Explainers Features

Under-23 Men’s National Road Series: an explainer

A guide to the inaugural Under-23 Men's National Road Series

Updated, 19 May. See ’What are the races’, below.

The inaugural Under-23 Men’s National Road Series began with the Yorkshire Under-23 Classic on Sunday 17 April. This explainer tells you what the Series is, how it works, what races it consists of and why it’s important.

Featured photo: James Little

What is the Under-23 Men’s National Road Series?

Last season’s National Road Series helped showcase the talents of a number of hitherto relatively unknown male under-23 talents. Josh Whitehead took a surprise win at the Lancaster Grand Prix, while Finn Crockett and Issac Peatfield finished third and fourth in the series overall respectively. Their emergence underlined the wealth of under-23 talent there is in Britain.

Domestically, however, there have been relatively few opportunities for young riders to prove themselves in recent years, with many riders choosing to race abroad to further their careers.

The Under-23 Men’s National Road Series aims to change that. A pilot five-round road racing series for male under-23 riders, it has been developed in collaboration with the British Cycling Road Commission and regional teams. The calendar has been designed to ensure a good geographical spread and avoid clashes with National Road Series races and other key events. As we highlighted when British Cycling announced the Series, there is a lot to like about it, despite there not yet being a directly equivalent Series for women.

It has been developed as part of the governing body’s wider aim, as set out in its 2021 long-term plan for road racing, to provide full and high-quality calendars for riders of all ages, and improve the retention and progression opportunities for those in the youth, junior and under-23 age categories. This is something that William Fotheringham’s proposed on this site in his piece on reforming the domestic road racing scene.

2021 Junior Tour of Yorkshire – Men’s Road Race (Stage 2), Harrogate, England. Will Palmer/SWpix.com

What are the races?

The Series began with the Yorkshire Under-23 Classic on Sunday 17 April. Two of the races in the Series were postponed – the Future Tour of Wales stage race and the Central Under-23 Classic, meaning the remaining four rounds of the Series all fall in the second half of the year.

The Future Tour of Wales, an under-23 version of the cherished Junior Tour of Wales, will now run from 8 July to 10 July. The third round of the series will be the Worcester Classic on Sunday 31 July, before the Stars of the South West RR on Sunday 28 August. The Central Under-23 Classic concludes the series on 25 September.

All rounds will be designated as National B road races. Four of the five rounds are brand new races; we understand that the Central region race is the only existing race and will be reclassified/upgraded to National B level.

Each single-day race has to be a minimum of 100km and a maximum of 150km. For multi-stage races, the average maximum daily distance is 120km (e.g. for split days), with ITTs capped at 30km and TTTs 40kms.

We’ll bring you more details on the routes in in-depth previews of each race as the season progresses.

1Yorkshire Under-23 Classic17 Apr
2Future Tour of Wales8 Jul – 10 Jul
3Worcester Classic31 Jul
4Stars of the South West RR28 Aug
5Central Under-23 Classic25 Sep

How it works


The Series focus is on individuals and not teams, so unlike the National Road Series, there is no team classification, only an individual classification.

Points will be awarded for the first 20 places in each single day road race and the overall classification in the Future Tour of Wales:

30, 28, 26, 24, 22, 20, 18, 16, 14, 12, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1

Unlike the National Road Series, placings in individual stages won’t score riders any points.

The overall winner of the Series will be the rider who gains the highest total number of points across the Series with their best 4 out of 5 rounds to count. In the event of a tie, the winner will be decided based on countback of the number of 1st places, the number of 2nd places, etc.


U23 Men’s Road Series events are open to Elite, 1st, 2nd and 3rd Category U23 male riders holding a British Cycling Full Racing Licence. 4th Category U23 riders are not eligible to compete in the U23 Men’s National Series.

Foreign nationals aged U23 holding recognised UCI competition licences may also participate in events within the U23 Men’s Road Series and take any series points and prizes earned but will not qualify for any overall awards.

Maximum team representation will be limited to 6 riders per team and team substitutions strictly prohibited – any rider withdrawing or failing to start may not be replaced by another rider from the same team

Read more

The full set of regulations for the Series can be found here.