Event: July 21, 2013
Location: York Minster, York City Center
Premiere: Eddie Allen
The British National Cycling Circuit Race Championships take place on Sunday July 21 in York city center as the 2013 Tour de France draws to a close; the event is a symbolic handover to the historic city, which hosts the Grand Départ of the Tour de France 2014.
Above: Lucy Garner was the big winner in 2012 and few would bet against a repeat at York.
Defending champion Lucy Garner is perhaps the name that stands out on the women’s starting roster. Garner’s world junior road titles were won with her devastating sprint and few would bet against the Argos-Shimano rider if she comes in contact in the final denouement.
Garner is the sole Argos Shimano representative, so a lack of team support could work in favor of other contenders, such as MG-Maxifuel Pro Cycling’s Hannah Barnes.
If current domestic form is a decent yardstick, then Hannah Barnes must be Garner’s main title challenger. The MG-Maxifuel Pro Cycling rider has steamrolled in the Johnson Health Tech Series and is flying high in the ongoing British Cycling Women’s National Road Series. Street circuits are Barnes’ natural habitat and Garner will need to be at her world best to keep the 20-year-old from Towcester behind her.
Behind Garner and Barnes is a gaggle of riders capable of shaking up the podium. Amy Roberts is the sole representative of the mighty Wiggle Honda team, but she proved herself this season by winning the two-day CDNW Surf ‘n’ Turf race in June.
Scott Contessa Epic’s Beth Hayward and Emily Kay will be women to watch; Hayward, winner of the last round of the Women’s National Road Series (Essex Giro 2-Day) while Emily Kay has been a feared road and track sprinter since her youth.
Above: Scott Thwaites roars in celebration of winning the 2012 Tour title. Thwaites will not defend his title this year, leaving the door open for a new champion in York.
Defending men’s champion Scott Thwaites is absent from the starting roster this year, leaving the door open for a new champion. Olympian Ed Clancy is a notable inclusion on the starting roster, backed by a strong Rapha Condor JLT team. Clancy won Colne’s round of the British Cycling Elite Circuit Series with a killer final sprint and was circuit racing champion in 2010.
Team Raleigh’s Graham Briggs won the title in 2011 and despite a slow start to his circuit racing season, is starting to show signs of his street racing form in 2012. Briggs’ Team Raleigh was in charge in Colne to the final meters and will aim to deliver Briggs to the podium in York.
2008 champion Dean Downing will have fresh legs for the showdown in York. The Madison Genesis rider skipped the Beverley round of the Elite Circuit Series to prepare for Sunday and could be aiming for a second circuit championship title.
Current Elite Circuit Series leader George Atkins is another solid bet. The 100% ME rider will be supported by fellow British Cycling Olympic Academy program riders Joe Kelly and Chris Latham. Atkins took the solo victory in the second round of the series at Stockton-on-Tees and scored well in the other rounds, so he will be a marked man in York.
The UK Youth team started their 2013 street racing campaign strong, winning the Tour Series by a nice margin. The team hasn’t fired on all cylinders in the Elite Circuit series so far, but with riders like Ian Wilkinson and Tobyn Horton amidst a strong roster, Britain’s young men will be on a leash.
The race begins and ends in the shadow of York Minister with the women’s event starting at 4.30pm, while the men’s event begins at 6.15pm. Reports and feedback will appear here on the British Cycling website.