The 2023 Severn Valley Grand Prix road race (Nat B) for men takes place this Saturday, 23 September, England’s final national road race of the season.
Here is our preview.
Featured image: Craig Zadoroznyj/SWpix.com. Joe Brookes at the 2023 Beaumont Trophy
What is it?
A historic National B road race organised by the West Midlands RR Work Group with the support of Wolverhampton Wheelers and Paramount CRT. This year the race incorporates the men’s West Midlands Road Race Championships as well as the men’s junior trophy.
The race concludes the National B road racing season in England, and is the penultimate men’s national road race in the UK in 2023 (the last being the rearranged Drummond Trophy in Scotland on 8th October).
The race has a tremendous heritage. The first edition was run as far back as 1947. The image below is a copy of the race programme from the second edition in 1948, when it started and finished in Tettenhall, just outside Wolverhampton.
This year the race takes place further west than its 1948 predecessor, on the popular Leighton circuit near Telford. It has a shortened race length of 103km to allow the West Midlands Junior Shield to be awarded.
The race takes in 6 laps of the 15.6km circuit, which starts and finishes just outside Upper Longwood. There are no significant climbs, and each lap features just 116m of elevation.
Riders to watch
The startlist is small but there are nonetheless some strong contenders.
2021 West Midlands champion and 2023 Rás stage winner Conor McGoldrick of Richardsons Trek DAS is an obvious pick for the win. His new teammate Josh Whitehead has been plagued with terrible luck this season after both the UCI teams he was riding for – first AT85 Pro Cycling, then Cross Team Legendre – folded. He seems determined to make the most of the last few UK race days though, which a win at The Verco Victor Berlemont Trophy Road Race attests to.
Local favourite Joe Brookes (Halesowen A & CC) has been one of the breakthrough riders of the season. Brookes won an Elite National race in France earlier this – a big deal – and was 8th in the Beaumont Trophy last weekend. Impressive for a young rider still part of his club academy team.
Track and time trial specialist John Archibald (HUUB WattShop) adds some star quality to the field, while his teammate Jacob Tipper is a former UCI road race winner who has more recently focused on triathlon; this is his first national road race of the year.