The cream of British time trialling is in action this Sunday when the British Time Trial Championships are staged in Cambridgeshire.
Almost 300 riders have entered the prestigious event, which pits the best of domestic time trialling with Continental professionals.
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Three Team Sky riders are among the last five listed on the startsheet – Geraint Thomas, Alex Dowsett and Steve Cummings. They are interspersed by multiple national champion Michael Hutchinson (In Gear-Quickvit) and Matt Bottrill (I Ride RT).
However Team Sky told Cycling Weekly today that top seed Thomas will not be starting the event.
“He did enter but his schedule was changed about two weeks ago,” said press officer Kris Dent. “He rode Plouay at the weekend but he’s back in Italy on a training block before the Tour of Britain and the Worlds.”
Thomas finished third in last year’s British time trial championships. The two riders who finished ahead of him, Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome, are somewhat preoccupied at the Tour of Spain.
Other categories at the championship also feature some mouth-watering clashes, including the women’s event where national 25-mile record holder Julia Shaw (Drag2Zero.com) will need to be at her best to hold off Olympians Rebecca Romero (XRT) and Wendy Houvenaghel (Bike Chain Ricci).
The masters event should see a tussle between Bottrill’s I Ride RT team-mate Scott Povey and Drag2Zero.com’s Jon Simpkins, but they would do well to keep one eye on No 52 in the start list – Olympic rowing legend and endurance event junkie James Cracknell.
Twenty 3C-Orbea’s Andrew Griffiths is last man off in the espoirs event, while Pendragon’s Richard Meadows will be breathing down his neck.
And Stockport’s Alex Royle (Science in Sport.com) will be competing against Planet X’s Ryan Mullen for the junior title, while Team Jewson’s Josh Teasdale could also challenge.
The event uses Sawtry Village Hall as headquarters but sees riders tackling a course to the south which takes in Luddington, Clopton and Winwick.
While the senior men complete 29.4 miles, all other categories tackle the slightly shorter 20.9-mile version. First riders are off at 9am, while the senior men begin at 2.44pm.
Elsewhere, some of the country’s best long distance riders will be in action in the Burton and District CA 100 on Saturday.
Last man off is Nik Bowdler (Team Pedal Revolution.co.uk), but breathing down his neck will be newly crowned national 12-hour record holder Jeff Jones (Chippenham and District Wheelers).
Jones set a new 12-hour record earlier this month, and he also won the BDCA 50 on the same Etwall course as this 100-mile event back on August 8, where he beat Bowdler and several other riders who also tackle the 100-mile event on Saturday.
Also on Saturday, there is an interesting name on the startsheet for the Stretford Wheelers 25 at Goostrey in Cheshire – 26-year-old HTC-High Road rider Matt Brammeier.
And also scratch man and likely to end up winner is former national time trial champion Kevin Dawson (Sportscover.com) who is last man off in the North Notts Olympic 10 at Long Bennington in Nottinghamshire on Saturday.
While the British Championships take much of the headlines on Sunday, there are a host of other events on the calendar.
There is a full field of 120 riders for the VTTA (South Wales) 25 on the R25/3L course, which used Rhigos Rugby Club to the west of Merthyr Tydfil as headquarters.
Stu Dodd (Drag2Zero.com) is last man off, but other quality riders in the field include Rob Pears (Bath CC), Adam Topham (High Wycombe CC) and Richard Bradley (I Ride RT).
Meanwhile, Glossop Kinder Velo stage their Snake Pass hill-climb on the tough 3.2-mile road out of Glossop along the early stages of the A57 towards Sheffield.
This weekend’s top events
Saturday, September 3
Burton and District CA 100 – Etwall, Derbyshire (course A100/4), 12noon.
Stretford Wheelers 25 – Goostrey, Cheshire (course J2/9), 2pm.
North Notts Olympic 10 – Long Bennington, Nottinghamshire (course A10/14a), 5pm.
Sunday, September 4
British Time Trial Championship – Sawtry, Cambridgeshire (course NC18), 29.4 or 20.9 miles, 9am.
VTTA South West 25 – Rhigos, South Wales (course R25/3L), 9am.
Kent CA 12-hour – Bethersden, Kent (course Q12Hr), 6am.
Seacroft Wheelers 25 – Dalton, North Yorkshire (course V236), 9am.
Glossop Kinder Velo Hill-climb – Snake Pass, 3.2 miles (course J9/5), 10am.
Cycling Weekly’s Time Trial News section