British National Road Series to shrink in 2023

The UK’s domestic scene will see fewer top-flight road events next season, while the Circuit Series grows

Women's peloton at the National Road Series from above
(Image credit: SWPix)

The calendar for the men’s and women’s National Road Series, the highest standard of racing in the UK, is set to shrink in 2023. 

Next season, the men’s schedule will go down to just four races; Rapha Lincoln Grand Prix, Lancaster Grand Prix, Rydedale Grasscrete Grand Prix and the Beaumont Trophy. This is two fewer than this season’s calendar, which also counted the three-day Manx International stage race and the Stockton Grand Prix. 

The women’s Road Series will also lose the same two races, going down from seven to five events in 2023. 

“It’s a bit of surprise,” said WiV SunGod’s Rob Scott, who won the 2022 men’s overall title. “It’s a shame for all the teams and their sponsors who are putting money in for them to go and do, supposedly, the biggest races in the UK. It seems it’s dwindling out again.”

Asked how the reduced calendar might affect his targets for next season, Scott said: “I think it will give us more opportunity to go and race abroad, which is a positive we can take from it.

“It’s the other teams [that suffer],” the 24-year-old added. “They’ve only got four weekends now to do the National Road Series.”

One of the events that won’t run next year is the Manx International, previously the Series’ only stage race. Speaking to Cycling Weekly, race organiser Richard Fletcher revealed a “roadworks issue” has prevented the event going ahead in 2023. 

“We typically use elements of the [Isle of Man] TT course,” Fletcher said. “In April, the TT course is going to go under major construction in places. I’ve basically lost a large portion of the Queen stage course.”

Fletcher added that the race sponsors remain committed to the event and that he hopes to bring it back in 2024. 

As for the Stockton Grand Prix, race organiser Geoff Lloyd said the event’s axing from the calendar is due to the “current financial climate” which “came up and bit us”. 

“The situation has been complicated as well in that the riverside location, where the base of the cycling festival is held, is being very heavily redeveloped over the next couple of years.”

Lloyd, too, hopes that the race will return once the works are completed. 

Jonathan Day, British Cycling's acting cycling delivery director, wrote in a statement: "The absence of the Stockton Grand Prix is reflective of the huge challenges being faced both by ourselves and a number of sports in securing vital financial support."

Speaking more generally about cancelled races, Day added that British Cycling strives to "provide extensive support for organisers", but "simply [doesn't] have the means to underwrite all of [its] events". 

Circuit Series moves into the South-East

Rob Scott on the front at the Lister Horsfall Grand Prix

(Image credit: SWPix)

Conversely, the National Circuit Series will expand next season, adding a ‘South East’ leg to the typically Yorkshire-heavy calendar. 

For Simon Howes, manager of women’s Continental team CAMS-Basso, this comes as welcome news. “These races are good to have down south,” he told Cycling Weekly. “A lot of our riders are either at university or work full-time [there], so to keep travelling up to the north makes for a long day.”

Scott, whose hampshire-based Wiv-SunGod won the series this season, is also pleased about the inclusion of a South-East event. “Circuit Series races have always been a mega series to take part in,” he said. “I feel like it’s a lot more spectator friendly than, say, the Road Series, so perhaps that’s why it’s still going strong.

“I’m sure we’ll be looking forward to heading back to the National Circuit Series and seeing if we can get the victory again.”

Women’s National Road Series
26th March – The ANEXO 7th Women’s CiCLE Classic
14th May – Women’s Rapha Lincoln Grand Prix
16th July – Women’s Lancaster Grand Prix
20th August – The Ryedale Grasscrete Women’s Grand Prix
17th September – The Curlew Cup

Men’s National Road Series
14th May – Men’s Rapha Lincoln Grand Prix
16th July – Men’s Lancaster Grand Prix
20th August – The Ryedale Grasscrete Men’s Grand Prix
17th September – The Beaumont Trophy

Women’s National Circuit Series
28th June - Otley Grand Prix
30th June - Ilkley Cycle Races
5th July  - South East TBC
19th July – Sheffield Grand Prix
28th July – Newark Town Centre Races

Men’s National Circuit Series
28th June - Property Development Group Otley Grand Prix
30th June - Ilkley Cycle Races
5th July  - South East TBC
19th July – Sheffield Grand Prix
25th July – Fort Vale Colne Grand Prix
28th July – Newark Town Centre Races

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