Why aren’t British riders competing in the Trento 2021 European Championships?

British Cycling made the decision not to compete in the European road event, here is why

The women's peloton during the European Championships road race
The women's peloton during the European Championships road race
(Image credit: Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)

If you’ve been watching the European Championships, taking place in Trento over the past week, you may have noticed the absence of the British flag during the racing.

No British riders are competing in the major road event in Italy, after British Cycling announced earlier this year that it would not be taking a team to compete the European Championships. 

The UEC European Road Championships are one of the biggest events on the regular cycling calendar for national teams, as riders compete for the European champion's jerseys from junior up to elite level, both in time trials and road races. 

According to British Cycling, the biggest priority for the Great Britain Cycling Team (GBCT) is winning medals in the Olympic and Paralympic Games, which took place this summer in Tokyo.

Due to a combination of the Tokyo games and the Covid-19 pandemic, increased costs and staff shortages mean that GBCT had to reduce the number of races they would be attending, forcing the squad to miss the European Championships.

A statement from British Cycling, released earlier this year said: “The primary objective of the Great Britain Cycling Team is to achieve the highest number of podium results at the next Olympic and Paralympic Games. All GBCT strategic decisions, including major event attendance, are made in alignment with achieving this objective.

“The Covid-19 pandemic and the delayed Tokyo 2020 Games have resulted in increased budget and staff resource pressures which bring with them limitations on the level & quantity of activity we are able to commit to.

“As a result of the above, GBCT will not be attending the UEC European Road Championships scheduled to take place from September 8-12 in Trento.

“Budget and staff resource will be focussed on the UCI Road World Championships in Flanders, taking place from September 19-26.” 

>>> 'Probably the best seat in the house': James Shaw explains his tactics after sprinting with Wout van Aert, Julian Alaphilippe, and Ethan Hayter

GBCT also skipped the Junior Track World Championships in Egypt, instead focusing on the European Under-23 Track Championships in Apeldoorn.  

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1