Previews The B-side

49th Severn Bridge – BW Cycling Road Race: race preview

Mini-preview and provisional startlist for the 2021 Severn Bridge Road Race

The B-side: a closer look at National B road racing

For the women’s domestic peloton this weekend it’s all about the Women’s CiCLE Classic. The men might have a longer wait (15 August) for the National Road Series to begin, but they get no less than three National B road races this weekend, each with strong fields. 

This is the second of our previews of the weekend’s races, focusing on the Severn Bridge Road Race. Read our Crimson Performance Road Race preview here.

Featured photo: Nick Phipps

What is it?

One of the most prestigious National B road races in the UK. It’s a race with a rich history and an impressive list of past winners.

The race dates from the 1960s when it was organised by the late Jack Turner (an eccentric cycling genius). Crossing the first Severn Bridge it did a large circuit of Monmouthshire, finishing in Henbury. It then switched to a circuit through the Avonmouth docks, which, according to the organisers, took in the joys of “oil refineries and choking fumes of the sulphur works, where if a rider fell into one of the roadside ditches he immediately dissolved.” The race now uses the ‘Olveston circuit’ (see below).

Past winners include Jeremy Hunt (1992), Matt Bottrill (2003), Julian Winn (2004), Marcin Bialoblocki (2009 and 2012), Zak Dempster (2011) and Alex Richardson (2019). Normally positioned early in the season calendar, it was one of the few National B races run last year before lockdown arrived, with George Mills-Keeling – then of Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling, now at AVC Aix-en-Provence – taking the spoils.

The event also features a Regional A race, which starts at 10.30.

Riders to watch

ProTeam rider Alex Richardson (Alpecin-Fenix) is on the provisional startlist. As a former winner of the race, he’ll be one of the favourites again this year [Update: 23 June: Richardson has withdrawn from the race since this was first published].

The race is also set the feature three winners of recent National B races, all riders clearly in good form and capable of winning: George Wood (Cycling Sheffield), winner of the Spokes RT race last weekend, Theo Obholzer (Dolan Ellesse RT), who won the Return to Racing for Big Dogs, and Conor McGoldrick (Primera-TeamJobs), victor at the Holohan Coaching Road Race.

Of the teams fielding a full quota of four riders each, arguably the strongest are UCI Continental team Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling (Dan Bigham, Gruff Lewis, Jacob Tipper and Freddie Schescke) and the GB Senior Academy (Rhys Britton, Jack Rootkin-Gray, Ollie Stockwell and Will Tidball). Saint Piran and SwiftCarbon Pro Cycling are two of the other domestic UCI Continental teams represented on the startlist.

The podium riders at the 2019 race: Jacob Vaughan, Alex Richardson and Sam Culverwell. Photo: Bristol Road Club / MADE BY WADE

One of our U23 riders to watch, Sam Culverwell (TRINITY Racing), takes to the start and this race suits him (he was third in 2019). Joe Pidcock (Groupama-FDJ Continental) is another young rider capable of winning. And Damien Clayton (Canyon dhb SunGod) might be without any teammates, but he has shown in the past he can win this type of race without much support.

The route

The race is centred on the village of Olveston, within sight of the Severn Bridge. It takes in 10 laps of a six and a half mile loop, with the testing climb of Old Down Hill a key feature of the circuit.

Timings

Date: Sunday, 27 June 2021

Start 13:30

Finish 16:15 approx

Provisional startlist

First NameLast NameClub / Team Name
JordanHillASFRA Racing Team
JamiesonBlainBIKESTRONG-KTM
SamuelTillettBIKESTRONG-KTM
DaveTurtonBIKESTRONG-KTM
ShaunCookBradford on Avon
ArchieCrossBristol RC
MatthewFranklinBristol RC
AndrewKirbyBristol South CC
JoshuaAveryBrother U.K – Cycle Team OnForm 
ChristopherRothwellBW Cycling
HefinEvansCaffi Gruff
DamienClaytonCanyon DHB Sungod
WilliamHardingCycling Sheffield
GeorgeWoodCycling Sheffield
TheodorObholzerDolan Ellesse Race Team
JoePidcockGROUPAMA – FDJ Continental
EliotWardInflite-Dynamic Rides Race Team
MatthewConnerJam Cycling RT coached by BPC
AdamKenwayMatlock CC
JackFreemanMeudon Pedal Heaven Le Col RT
OliverHucksNopinz Motip Race Team
TomNancarrowNopinz Motip Race Team
JamesPhillipsNopinz Motip Race Team
MattWittsNopinz Motip Race Team
RossFawcettOrwell Velo
GaryFreemanOrwell Velo
LukeBarfootPrimera-TeamJobs
ConorMcGoldrickPrimera-TeamJobs
GeorgeSmithPrimera-TeamJobs
NicholasTyriePrimera-TeamJobs
DanielBighamRibble Weldtite Pro Cycling
GruffuddLewisRibble Weldtite Pro Cycling
FrederikScheskeRibble Weldtite Pro Cycling
JacobTipperRibble Weldtite Pro Cycling
SamuelAskerRichardsons-Trek RT
IwanEvansSaint Piran
RossHollandSaint Piran
OliverMaxwellSaint Piran
CharlieMcfallSaint Piran Development
FrazierCarrSpirit Bontrager BSS Rotor
TomCouzensSpirit Bontrager BSS Rotor
ClayDaviesSpirit Bontrager BSS Rotor
JordanPeacockSpirit Bontrager BSS Rotor
WilliamBjergfeltSwiftCarbon Pro Cycling
AndrewTurnerSwiftCarbon Pro Cycling
MatthewDownieTAAP Cervelo
MatthewLockTAAP Cervelo
SamuelClarkTBW23 Stuart Hall Cycling 
HarryHorsmanTBW23 Stuart Hall Cycling 
TimothyTorrieTBW23 Stuart Hall Cycling 
JosephWestTBW23 Stuart Hall Cycling 
RhysBrittonTeam Inspired
JackRootkin-GrayTeam Inspired
OliverStockwellTeam Inspired
WilliamTidballTeam Inspired
JamesBentleyTeam PB Performance
JamesChapmanTeam PB Performance
SionHarlowTeam PB Performance
JoshWhiteheadTeam PB Performance
OscarHutchingsTeam Tor 2000 Kalas
AlexanderWelburntrainSharp Club
SamCulverwellTRINITY Road Racing
MatthewClementsUnattached 
CallumMcQueenUpShift Nutrition Race Team 
OliverPeckoverUpShift Nutrition Race Team 
KieranSavageVC Corbas Isatis
AledJonesVCEquipe-FlixOralHygiene-Propulse
CharlesAgerVredestein Basso
CameronBiddleVredestein Basso
ThomasGrigsonVredestein Basso
ThomasLowtherVredestein Basso
SamuelBeckettWales Racing Academy
OwainRobertsWales Racing Academy
WilliamRobertsWales Racing Academy
WilliamTrueloveWales Racing Academy
JoshHousleyWillebrord Wil Vooruit
CharlieGennerZappi Racing Team
MatthewKingstonZappi Racing Team
JoeBakerZappi Racing Team