Round 2 of the British Cycling National Trophy moves west this weekend to Abergavenny. The venue which was last featured in the series some 3 years ago makes a welcome return to the Cyclo-cross scene and always delivers a testing course.
Yorben Van Tichelt will be looking to add to his win in the opening round at Derby, the Marlux-Napolean Games rider just had the legs to move away from Ian Field(Hargroves-Ridley) on the last lap after the pair had dominated on the fast course at the Moorways Centre.
Field’s team mate Nick Barnes, who took the Under 23s series last season will be looking to climb onto the podium on Sunday after finishing a handful of seconds behind third place Angelo De Clerq. Billy Harding(Oldfield/Paul Milnes) rode brilliantly to take fifth overall and first U-23 should be a strong contender for another high placing.
Liam Kileen(Malvern Cycle Sport) makes his debut in the current series, the 2016 National Champion didn’t take the start line at Derby but should be in the running for a podium place.
Hannah Payton(Kenesis UK) will be looking to make it two from two in Wales. Payton, who won the series last season, was part of a trio at Derby, including Annie Simpson(Hope Factory) and Beth Crumpton(BOBC) who took the race from the gun and weren’t troubled by the chasers. Crumpton losing touch on the penultimate lap will be looking to make amends but with Evie Richards(100% ME) making her debut in the series, the top three may look slightly different to the opening round.
This coming Sunday(9th) sees the opening round of the British Cycling National Trophy Cyclo-cross Series at Derby. The 5 round series which also takes in Abergavenny, Hetton, Ipswich and Shrewsbury promises to be another hotly fought battle in all categories and with the popularity in the sport growing over the last few seasons, the series could prove to be the most popular in the UK cycling calendar.
Ian Field(Hargroves Cycles-Ridley) dominated the elites last season, taking wins in 5 counting rounds to secure the title but losing out to Malvern’s Liam Killeen in the fight for the National Champions jersey. The pair take to the start at Derby along with last years runner up Dave Fletcher(Sherwood Pines-Felt-Enve) and Hope Factory’s Paul Oldham who took third in the series. Oldham beginning his season with another win at the 3 Peaks a few weeks ago. Oldham’s team mate Jack Clarkson should feature at the sharp end of the race, Clarkson taking 3rd in the National Champions earlier in the year has proved he can mix it with the more experienced riders. Nick Barnes(Hargroves Cycles-Ridley) could place high in the race, moving up from taking the Under 23s title, again Barnes is more then capable of competing at the head of the race but.. with the Belgium rider Jan Denuwelaere(Mathieu-Kona) and Angelo De Clercq(Marlux-Nepolean) lining up on the front row, the latter finishing 2nd to Field at Derby last season, the visitors could be the thorn in the side for the British riders.
Hannah Payton(Kenesis UK) heads the elite womens line up as favourite to retain her 2015-16 title, Payton is currently leading the WMCCL and arguably hasn’t been troubled in that league. Payton took the win from Amira Mellor at last years round at Derby, Mellor doesn’t take to the start line on Sunday. Beth Crumpton(BOBC) who was runner up to Payton last year should be up with the front runners as should Diane Lee(Cannonade Girls) who finished just behind Crumpton. Annie Simpson(Hope Factory) could be a quiet favourite for a top spot if the course doesn’t become a run, Simpson is no stranger to a podium and after a summer on the roads with Drops RT could have the fitness to get the arms in the air. With Delia Beddis(Les Filles RT), Ffyon James(Abergavenny RC) and Charlotte Broughton(Team Ford Ecoboost) all taking to the start line, the womens race could prove to be a close call.
The junior race could be the closest of the day. Tom Pidcock(Oldfield/Paul Milnes) will be looking to retain his title from the previous year but with the current National Champion and last season’s runner up Mark Donovan(Wheelbase Altura) taking to the start the win won’t be a forgone conclusion. Ben Turner(HMT with JLT Condor) will be looking for another podium, Turner finished 2nd to Pidcock at the venue last season and with Calum Fernie(Nottingham Clarion), Harry Yates(Hargroves Cycles-Ridley) and Cameron Orr(SF Racing) all capable of finishing atop the podium it will be anyones guess who will roll across the line first.
Eight medallists from the Rio Olympics headline the start list for the 2016 Tour of Britain, which gets underway from George Square in Glasgow on Sunday (4 September).
A trio of Gold medallists in Sir Bradley Wiggins, Owain Doull and Elia Viviani headline the 126-rider list for the eight day race that will finish in central London on Sunday 11 September.
30-time Tour de France stage winner Mark Cavendish is one of five Silver medallists, alongside Tom Dumoulin and Australian team pursuit trio Jack Bobridge, Alex Edmondson and Michael Hepburn.
"It is fantastic to be able to welcome eight medallists from the Rio Olympics to the Tour of Britain, less than three weeks since British fans will have watched their successes on television,” said Race Director Mick Bennett, himself a double Olympic Games Bronze medallist in the Team Pursuit (1972 & 1976).
"The field for this year's Tour of Britain is without parallel, with star quality wherever you look among the teams. Fans at the roadside and watching around the world on television can expect to see some great racing in front of a backdrop of stunning British scenery. Such is the quality of the field it is hard to pick a likely winner, but tough stages in Wales and the Westcountry, including the Haytor summit finish and individual time trial in Bristol will be key to winning the Yellow Jersey presented by Eisberg.”
The rider list also includes six current national road race champions, led by British Champion Adam Blythe who will ride for the Great Britain team, and six national time trial champions, which includes a pair of former UCI World Hour Record holders Alex Dowsett and Rohan Dennis and three-time World Time Trial Champion Tony Martin.
Alongside Wiggins, Dylan Van Baarle is one of two former Tour of Britain winners in the field, while past British Road Race Champions Kristian House and Russell Downing ride for the ONE Pro Cycling and JLT Condor presented by Mavic teams respectively.
Likely to be contesting the sprints alongside Cavendish and Viviani, who are both multiple Tour of Britain stage winners, are Tour de France sprint ace Andre Greipel, double Giro d'Italia Points Jersey winner Giacomo Nizzolo, Dutch national champion Dylan Groenewegen and Australian rising star Caleb Ewan.
The 2016 Tour of Britain route features some of the toughest climbs used in the UK's national Tour, including The Struggle in the Lake District (Stage Two), Cheshire's Cat & Fiddle (Stage Three) and the Haytor summit finish in Devon (Stage Six). Among the riders looking to contest the SKODA King of the Mountains jersey at these points will be Liege-Bastogne-Liege winners Wout Poels of Team Sky and Etixx Quick-Step's Tour de France top 10 finisher and Classics rider Dan Martin.
Tour de France top 10 finisher Dan Martin will lead Etixx Quick-Step as the UCI WorldTour team complete the 21 team line-up for the Tour of Britain, which gets underway in Glasgow on Sunday (4 September).
Martin, a stage winner at both Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana and Volta a Catalunya this year will headline the Etixx – Quick-Step line-up for Britain's biggest professional cycle race, which he'll ride for the first time since 2013, when he finished 13th in the overall standings.
Etixx Quick-Step hold the record for the most stage wins in the Tour of Britain (18 victories) and have won three stages in each of the past two editions of the Tour of Britain. With a very strong six-rider line-up the team look set to add to their success in the race.
Joining Dan Martin will be three-time World Time Trial Champion Tony Martin, Tour de Suisse stage winner Maximiliano Richeze, Lukasz Wisniowski and stagiare Adrien Costa.
Also riding is Belgian Julien Vermote, who won Stage Seven to Brighton in his last appearance in the Tour of Britain in 2014.
30-year-old Irishman Dan Martin talked of his preparation and the expectations he has for the Tour of Britain: "Doing the Tour de France and the Olympic Games was very tiring, physically and mentally. After the road race, I stayed in Rio to recover and follow my girlfriend, who was competing at the Olympics. It was nice, I cleaned up my mind and once I returned home I started building up for the last part of the season. Even though I don't know what to expect from this race, I am keen on honouring it with a win, especially as in the past I came close to a victory, but missed out on one. The team is strong, so let's see what we're going to do.”
Tour of Britain Press Release
Olympic Gold medallist Elia Viviani is the latest high-profile rider to be confirmed for this year's Tour of Britain, which gets under on Sunday (4 September) from George Square in Glasgow.
The Italian Team Sky rider will be joined on the Tour of Britain start line by another Rio medallist, Jack Bobridge of Trek Segafredo, who won Silver in the Team Pursuit for Austalia. The duo take the number of 2016 Olympic medallists confirmed for the Tour of Britain to six, alongside Gold medallists Sir Bradley Wiggins and Owain Doull, and Silver medallists Mark Cavendish and Tom Dumoulin.
Viviani will lead Team Sky, who also include this year's Liege-Bastogne-Liege winner Wout Poels and British duo Ian Stannard and Ben Swift, plus current Irish Road Race and Time Trial Champion Nicolas Roche.
Another National Champion riding in the Tour of Britain will be Dutch Road Race Champion Dylan Groenewegen, who already has one victory on British roads in 2016 having taken the opening stage of the Tour de Yorkshire in April.
Also confirmed were the line-ups for three of the British teams in the Tour of Britain – JLT Condor presented by Mavic, Madison Genesis and NFTO.
JLT Condor are led by former British Champion Russell Downing, NFTO include Ian Bibby, winner of the Manx, Wiltshire and Rydale Grand Prix in 2016 and Madison Genesis are led by Tom Stewart, victor in two of the biggest single day races in the UK, the Lincoln GP and Velothon Wales.
In addition to the line-up of Olympic medallists confirmed for the Tour of Britain, Tour de France stage winners this Summer Andre Greipel and Steve Cummings are also on the provisional rider list, along with a pair of former UCI World Hour Record holders Alex Dowsett and Rohan Dennis.