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HSBC UK | National Road Championships: Preview

HSBC UK | National Road Championships: Preview

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With 10 coveted national champions’ jerseys up for grabs, huge crowds expected on the roadside and (dare we say it) a little sunshine poking through the clouds, we can’t wait for this week’s HSBC UK | National Road Championships in Lincoln. Here’s everything you need to know.

Time-trials

Hosted on Thursday in the picturesque village of Tealby, riders will be put through their paces on a challenging course which includes 500ft of climbing in each lap – including the punishing Walesby Hill.

The under-23 women, under-23 men and elite women will set a time over two laps of the route, totalling 29.4km, while the elite men will complete three laps, totalling 44.7km.

Ones to watch

Ethan Hayter 8th Worlds ITT

After an 8th place finish at last month’s UCI Road World Championships in Flanders, all eyes will be on Tokyo silver medallist Ethan Hayter in the men’s event. Hayter was second in the under-23 category in 2019 but has since risen to become one of the sport’s most exciting prospects.

Six-time (and reigning) champion Alex Dowsett will be looking to add to his own collection of national champions’ jerseys, while time-trial specialist John Archibald and new British Hour Record holder Dan Bigham will both fancy their chances too.

Fresh from breaking the UCI Hour Record Joss Lowden will be hoping to cap off an impressive season with her first national time-trial champion. Alice Barnes did the time-trial and road race double in Norfolk in 2019 and will be keen to retain her title here, while former champions Hayley Simmonds, Hannah Barnes and Anna Henderson (under-23 winner in 2019) will all have their eyes on the hot seat too.

Where to watch

Updates from Tealby will be shared through British Cycling’s social media channels, with a full highlights programme to follow at 7pm on Monday on ITV4.

If you’re joining us in Tealby, the key times are:

09:00 – Under-23 men
10:30 – Under-23 women
12:00 – Elite men
15:30 – Elite women

Circuit races

Sandwiched in between the time-trials and road races for the first time on Friday evening, the circuit races will follow the iconic 1km route around the city’s historic 11th century castle. Taking place under floodlights, expect two fast, action-packed battles over the one hour plus five laps of racing.

Ones to watch

Tough one! Both of the races are wide open, but Hayter and his Ineos Grenadiers team-mate Owain Doull will both fancy their chances. Joey Walker was a popular winner of this title in Rochester in 2019, and he’ll be joined on the start line by the two men who joined him on the podium that night – Isaac Mundy and Matt Bostock.

Reece Wood enters the race in fine form after winning this year’s truncated national series, and after his brother shocked the cycling world by taking this jersey aged 17 back in 2017, we’ll be keeping an eye on 19-year-old Joe Pidcock too, who currently rides for Groupama-FDJ.

In the women’s race Team Breeze’s Eluned King will be looking to add to her 2021 national series title, while Abi Smith is another rider to watch, having taken the overall victory in the junior circuit series back in 2019.

Having recently earned selection for the Great Britain team competing at next week’s UCI Track Cycling World Championships in Roubaix, don’t be surprised to see Ella Barnwell put in an impressive performance too.

Where to watch

The race will be shown live on Eurosport Player, GCN+ and British Cycling’s YouTube channel, with full highlights broadcast at 7pm on Monday on ITV4.

The women’s race will begin at 5:30pm, followed by the men’s race at 7:30pm.

Road races

Alice Barnes 2019 Champion

Having proudly entertained fans and terrorised riders since 1954, few roads can claim to have played as much of a role in British cycling history as the cobbles of Michaelgate.

Contested over 166km (13 laps) for men and 101km (8 laps) for women on Sunday, expect hard racing and a deafening crowd for this one as we crown national champions in the city for the first time since 2015. An elite and under-23 title will be up for grabs in each race.

Ones to watch

Having finished behind Adam Blythe in second place back in 2015, fan favourite Mark Cavendish returns to Lincoln to cap off a season which saw him equal Eddy Merckx’s record for Tour de France stage wins in one of the sport’s most dramatic comeback tales.

Ben Swift will be looking to defend his jersey after victory in Norwich in 2019, but up-and-coming talents Matt Walls, James Shaw and Fred Wright will all be desperate for their first titles too after impressive seasons. Connor Swift was a shock winner of this event in 2018 and returns to the race in impressive form.

The Barnes sisters, Henderson and Lowden will again start the women’s race as favourites, but keep your eyes peeled for the talented young crop of riders just beginning to make their names on the international stage. After supporting Lizzie Deignan in Tokyo this summer Anna Shackley will be hoping for a big result, while Pfeiffer Georgi arrives at the race on the back of an impressive eighth place finish at the AJ Bell Women’s Tour.

Despite an injury-hampered season, Elynor Backstedt was third in the time-trial and fifth in the road race at Yorkshire 2019 and is always one to keep an eye on.

Where to watch

The race will be shown live on Eurosport Player, GCN+ and British Cycling’s YouTube channel, with full highlights broadcast at 7pm on Tuesday on ITV4.

The women’s race will depart at 9am, with the men starting at 1pm.

Are you heading to Lincoln to watch the action? Upload your best clips from the roadside with the link below!