After the excitement of last month’s HSBC UK | National Road Championships on the Isle of Man, riders will take to Sheffield to fight it out for the HSBC UK | National Circuit Championships on Wednesday July 19.
All races will be screened live on Cycling Weekly’s Facebook page and British Cycling’s website. Coverage starts at 6.15pm UK time before the women’s race kicks off proceedings at 6.30pm. Tune in at 8pm to see the men’s race.
Let’s take a look at what to expect from the evening’s racing.
HSBC UK | National Circuit Championships route
In the hunt for the coveted national jersey, riders will take on the 1.4km loop around Sheffield for 50 minutes before a final five laps. The route starts off on Pinestone Street before two left turns, including a sharp bend onto Furnival Gate, see riders pass Sheffield Hallam University.
An intense hairpin will usher riders onto the cobbled section of the course bringing its own bit of Paris-Roubaix into the mix. A 90-degree right turn onto Surrey Street is then followed by a left onto the home straight.
Current champion Chris Lawless (Axeon-Hagens Berman) won’t be in Sheffield to defend his title so we’re guaranteed a new victor – but who can step up to the plate?
JLT Condor will have quiet confidence in Russ Downing. The local, Rotherham-born rider has already won this event three times and he knows these streets like the back of his hand. Plus, having just got married last week, he will be wanting to kick-start his honeymoon with the national stripes.
However, Downing will be lining up against JLT Condor teammate and Olympic champ Ed Clancy, who has also won this event in the past. Clancy will be relishing the friendly rivalry but will hope his vast experience can overcome Downing’s local knowledge of the course.
Fellow local lad and rising star Tom Pidcock will hope to throw his name into the hat also, as he aims to follow up his world junior cyclocross title and Paris-Roubaix junior victory earlier this year.
Harry Tanfield (BIKE Channel Canyon) and Connor Swift (Madison Genesis) both have some strong form going into this race and won’t be making up the numbers. This race looks wide open and it’s tough to pick a winner from a high-quality field.
The favourite in the women’s race, Eileen Roe, will hope to make it three wins in four years, but she faces stiff competition from Olympic champ Katie Archibald.
Archibald has been in great form this year, winning the world champs on the track and finishing on the podium in the HSBC UK | National Road Championships too.
Another eye-catching name is fellow Olympic gold medallist Elinor Barker, who will be racing for Matrix Pro Cycling.
She’ll want to rectify missing out on a top three finish at the road championships last month, but with her talent the race will be better with her in it.
Head over to Cycling Weekly’s Facebook page or the British Cycling website on Wednesday from 6.30pm to catch the racing live and in full.