The second Under-23 Men’s National Road Series begins with the PB Performance Espoirs Road Race on Sunday 16 April, organised by Team PB Performance. This explainer tells you what the Series is and how it all works.
Featured photo: Joe Cotterill
What is the Under-23 Men’s National Road Series?
British Cycling organised the first Under-23 Men’s National Road Series last season. Billed as a pilot five-round road racing series for male under-23 riders, it was developed in collaboration with the British Cycling Road Commission and regional teams. The calendar was been designed to ensure a good geographical spread and avoid clashes with National Road Series races and other key events.
When the Series was announced last year, British Cycling said it had been developed as part of its wider aim, 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.
Unfortunately, race cancellations reduced the Series – if you could still call it that – from a five-round programme featuring four one-day races and one stage race in Wales to just two rounds.
Wales Racing Academy’s Ed Morgan claimed the inaugural Series crown in inauspicious circumstances. Leading after the second round, and with just one round of an already-shortened Series remaining, he became the default Series winner when the final round was cancelled at short notice.
Thankfully, despite the underwhelming pilot, British Cycling has brought the Series back in 2023.
What are the races?
British Cycling once again announced a five-round Series this season, albeit with five one-day races this time around – no stage race. However, at the time of writing, we understand that round 3 will now no longer go ahead after plans for the original race not progressing and British Cycling being unable to find a suitable replacement.
|16 Apr||1||East Midlands||PB Performance Espoirs Road Race|
|7 May||2||Yorkshire||Yorkshire Under-23 Classic|
|9 Jul||4||Wales||JToW U23 Men’s GP|
|27 Aug||5||South West||Stars of the South West|
As it stands, therefore, the Series will begin with a new race, the PB Performance Espoirs Road Race, organised by Team PB Performance, on Sunday 16 April.
Round 2 will see the return of the Yorkshire Under-23 Classic – host of round 1 in the Series last year – on 7 May. There is a brand new race, the JToW U23 Men’s GP, for round 3 on 9 July, while the race concludes with the Stars of the South West, the race which tail-ended the curtailed first Series.
All rounds will be designated as National B road races. Each race has to be a minimum of 100km and a maximum of 150km.
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 race:
30, 28, 26, 24, 22, 20, 18, 16, 14, 12, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1
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.
The full set of regulations for the Series can be found here.