Geraint Thomas headlines eight-man Ineos Grenadiers squad for British National Road Championships

Welshman part of strong line-up for WorldTour team alongside two-time winner Ben Swift

Geraint Thomas
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Geraint Thomas headlines a strong eight-man line up for Ineos Grenadiers at the British National Road Championships in Redcar and Cleveland, which take place at the end of June. 

According to the provisional start lists released by British Cycling, the Welshman will ride both the elite road race and individual time trial across the weekend in north Yorkshire, along with several other high profile riders from various WorldTour squads.

“I’m really thrilled to be back and racing at Nationals, which will be the first time for me in the road race, at least, in about 10 years," Thomas said. "It looks like a tough course that will make it a very hard race. It’s going to be great to be back out and racing after recently completing the Giro d’Italia – I can’t wait to get out there!"

Along with Thomas - who recently finished second at the Giro d’Italia - Ben Swift, who has won the national championships on two previous occasions, will race for Ineos, along with Josh Tarling, Ben Tulett, Connor Swift, Ben Turner, Leo Hayter and Luke Rowe in the road race.

One notable absence on the road race start list is Mark Cavendish, who outsprinted both Sam Watson of Groupama-FDJ and Alex Richardson, now of Saint Piran, in Dumfries and Galloway in Scotland last year. 

Cavendish will skip the opportunity to defend his title as he guns for a record-breaking 35th Tour de France stage win in his final attempt at the French Grand Tour. Cavendish recently announced that the current season will be his last as a professional as he is set to retire at the end of the year.

Thomas’ status will inevitably make him the favourite for victory on the punchy, hilly circuit in north Yorkshire. However, he will face stiff competition from the likes of Bahrain Victorious’ Fred Wright who is also set to ride both the road race and the time trial at the championships, and his teammate Swift, who is going for a third title.

Elsewhere, EF Education-EasyPost will field a strong trio of Owain Doull, Simon Carr and James Shaw in the road race. Sam Watson - current under-23 national champion - is also set to return for Groupama-FDJ along with Jake Stewart and Lewis Askey.

Jumbo-Visma's Tom Gloag will also be another WorldTour threat along with Stevie Williams and Mason Hollyman of Israel-Premier Tech.

Other riders of note who will hope to challenge the likes of Thomas and Wright in the road race include Alex Richardson (Saint Piran), Matthew Bostock and Jacob Scott of Bolton Equities Black Spoke as well as Rob Scott of Cross Team Legendre.

Scott, along with the Bolton Equities duo, rode for the AT85 Pro Cycling squad until the end of last year. Bostock and Jacob Scott both moved to the ProTeam level with their new team whereas Rob Scott was part of the AT85 setup until its recent demise.

As well as Richardson, Saint Piran will arrive in north Yorkshire with a team stacked full of ability. Jack Rootkin-Gray, Zeb Kyffin, Will Tidball, Harry Birchall and Rhys Britton are all set to travel for the Cornwall-based squad.

Saint Piran recently completed a clean sweep of the podium at the Lincoln Grand Prix, with Richardson claiming the top spot of the podium for a second time.

The men’s road race at the British National Championships will take place on Sunday 25 June. Other riders from the WorldTour who are set to race include James Knox (Soudal Quick-Step) and Harrison Wood (Cofidis). 

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Tom Thewlis

Tom is a News and Features Writer at Cycling Weekly, and previously worked in communications at Oxford Brookes University. He has reported from a wide range of races and events including the Tour de France and World Championships.