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.” 

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

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Alex Ballinger

Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for CyclingWeekly.com. After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers.  Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.