Barnsley is set to host the 2015 British Cycling National Circuit Race Championships on Wednesday 29 July, with the cream of British talent vying for the coveted national champion’s jerseys.
The Yorkshire town is guaranteed to crown a new champion in the men’s event, while 2014 champion Eileen Roe returns to defend her women’s title.
Last year’s men’s title holder Adam Blythe will be absent for the 2015 event, opening the floor for a new champion to be crowned and the 2015 British Cycling Elite Circuit Series has revealed a rash of challengers all capable of taking victory in the criterium format.
ONE Pro Cycling’s Jon Mould is the current Elite Circuit Series leader and looks strong with Barnsley approaching, with a brace of second places in the run-in to the championships bolstering his lead after winning at the Stafford Grand Prix.
Mould will face stiff competition from JLT Condor's Ed Clancy, who will be keen to repeat his 2010 title win in his hometown.
Raleigh GAC is another strong squad that have shown that they are capable of launching their riders to circuit race victory. Andrew Hawdon has an Elite Circuit Series win under his belt this season while the team also brings under-23 road race silver medallist Sam Lowe.
ONE Pro Cycling have more than Mould to hang their hat on though, with 2013 Elite Circuit Series champion George Atkins still to show the kind of circuit racing form he displayed two years ago. Madison Genesis battled with ONE Pro Cycling the Pearl Izumi Tour Series earlier in the year and have a raft of proven winners.
Team Wiggins’ Chris Lawless has criterium form this season having taken victory at the Stockton Grand Prix. Lawless will be joined in Barnsley by the talents of Luc Hall, Jon Dibben and Mark Christian.
Another young challenger is Gabriel Cullaigh who has had a great season so far riding for Great Britain Cycling Team and 100% ME, winning a stage of the Course de la Paix and taking victory in the Stafford Kermesse.
The young Yorkshire sprinter could be threat to the established teams, amid a strong line-up of under-23s including Germain Burton, Scott Davies and Matt Gibson.
Eileen Roe has some quality opposition in the way of her taking back-to-back circuit championships titles in Barnsley. Back in 2014 Roe, then riding for Starley Primal Pro Cycling, led home Amy Roberts and 2015 will see the gold and silver medallists united at the Wiggle Honda squad.
Charline Joiner was bronze last year and is back with Team WNT. All will have to face mountain biker and under-23 road race champion Alice Barnes, who will once again swap trails for tarmac in search of another British champion’s jersey.
Barnes is a lone rider for the Betch.NL-Superior Brentjens MTB Racing Team, a fact that might work against her amid a line-up containing some big teams. Foremost of these is Team Giordana Triton, with talent and depth, combined with a track record of delivering results already this season.
Nicola Juniper romped to victory in the Women’s Road Series and is surrounded by strong riders, including Grace Garner and Annasley Park, both of whom have tasted Women’s Road Series victory in 2015 along with Juniper.
The riders will contest a clockwise 1.1-kilometre town centre circuit which starts and finishes opposite Barnsley Town Hall on Church Street. The women’s race gets underway at 6:30pm, followed by the men’s race at 8:00pm. Both races will be 50 minutes long, followed by five laps of the circuit.
How to follow the racing
- Watch live on British Eurosport from 6:15pm.
- Live reporting on the British Cycling website from 6:15pm.
- A report, results, reaction and images will appear on the British Cycling website.