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Preview: 2024 East Cleveland Classic

Preview: 2024 East Cleveland Classic

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The National Road Series continues this Sunday with the inaugural East Cleveland Classic, featuring a course that takes in the infamous Saltburn Bank, the race-defining climb that featured in last year’s National Road Championships.

The race forms round two of the women’s National Road Series following a thrilling first round at the ANEXO/CAMS CiCLE Classic last month. For the open category, it serves as the curtain-raiser to the series and the first opportunity to see Britain’s top open elite teams go head-to-head.

The course

Anybody who watched last season’s National Road Championships, or who knew the Klondike Grand Prix – a former National Road Series race that used a similar course –, will be familiar with the territory of the East Cleveland Classic. Just like the 2024 nationals, the race starts and finishes in Saltburn by the Sea, a Victorian seaside town in Redcar and Cleveland, North Yorkshire.

The race circuit features a hilly 28km that initially heads inland to Guisborough via Skelton before heading back coastwards through Boosbeck and Brotton. Once through Brotton, riders head back to Saltburn where Saltburn Bank awaits, a vicious 300m long climb with two tight hairpins and an average gradient of 14.7%. It was lined with spectators at last summer’s nationals, and the finish line by the bandstand on Glenside is just 200m from the top of the Bank, so expect fireworks on the final ascent.

The course might not be quite as savage as the national course was last year, but nonetheless, with 455m of climbing on each lap, riders will need to find their climbing legs in order to succeed. The women’s race takes in four laps of the circuit, with a total distance of 110.8km, while the open race features six laps and 167km in total.

Saltburn Bank


The women’s race looks finely poised and it is difficult to pick clear and obvious favourites. The UCI Continental teams all have potential winners, with Alba Road Development Team’s line-up including 19-year-old Eilidh Shaw, who took an impressive second at the CiCLE Classic. DAS-Hutchinson-Brother UK’s options include another 19-year-old, Morven Yeoman, who has never been out of the top ten in national road races so far this year, as well as 2023 Rapha Lincoln Grand Prix winner Robyn Clay. Pro-Noctis – 200o Coffee – Hargreaves Contracting Ltd boast Lizi Brooke who had a breakthrough ride in the nationals last year, and new signing Lucy Gadd.

Eilidh Shaw

Junior squad Shibden Apex RT offers a real threat to the UCI teams, particularly through Movistar-bound Cat Ferguson, and Imogen Wolff, winner of the recent Trofeo Binda Juniors Nations Cup race. WorldTour rider Alex Morrice (CANYON//SRAM) is another candidate, as is HESS Cycling Team’s Alice McWilliam, who finished third at the CiCLE Classic. Connie Hayes (Doltcini-O’Shea), Mary Wilkinson (Loughborough Lightning), and recent RCR FatCreations road race winner Caitlin Dimbleby (FTP-Fulfil The Potential-Racing) are other names to watch.

Saint Piran is the team to beat in the open race. The Cornish squad were the dominant force last season in the National Road Series, so all eyes will be on them to repeat the feat this year. Four of their riders - Rowan Baker, Dylan Hicks, Dylan Westley, and Alex Richardson – are already winners this year at National B level, so they can play the numbers game.

Wheelbase CabTech Castelli will rival the men in black – particularly through Peaks 2 Day winner Tom Martin – have been impressive in the early season. Richardsons Trek DAS have also had early season success with former Rás stage winner Conor McGoldrick. Damien Clayton (Le Col) is another serious contender, having won two National B road races already this year, as is former TRINITY Racing rider Ollie Rees (Sabgal-Anicolor), who is back in the UK after a solid racing block in Europe.


Outsiders include Dom Jackson (Foran CT), who was second on GC at the Rás Mumhan two weekends ago, new PROJECT1 Cycling Team signing and cyclocross specialist Thomas Mein and young independent rider Jamie Whitcher (BmthCycleworks VitecFire Ford CE). Furthermore, the Chinese UCI Continental team Bodywrap Men’s Cycling Team offers an unknown element to the race, with former Tour of Qinghai Lake stage winner Li Boan among their number.


The women’s race begins with a neutralised start at 9:00 and has an estimated finish time just before midday. The men’s race then follows at 13:15, with an approximate finish of 17:38.

You can follow all the action on British Cycling's social media channels, and for a more in-depth preview, head to The British Continental website.

Open start list

Women start list