Preview: British Cycling Elite Circuit Race Series continues with Stockton Velo29-Altura Town Centre Races

Preview: British Cycling Elite Circuit Race Series continues with Stockton Velo29-Altura Town Centre Races

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Round two of the 2014 British Cycling Elite Circuit Race Series takes place on Friday with the Stockton Velo29-Altura Town Centre Races.

Newly crowned British national circuit race champion and Elite Circuit Race Series leader Adam Blythe is a notable name missing from the start list.

The 24-year-old NFTO Pro Cycling rider narrowly beat Rapha Condor JLT’s Ed Clancy in a sprint finish at the Otley Grand Prix to take an early initiative in the six-round competition.

The win handed Blythe 30 points but Clancy’s teammate Chris Opie took third plus a point in one of the two designated intermediate sprints to leave him on 29 points in the standings.

Blythe defeated Opie in a two-man sprint to take his British championship in Hull on Wednesday but the 26-year-old Rapha rider is expected to race in Stockton-On-Tees, handing him the prospect of becoming overall leader.

Stockton Velo29-Altura Town Centre Races

Rapha Condor JLT have named a formidable squad including Kristian House, Graham Briggs and Richard Handley.

Ed Clancy, though, is left out as the two-time Olympic champion continues his preparations for the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow later this month.

Adam Duggleby of Wheelbase Altura MGD was involved in the break with Opie and Blythe in Hull before being dropped. The Great Britain Cycling Team para-cycling pilot will hope for another active race as he builds towards the UCI Para-cycling Road World Cup on 25-27 July.

At last year’s meeting George Atkins completed a fine solo win on his way to overall Elite Circuit Series title but the 22-year-old is not on the start list for Team Raleigh.

Atkins is listed to start Sunday’s Stockton Velo29-Altura Grand Prix, the first event in the British Cycling Elite Road Grand Prix Series.

Raleigh do include Yanto Barker, Evan Oliphant and Ian Wilkinson in a six-man team.

Riders face one hour and 10 minutes plus five laps of racing on a 1.2-kilometre course in Stockton-on-Tees.

Starting on Church Road, riders will confront a cobbled section at the midpoint of a lap before two long straights down High Street return the racers to Church Road.

The race starts at 7.45pm.