The prestigious national champions’ jerseys are on the line as the 2017 HSBC UK | National Circuit Championships head to Sheffield.
The Steel City will be taken over by British cycling superstars on Wednesday 19 July - including three Olympic gold medallists - as men’s and women’s champions will be crowned on the streets of South Yorkshire.
Racing begins at 6.30pm on Wednesday evening with the women’s race - with the men to follow at 8pm.
Eileen Roe became a two-time national circuit champion in 2016 - but the Team WNT rider knows she will face stiff competition in her bid to claim the title for a third time.
Perhaps Roe’s biggest challenge will come from within her own team, as Olympic team pursuit champion Katie Archibald takes to the start line.
A stage winner in the 2017 Women’s Tour, Archibald has been in terrific form on both road and track this year and the gutsy Scot will be determined to continue her recent success.
Her fellow Olympic gold medallist Elinor Barker will also be in action in Sheffield and the Matrix Pro Cycling rider is keen to make an impact.
Barker was unfortunate to miss out on a podium finish at the HSBC UK | National Road Championships last month - her long, brave solo attack going unrewarded as she was caught in the late stages of the race, and the 22-year-old will be determined not to miss out again.
Team Ford Ecoboost have a strong lineup for the championships - with the likes of Charmaine Porter and Jennifer Powell regular names in domestic competition.
Annasley Park and Rebecca Durrell are ones-to-watch in the Drops colours while Cycle Team OnForm’s Sian Botteley and Wiggle High5’s Grace Garner are also not to be discounted.
A new champion will be crowned in South Yorkshire, as Chris Lawless (Axeon-Hagens Berman) will not be in Sheffield to defend his title.
What odds on a popular local victory for Russ Downing? The Rotherham-born rider knows the streets of Sheffield well and, riding just five days after his wedding, would relish the chance to become a four-time national circuit champion.
Downing will see many of his JLT Condor teammates as his biggest rivals, with triple Olympic gold medallist Ed Clancy also a former champion in this event.
Clancy won the title in 2010 and is part of a team that boasts four former champions in total - with Ian Bibby and Graham Briggs also in their lineup.
Elsewhere, Harry Tanfield (BIKE Channel Canyon) has form in circuit racing and will provide a threat to any potential JLT Condor monopoly, while Connor Swift (Madison Genesis) has two Tour Series round victories under his belt in 2017.
Reigning world junior cyclo-cross champion Tom Pidcock (PH-Mas/Paul Milnes/Oldfield ERT) will get a warm reception in Sheffield as a fellow Yorkshireman - and with an impressive victory in the Paris-Roubaix Juniors earlier this year, would relish the chance to take a victory on home roads.
Riders will race for 50 minutes, plus five laps on the 1.4km course that begins on Pinstone Street near Sheffield Town Hall. The route turns left on to Furnival Gate before another left-hander on to Arundel Gate.
The circuit then heads past Sheffield Hallam University before a sharp hairpin left after the famous Crucible Theatre. Riders will have to navigate a cobbled section over Norfolk Street and Surrey Street before a final left turn back to the start/finish point.
6.30pm: Women’s race starts
8pm: Men’s race starts
How to follow
- Watch live coverage of both races with all the action from Sheffield streamed on the British Cycling website and Facebook page.
- Follow @BritishCycling on Twitter and Instagram for updates, images and videos.
- Full report, reaction and gallery will appear on the British Cycling website