Previews The B-side

2022 Capenwray Road Race: preview and startlist

Startlist, route, contenders and timings for the Capenwray road race, 27 March, the first round of the Proper Northern Road Race Series

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

With the first women’s National B road race taking place last weekend – The Peaks 2 Day – it now feels like we are properly underway with the road racing season here in the UK. This weekend (26-27 March) there will be five National B road races, including the Coalville Wheelers Men’s Road Race, the men’s Bynea Cycling Club Early Season Road Race, the women’s Twickenham CC Dave Peck Memorial British Cup Race and the Capenwray Road Race, which incorporates both a men’s and women’s race. This preview focuses on the latter.

What is it?

The Capenwary Road Race is a ‘National B‘ road race promoted by Cold Dark North. Held to the northeast of Lancaster, not far from the course of the Lancaster Grand Prix, the race is known for its punishing uphill finish atop a climb the organisers optimistically dub ‘Sunny Bank’.

The long-running race is held in high esteem by domestic riders and it has a star-studded list of previous winners, including Lizzie Armitstead, Joanna Rowsell, Danni King, Sarah Storey, Lizzy Banks, Ian Bibby and Joss Lowden. Last year’s winners were Ross Lamb (then of SwiftCarbon Pro Cycling, now at Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling) and Lucy Ellmore (then of the SKODA DSI Cycling Academy, now at Pro-Noctis – Rotor – Redchilli Bikes presented by Heidi Kjeldsen).

This year, the race forms the first round of Cold Dark North’s new Proper Northern Road Race Series

Ross Lamb wins the men’s 2021 Capenwray Road Race. Photo: Ellen Isherwood

The Proper Northern Road Race Series: how it works

The Series consists of three races, all with summit or hilltop finishes.

127 MarCapernwray Road Race
215 MayAughton Road Race Round
310 JulOakenclough Road Race

The Series will include both an individual competition and a team competition.

In the individual competition, the first 20 riders across the line in each race score points. From 1st place through to 20th the points scale is the same used by British Cycling for National road road races: 60, 52, 45, 40, 35, 31, 27, 23, 20, 17, 15, 13, 11, 9, 7, 6, 5, 3, 2, 1. The rider who accumulates the most points across the three races wins the competition.

For the team competition, each individual finisher earns points for their team based on the UCI points scale used for the Tour de France GC, which assigns points from 1st place down to 60th. The points earned by the top three finishers of each team are added up to determine the team rankings for each race. Teams earn points based on their ranking within each race based using the same British Cycling points scheme as for the individuals (i.e. best-placed team gets 60 points, and so on). The final ranking of teams will be on the basis of the total points earned across the three rounds


A 12.7 kilometre anti-clockwise circuit that finishes on top of Sunny Bank, with 195 metres of ascent per lap. The men take on 8 laps of the circuit, the women tackle 6.

The circuit descends for the first four kilometres, meaning the riders will be flying as they reach Arkholme. But this should not lull riders into a false sense of security. There are three hills on the circuit and the first comes shortly after that descent finishes. Riders turn left at Arkholme into the Bay Horse Inn climb. It is only 600 metres long with an average gradient of 5% but it’s enough to make tired legs scream in the closing laps if the racing is hard enough.

The second climb, Docker Park, begins six and a half kilometres into the circuit and is similar in both gradient and length.

After a short fast descent, the terrain is then fairly flat for about three and a half kilometres.

Cold Dark North told us that they like to finish all of their races on a climb – ‘stabby bastard hills’ as they affectionately refer to them – and this course is no different. Indeed, the circuit saves the toughest to last, finishing with the 1.3-kilometre climb of Sunny Bank (known as Borwick Hill on Strava). The average gradient is 7.1% but it’s an uneven affair, pitching up to as much as 15.4% at around the halfway point, then flattens somewhat before a final steep rise that begins about 300 metres to go.

Cycling Sheffield’s Adam Mitchell currently holds the KOM on Strava for the climb, while Lucy Ellmore (Pro-Noctis – Rotor – Redchilli Bikes presented by Heidi Kjeldsen) is the segment’s QOM. The climb takes around three minutes at full effort, give or take 15-20 seconds, and the first rider up this leg-sapper on the last lap will be crowned the winner.


Men’s race

The men’s race features a strong UCI Continental contingent, with Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling arguably fielding the strongest line-up. The team’s five-man squad includes three potential winners, all of whom are in good form: Zeb Kyffin, winner of stage 2 of the Peaks 2 Day last weekend, Alex Peters, who finished third overall in the same race, and ERC Gifford Road Race winner Finn Crockett.

Zeb Kyffin (Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling) wins stage 2 of The Peaks 2 Day. Photo: Full Beans Ahead

WiV SunGod also field three strong riders. Our pick of them is last year’s Lancaster Grand Prix winner Josh Whitehead, who was second overall in The Peaks 2 Day last weekend. His teammate Damien Clayton is a contender too. The third of the team’s riders, Matt Bostock, might find the going too steep.

Saint Piran’s Leon Mazzone is another UCI Continental contender. He lines up with teammate Gabz Cullaigh. Like Bostock, Cullaigh might find this course too steep to win, but having said this about both of them, they’ll no doubt prove us wrong now!

Elsewhere, look out for Joe Wilson (Dolan Ellesse RT) and Jude Taylor (Team PB Performance), who were both in excellent shape at The Peaks 2 Day. MTB specialist Cameron Orr (Team Inspired) could be one to watch too.

Women’s race

In the women’s race, Lucy Ellmore (Pro-Noctis – Rotor – Redchilli Bikes presented by Heidi Kjeldsen) is back to defend her crown. She was fourth overall at The Peaks 2 Day so is clearly in fine fettle. She is backed by a strong team including Jo Tindlay, Corrine Side and Amy Gornall.

Her two nearest contenders might be two of her foes from last week’s Peaks race: The Peaks 2 Day winner Becky Storrie (CAMS-Basso) and Oliva Bentley (Torelli-Cayman-Islands-Scimitar), who finished sixth overall in the same race. Storrie in particular looked unstoppable last weekend and she will be the one to beat here.

Three others who performed well last weekend in the Peaks were Bentley’s teammate Holly Breck, and the Team Boompods duo of Amy Graham and Ellen McDermott.

Connie Hayes (AWOL- O’Shea) is on the startlist and would have been one of our picks but she has been hampered by injury, so is unlikely to contend (or perhaps even start).

Lucy Ellmore wins the women’s 2021 Capenwray Road Race. Photo: Ellen Isherwood

Provisional startlist

Men’s race

#First nameSurnameTeam/Club
5ChristopherHumphriesBioracer UK RT
6JacobGilkesBridgnorth Cycling Club
7IsaacLawrenceBrother UK-Orientation marketing
8MatthewFoxWheelbase CabTech Castelli
9JackCrookDolan Ellesse Race Team
10DeclanHudsonDolan Ellesse Race Team
11ConorMcKinnonDolan Ellesse Race Team
12MatthewTaylorDolan Ellesse Race Team
13JoeWilsonDolan Ellesse Race Team
14JamieFletcherEllan Vannin Cycling Club
15RichardBickleyGiant Kendal-Sidas Uk
16ChristopherBoothGiant Kendal-Sidas Uk
17JoeBoothroydGiant Kendal-Sidas Uk
18RichardButlerGiant Kendal-Sidas Uk
19NathanSmithHope Factory Racing
20BenIddonIdentity Racing
21HarryPaveleyIdentity Racing
22GeorgeRadcliffeIdentity Racing
26ThomasStringerMoonglu CC
27HarryJordanOtley CC
28TobyTanfieldRetelec-Alca-Team Cycling Galicia
29FinnCrockettRibble Weldtite Pro Cycling
30CameronJeffersRibble Weldtite Pro Cycling
31ZebKyffinRibble Weldtite Pro Cycling
32AlexPetersRibble Weldtite Pro Cycling
33ThomasTimothyRibble Weldtite Pro Cycling
34StevenParsonageRichardsons Trek DAS
37GabrielCullaighSaint Piran
38LeonMazzoneSaint Piran
39BjoernKoerdtShibden Cycling Club
40JoshHousleySpirit BSS
41WilliamDykesSpokes Racing Team
42CallumThornleySpokes Racing Team
43AlistairThomasSRCT MUC-OFF
44MatthewWarhurstSRCT MUC-OFF
45JosephBowersTactic Sport UK Race Team
46JonathanFowlesTactic Sport UK Race Team
47DavidPriceTactic Sport UK Race Team
48LucasRowleyTactic Sport UK Race Team
49MartinWatsonTactic Sport UK Race Team
50FrancisWoodcockTeam Farto – BTC (Mens)
51CameronOrrTeam Inspired
52JudeTaylorTeam PB Performance
53BenFlanaganThe Cycling Academy
54AngusJoshiThe Cycling Academy
55ElijahKwonThe Cycling Academy
56CiaranMcSherryThe Cycling Academy
57LoganMacleanWheelbase CabTech Castelli
58MatthewBostockWiV Sungod
59DamienClaytonWiV Sungod
60JoshWhiteheadWiV Sungod

Women’s road race

#First nameSurnameTeam/Club
1LucyEllmorePro-Noctis – Rotor – Redchilli Bikes presented by Heidi Kjeldsen
2AmyGornallPro-Noctis – Rotor – Redchilli Bikes presented by Heidi Kjeldsen
3CorinneSidePro-Noctis – Rotor – Redchilli Bikes presented by Heidi Kjeldsen
4JoTindleyPro-Noctis – Rotor – Redchilli Bikes presented by Heidi Kjeldsen
5SophieEneverAlba Development Road Team
6BethMaciverAlba Development Road Team
7ErinMurphyAlba Development Road Team
8EmmaSmithAlba Development Road Team
9VictoriaSmithAlba Development Road Team
10EllaColemanAWOL- O’Shea
11ConnieHayesAWOL- O’Shea
12CharlotteGibsonAWOL Worx Galliard
13LolaEllisBackstedt Bike Performance JRT
14DaisyBarnesBrother UK-Orientation marketing
15JessieCarridgeBrother UK-Orientation marketing
17MeganAndersonClifton CC
18LauraCheesmanEvans Cycles Race Team
19GraceRudkinInnovation Racing
20KarolinaChudzikiewiczJadan – Vive le Velo
21BethHarley-JepsonJadan – Vive le Velo
22LouiseScuphamJadan – Vive le Velo
23HelenJacksonKendal Cycle Club
25MonicaGreenwoodMacclesfield Wheelers
34HannahBayesSaint Piran WRT
35RachelGallerSaint Piran WRT
36GwennoHughesSaint Piran WRT
37GemmaSargentSaint Piran WRT
38ChristinaWiejakSaint Piran WRT
39KingaIngramStorey Racing
40AmyGrahamTeam Boompods
41LouiseHartTeam Boompods
42EllenMcDermottTeam Boompods
43LaurenWatsonTeam Boompods
44MaryWilkinsonTeam Boompods
45AnnaWeaverTeam Kirkley Cycles
46HeatherMayerTeam LDN – Brother UK
47KerryMiddletonTeam LDN – Brother UK
48SammieStuartTeam LDN – Brother UK
49OliviaBentleyTorelli-Cayman Islands-Scimitar
50HollyBreckTorelli-Cayman Islands-Scimitar
51HarrietGilsonWigan Wheelers CC


9.30Men’s road race
13.30Women’s road race


The weather should be relatively mild and dry with little wind. Fine conditions for riding or spectating.

Featured photo: Ellen Isherwood