Tough Redcar and Cleveland course for British National Championships

North East region also set to host round of the National Road Series

Alice Towers wins the British National Road Championships.
Alice Towers won the elite women's road race last year in horrendous conditions
(Image credit: Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com)

The British National Championships will be run on a course with a testing finale in Redcar and Cleveland, in North East England, in June, British Cycling has unveiled. 

Competition will begin with the time-trials on 21 June where Ethan Hayter will be looking to land his third successive title in the elite men’s category. In the absence of Joss Lowden, a new champion will be crowned in the elite women’s. Lowden will miss the event as she is expecting her first child. 

Similarly to last year when Mark Cavendish grabbed the headlines, the championships will then conclude with the road races which will start and finish in the town of Saltburn on Sunday 25 June. 

After travelling along the coastline of the region, the route will then wind its way inland across challenging terrain which last year’s female champion Alice Towers believes will make for attritional racing. 

Speaking to Cycling Weekly, Towers explained that she felt “underestimated” in Castle Douglas last time out. 

“Last year, I definitely slipped under the radar a bit, and was maybe a bit underestimated,” Towers said. “My form always seems to come good in June time, so when the championships come around, I’ll definitely be looking to defend the jersey or at least get on the podium again.”

“I think the set up for the finish will definitely be good. I don’t see one person dominating the race, it will be more attacking as there are definitely a lot of people who will be trying to fight for that,” she added. “The finish is definitely going to make it, and from what I gather, the rest of the course will make it a lot more attritional.”

Full details of the road race route are due to be revealed next month. 

Towers won last year’s female elite title after a long solo breakaway in the pouring rain in Scotland. After not making the selection for last year’s Women’s Tour, she explained that the prospect of wearing the national champion’s jersey at the race in May will be the perfect build up to June’s National Championships. 

“The Women’s Tour looks really good and there’s a stage quite local to me this year,” she said. “So there will definitely be an opportunity to wear my national champion’s jersey on my home roads which will be really special. I think that experience will make me extra motivated to then travel to the championships and try to defend it.” 

In addition to the championships, Redcar and Cleveland will also play host to an additional round of this year’s men’s and women’s National Road Series on 1 October. The East Cleveland Classic will become the final round of each series, further adding to a jam-packed year of cycling in the local area. 

British Cycling acting cycling delivery director Jonathan Day said: “While the landscape for elite road racing remains incredibly challenging, British Cycling is fully committed to supporting our road riders through high-quality events, aiming to deliver exposure for teams and sponsors and giving our members and fans across Britain the opportunity to watch the country’s best riders do battle.”

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