British Cycling can today confirm the 20-strong squad that will represent Great Britain at the UEC Cyclo-cross European Championships in Namur, Belgium, from 4-6 November.
Anna Kay and Thomas Mein dominated the early rounds of this year’s national calendar, and will take to the start line in Belgium this weekend. Kay claimed an under-23 European silver medal in 2019, while Mein claimed his own in 2020, and both will be hoping to make it onto the elite podiums after top 20 placings at the UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup round in Tabor earlier this month. Mein will be joined by Toby Barnes in the Elite Men’s category, who was leading the National Trophy Series this year until a mechanical setback at last weekend’s round in South Shields.
The 2021 junior European champion Zoe Backstedt will be stepping up to the under-23 ranks this season, having this year collected a clean sweep of junior world championship jerseys in cyclo-cross, track, and road. Backstedt will be joined by Millie Couzens, who took the win in the second round of the National Trophy Series, as well as Ella Maclean-Howell.
The under-23 men’s team of Ben Chilton, Rory McGuire, Huw Buck Jones, and Bjoern Koerdt, who have all taken top 10 finishes in this year’s National Trophy Series, will head out to Belgium, with Joseph Smith completing the squad.
Cat Ferguson heads up the junior women’s team, having recently finished fourth in the UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup in Maasmechelen. Ferguson will be joined by Libby Bell, Imogen Wolff, Alice Colling and Elizabeth McKinnon, who have all claimed junior podium finishes in the National Trophy Series this year.
Oli Akers is another rider in fine form this season, claiming national and international wins, and will hope to make it onto the junior men’s podium in Belgium. Akers will be joined by 2022 National Trophy podium finishers Alife Amey, Jacob Bush and Max Greensill.
Matt Ellis, Great Britain Cycling Team Cyclo-cross Coordinator, said: “We’re heading into the European Championships with a young and really exciting group of bike riders, who are showing great potential. They have had a string of recent successes and are motivated and excited to showcase what they can do on this bigger stage.
“The GBCT squad has seen a real rise in talent in recent years and this event will give us a good benchmark of performances ahead of the world championships early in the new year.”
The junior women kick off the racing on Saturday, followed by the under-23 men and elite women, with the junior men, under-23 women, and elite men racing on Sunday.
Great Britain Cycling Team for the UEC Cyclo-cross European Championships:
Huw Buck Jones