Why aren't the British National Championships taking place this week?

Lincoln will host the delayed Nationals later in the year

Alice Barnes is the British women's national road and time trial champion
(Image credit: Getty)

The coming days will see new road and time trial national champions crowned across Europe – but not in the UK.

This year sees a return to tradition where national championships in the northern hemisphere typically take place the weekend before the Tour de France.

From Italy to France to Spain to minor nations like Georgia and Rwanda, thousands of riders will line-up with one goal on their mind: to wear the champion’s jersey of their nation.

But British riders will have to wait another four months for the opportunity to do so, with the country’s nationals not taking place until October.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic and ongoing restrictions, road racing in the UK has been a rare commodity in the past year and it is only now that more organisers are beginning to feel confident that their races will not be cancelled.

Because of the current situation, British Cycling announced in May that the road, time trial and circuit championships will all take place in Lincoln from 14-17 October.

There was no 2020 British championships and it was decided that the reigning champions would keep the honour until the following championships that could be contested.

It means that Ben Swift of Ineos Grenadiers will continue to wear the red, white and blue jersey that he won in June 2019, and so will Alice Barnes of Canyon SRAM Racing who also won the time trial race. Alex Dowsett won the men’s TT.

Lincoln hosted the Nationals in 2015 when Lizzie Deignan and Peter Kennaugh claimed the road titles, with Dowsett and Hayley Simmonds scooping the time trial trophies.

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Chris Marshall-Bell

Chris first started writing for Cycling Weekly in 2013 on work experience and has since become a regular name in the magazine and on the website. Reporting from races, long interviews with riders from the peloton and riding features drive his love of writing about all things two wheels.

Probably a bit too obsessed with mountains, he was previously found playing and guiding in the Canadian Rockies, and now mostly lives in the Val d’Aran in the Spanish Pyrenees where he’s a ski instructor in the winter and cycling guide in the summer. He almost certainly holds the record for the most number of interviews conducted from snowy mountains.