By Chris Marshall-Bell
The National Women’s Road Series title already belongs to Nicola Juniper – but the men’s Elite Road Series title race could take another twist this weekend.
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The leaderboard currently has Yanto Barker (Team Raleigh) atop, with previous leader Marcin Bialoblocki (Velosure-Giordana) trailing his former team-mate by 14 points.
But come tomorrow evening (August 2, 7.15pm start) there could be another shift at the top of the podium with the Stafford Kermesse sure to propel those vying for the podium into sprinting form.
The riders will undertake 14 laps of a 5.7-kilomertre course around Shugborough Hall where Adam Blythe, winner of last week’s Circuit of the Fens, will be just one of those eyeing maximum points.
After this weekend’s racing there are two events left for the riders to stake their claim to be this year’s winner: the Leicester Kermesse on Sunday, August 17, and the Ipswich and Coastal GP a fortnight later.
Juniper, meanwhile, has long since secured the women’s event, her win at the Ryedale GP confirming her as the best circuit racer in the field.
The Team Echelon-Rotor ace leads second-placed Gaby Shaw (Pearl Izumi Sports Tours) by an enormous 134 points going into tonight’s Stafford GP. The race, beginning at 6.45pm, is a 40-minute circuit plus five laps.
And before the men take to the Shugborough Hall circuit tomorrow, the women will round off their season by completing 13 laps of the circuit. The action begins at 5.45pm.