Newly-crowned national champions will have the first opportunity to display their winner’s jerseys at the final round of the 2015/16 British Cycling National Trophy Cyclo-cross Series on Sunday.
And while titles have already been decided in a number of categories the battle still rages on for the youth boys’ and veteran men’s titles at the sixth instalment in Milton Keynes on 17 January.
Ian Field and Hannah Payton wrapped up the elite titles in the previous round, along with Nick Barnes and Tom Pidcock in the under-23 and junior men’s and Maddi Smith and Tim Gould in the veteran ranks.
So attention turns to whether Darren Atkins can hold off the challenge for veteran 40-49 honours and if Emile Alexander and Lewis Askey can complete a Lichfield City CC double in the under-14 and under-16 categories.
Liam Killeen will have a chance to display his newly-earned national champion’s jersey in Milton Keynes, after taking the title in a dominant performance in Shrewsbury ahead of reigning champion Ian Field.
Field himself sealed the National Trophy series victory in the mud of Bradford in December, five wins from five races allowing him to miss the final round and race the world cup in France.
Behind Field, Paul Oldham and Hope Factory Racing teammate Jack Clarkson occupy the remaining podium positions but will face pressure from David Fletcher and Nick Craig.
Clarkson was superb at the national championships, taking bronze behind champion Killeen and Field, but Craig was inspired, putting in a late charge to place fourth in the Shrewsbury elite race a day after taking a third consecutive veteran title.
Like Field, Hannah Payton is set to race the world cup and has already secured her National Trophy title, albeit by a more slender margin. But it’s all to play for behind the Team Kinesis UK rider, with Amira Mellor and Beth Crumpton separated by just two points.
With only the best five results counting towards the overall total, the advantage is with Crumpton but the Boot Out Breast Cancer rider will need a strong performance to ensure second place ahead of the 2014/15 series champion.
Nick Barnes is assured as under-23 men’s series winner with George Thompson also guaranteed second, but the final place on the podium is undecided. Arthur Green is currently podium-sitter in third but Jack Humphreys or Billy Harding could both capitalise on any issues for the Clee Cycles rider.
Ben Turner and Mark Donovan are set to fight it out for the second spot in the junior series, with Tom Pidcock uncatchable. Pidcock will no doubt want to go out on a high but momentum will be with Donovan, who took the national title in Pidcock’s absence.
Veteran women National Trophy winner and newly-crowned national champion Maddi Smith will ride in the elite women’s event for the final round, while Poppy Wildman and Ava Oxley-Szilagyi will hope to end their dominant National Trophy seasons in style in the under-16 and under-14 girls’ divisions.
So too will Tim Gould in the veteran over-50 category, the Zepnat rider taking a hat-trick of victories in the series before winning the national title. Behind Gould, Chris Young looks likely to take the runner-up spot.
But the most ferocious racing is likely to be in the youth boys and veteran men’s events. The under-16 boys’ title is wide open with four riders theoretically capable of taking the series. Lewis Askey is currently leader but Lichfield CC teammate Toby Barnes, Oldfield - Paul Milnes ERT’s Euan Cameron and newly-crowned national champion Ben Tulett (Beeline Gener8) could all catch him.
A Lichfield CC youth double could be on the cards with Emile Alexander currently leading the under-14 standings – however there is potential for a last round steal with Leicestershire’s Alec Gregory closest on points.
Darren Atkins will need fortune on his side if he is to prevent the on form Rob Jebb from taking the veteran 40-49 series from his grasp. Atkins won the opening round and hasn’t been off the podium since, while Jebb, who missed round one, has notched up three wins and a fourth place.
Jebb took silver at the nationals behind Nick Craig and may leapfrog Jim Bryan in the ranks to steal the series in Milton Keynes.
Milton Keynes Bowl plays host to the final round of the series, with the event promoted by De Velo.
The popular venue last hosted a round of the National Trophy in November 2014 on the same weekend as the UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup.
Veteran men 40-49 - 10:15am
Veteran men 50+ - 10:16am
Youth under-16 Girls - 11:15am
Youth under-14 Girls - 11:16am
Youth under-16 Boys - 12:05pm
Youth under-14 Boys - 12:06pm
Elite and under-23 women - 1:30pm
Junior men - 1:33pm
Veteran women 1:33pm
Elite and under-23 men - 2:45pm
How to follow the racing
- Follow @BritishCycling on Twitter for updates
- A report, results, reaction and images will appear on the British Cycling website