-up, based in Italy. Zappi say the UCI Continental squad will be ‘hand-picked’, while riders on the elite programme will have the possibility to move up to the Continental squad should they prove they have the capability to do so.
British Cycling selects Elite Development Teams
Months after trailing a new team classification – Elite Development Team status – British Cycling has awarded the status to 12 domestic teams for 2021.
The status requires teams to fulfil a number of commitments to support their riders in return for additional support from British Cycling and guaranteed entries to the National Road and Circuit Series.
Seven men’s squads and five women’s teams make up the selection, with outfits including Wales Racing Academy, Bikestrong-KTM and Loughborough Lightning – TRG.
Find out the full list of teams, and an explainer of what Elite Development Teams are here.
AG2R Citroën U19 squad taking applications for 2022
Top WorldTour squad AG2R Citroën has opened up applications for its under-19 squad for the 2022 season. The opportunity to join the team is spelled out in greater detail on the team’s website, with more details on what sort of riders would be a good fit for the French outfit. The current squad features three Brits: Max Cushway, Joe Kiely and Benjamin Peatfield.
UCI race programme additions
There have been a couple of updates to teams’ UCI race programmes. TRINITY Racing and GB have been confirmed for the Tour Alsace (2.2, 21-25 July). Tom Pidcock is the reigning champion of that race, last held in 2019. Meanwhile, both CAMS-Basso and Drops-Le Col s/b Tempur have been added to the provisional of teams riding the Tour de Feminin (2.2, 8-11 July). See our women’s domestic race programme tracker here. The men’s version is here.
Domestic racing round-up
Bäckstedt and Poole win inaugural Tour of Yorkshire
The Junior National Road Series returned last weekend after a painfully long lay-off with the inaugural Fensham Howes – MAS Design Junior Men’s Tour of Yorkshire and the Fensham Howes – MAS Design Junior Women’s Tour of Yorkshire. The men’s race featured three stages over two days (12 and 13 of June): a short TT and two 67-mile road stages. The women’s race, meanwhile, incorporated two stages in one day (12 June): a short TT in the morning followed by a 44-mile road race in the afternoon.
Zoe Bäckstedt (Tormans-ACROG) won the women’s edition after taking victory in the TT and then finishing second on stage, just behind stage winner Millie Couzens (Crelan-IKO). Couzens finished in the general classification, while Banbury Star road race winner Flora Perkins (VC Londres) was third.
In the men’s race, Max Poole (Fensham Howes – MAS Design) held the race lead from start to finish. He won the opening TT four seconds ahead FlandersColor Galloo’s Joshua Tarling. Lukas Nerurkar of VC Londres took a solo win on stage 2. On the final day, Noah Hobbs (Backstedt Bike Performance RC) won the bunch sprint to take the stage win. Poole took the overall win two seconds ahead of Josh Giddings (Z Junior Race Team), with the Isle of Man’s Tyler Hannay finishing third three seconds further back. Joshua Tarling was fourth on the same time as Hannay.
McGoldrick wins Holohan Coaching Road Race
Conor McGoldrick took a superb solo victory at the Holohan Coaching Road Race in the third National B-level race to take place so far this year.
The Primera-TeamJobs rider has had a notable string of results this year and this was his second win – he won the first post-lockdown race in April. See the race report and results here.
International racing round-up
Overseas, the race action has been dizzying with so many races going on.
Lizzie Deignan wrote her name into the history books as she secured the first win at the Women’s Tour de Suisse. The Trek-Segafredo rider took second on the first stage and 11th in the second to claim the overall GC by just one-second over close rival – and stage one winner – Elise Chabbey.
There’s also been major successes for the men too, with two UCI road victories since the last Communiqué. First, Simon Yates (Team BikeExchange) took victory on stage 19 of the Giro. Yates the sealed third overall in the race, with Hugh Carthy (EF Education-Nippo) finishing 8th.
In France, Geraint Thomas (Ineos Grenadiers) triumphed in the fifth stage of the Criterium du Dauphiné as he ramps up his Tour de France preparations. A stage later, teammate Tao Geoghegan Hart took second just behind stage-winner Alejandro Valverde. Both riders were in the top ten on GC, with Thomas in third and Geoghegan Hart in 10th.
Mark Cavendish (Deceuninck-QuickStep) took his 5th win of 2021 on stage 5 of the Belgium Tour to continue his resurgent season. Could he now go to the Tour?
Brits have also been clocking up cracking results in the under-23 version of Giro, a race we have been covering closely. On stage four, Trinity Racing pair Ben Healy and Ben Turner took second and third, with the latter propelling himself into the Maglia Rosa for a stage. Healy then took third on the fifth stage – just ahead of Tom Gloag. Turner also took a sixth on the opening test, and seventh on the second. Irishman Healy then went even better on the final stage, as he stormed to a solo victory – 38 seconds ahead of Jacopo Menegetto.
In the final GC, or 19-year-old race diarist Tom Gloag was consistently one of the best climbers in the race and finished fourth overall, Ben Healy jumped to 12th after his stage 10 success, while our other race diarist Harrison Wood (SEG Racing Academy) finished inside the top 20 in 19th. Check out our podcast for daily rider diaries from the race.
At the Tour of Slovenia (2.Pro) both Canyon dhb SunGod and Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling performed well. Canyon dhb had two riders – Bostock and Christensen – in the top ten on stage 1, while Ribble Weldtite’s James Shaw put in a mightily impressive display on stage 2, finishing in 6th – the highest-placed Continental rider – in a select chasing group behind stage winner Pogačar. He continued his impressive form with sixth on stage three and fifth on stage four, and then fifth in the general classification. If a pro doesn’t now sign Shaw for 2022 we’ll eat one of our logo tees. Matt Gibson rounded off Ribble Weldtite’s excellent adventure with 7th on stage 5.
Before Slovenia, Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling took on the two-stage Tour of Estonia (2.1). The team were active throughout the race as Matt Gibson finished 10th on stage 1 and 12th overall.
Yet more wins went the way of Rayner Foundation-supported rider Tobias Perry, who won both stage 1 and the general classification at the Vuelta a Alicante. The following week, he then took the top spot on the second stage of the Challenge B-Guara. Perry now has five wins to his name this season.
There was also a victory for Claire Steels (Sopela Women’s Team) at Estella-Lizarra, with Lizzie Holden finishing fifth.
And Louis Sutton took fifth overall at the Volta a Castelló.