With the national road race jersies already allocated, tonight will see the crowning of the 2011 National Circuit Champion in Beverley, East Yorkshire.
This evening’s race takes place over a 1.25km circuit thorough Beverley town centre, and will last one hour ten minutes plus five laps.
This season’s criterium racing has seen Rapha-Condor-Sharp dominant in both the Tour Series and the National Circuit Series. They wrapped up the first five of the Tour Series events, and they have won all four of the first National Circuit Series races so far.
Rapha wary of rivals, says Ed Clancy
Rapha-Condor-Sharp may have had the better of their rivals so far this year, but that won’t cause them to approach this evening’s contest with any complacenty according to Ed Clancy.
Any one of twenty contenders can win this year’s National Circuit Championships, the defending champion has told Cycling Weekly.
Clancy singled out Ian Bibby (Motorpoint), Johnny McEvoy (Motorpoint), Scott Thwaites (Endura) and Ian Wilkinson (Endura) as the danger-men in the event as far as he and Rapha-Condor-Sharp are concerned.
“I’d say those are the main contenders,” he told CW. “You can never count out Rob Hayles, either – if he’s got over his recent illness.”
“The majority of the crit season has gone really well for us [Rapha-Condor-Sharp],” he continued. “But there have been times when we haven’t been completely dominant too…We’ve been better most of the time, but we’re not going to be swanning around tonight.”
Clancy says he would love to defend his jersey but it’ll have to come down to a bunch sprint for him to have a chance. “I think I’ll probably hang back in the bunch and gamble for a sprint. Any of James McCallum, Andy Tennant or Dean Downing will look to get in the break.”
“I think it could be one for them,” he added. “It’s a moderately technical circuit. I could see a break going in the last few laps and staying away.”
Ed Clancy is the defending champion, winning last year’s event in a bunch sprint. It was a dramatic race, with a crash in the breakaway bringing down the race leaders on the last lap, and allowing the peloton to catch them with metres to go.
National Criterium Championships 2011: The Route
Teams to be represented
EnduraEndura/Pedalpower Development Team
Star Bikes RT
Team Corley Cycles/Cervelo/Alpha
Team Raleigh Team UK Youth
Wilsons Wheels Race Team
National Criterium Championships 2010
Ed Clancy takes national criterium title