British Cycling can today share details of a newly-appointed elite road racing task force to support the organisation’s work to innovate and energise the domestic scene. The task force will convene for a period of three months, in which time they will develop a series of recommendations for the organisation to implement in 2024 and beyond.
The task force has been given a targeted remit to consider the composition of the elite national calendar (including road and circuit), the challenges facing domestic teams and opportunities to grow the reach and profile of domestic races. This will complement the work of the existing Road Commission to grow the number of participants and events in the discipline across all levels.
The members of the task force bring a broad range of experience from within the sport, covering current and former riders, event organisers, team management and media and marketing. The task force will be made up of:
- Ed Clancy (Chair): Three-times Olympic gold medallist.
- Steve Fry: Co-owner of sports marketing agency, M2 Sports.
- Monica Greenwood: Rider for DAS – Handsling.
- John Herety: Former manager of JLT-Condor and Great Britain Cycling Team DS.
- Phil Jones: MD of Brother UK and long-time sponsor of domestic teams.
- Chris Lawrence: Organiser of races including Newark Town Centre Races and Dudley GP.
- Jess Morgan: UK Marketing Manager at Rapha.
- Jo Tindley: Rider for Pro-Noctis Heidi Kjeldsen – 200 Degrees Coffee.
British Cycling CEO, Jon Dutton, said:
“Since joining the organisation in April I’ve spoken to a huge number of passionate and talented people in our community about the current challenges facing domestic road race organisers and teams. Our new task force is an example of how we want to bring people closer to the organisation and work collaboratively towards solutions against the challenging and complex environment that we operate in.
“This won’t be a talking shop – the task force will be meeting regularly over the coming months with a view to providing our team with clear recommendations to implement. While we are clearly working within challenging financial parameters, and some changes will naturally take us longer to enact, there are a number of areas where we can and will make immediate progress.
“The health of domestic elite road racing has a significant impact on the overall financial health of our organisation, and our ability to support more events and programmes across our range of disciplines in the future. While the past few years have been challenging, I’m optimistic about our ability to turn the tide and forge a sustainable roadmap for the future.”
In recent years a combination of global financial tightening and rising costs have posed significant challenges to elite road race organisers and teams. While the number of British riders competing on the World Tour and Women’s World Tour has reached record levels, between 2016 and 2023 the number of British men’s and women’s UCI Continental teams dropped from eight to five.
Between those years the total number of combined rounds in the men’s and women’s elite national series has fallen from 25 to 24, and while there has been a sharp increase in the number of women’s rounds (up from eight to 12), this period has also seen a decrease in the number of rounds in the men’s series (from 17 to 12) and an overall decrease in the number of road races (from 17 to 11).
Despite support from British Cycling to safeguard events which have remained on the calendar, inflationary pressures have caused total event delivery costs to rise by as much as 10% year-on-year since 2019 – increasing the total cost of event delivery by around a third.
Chair of the elite road racing task force, Ed Clancy, said:
“I’m enormously grateful for the support I received from domestic teams and races during my career as a rider, and I’m passionate about ensuring that other riders can benefit from the same opportunities as me in the future.
“It’s a real honour to be asked to chair the elite road racing task force, and working alongside what is a really talented and experienced group I’m confident that we can be a positive force for change.”
Further updates on the task force’s recommendations and 2024 calendar will be shared in the coming months. If you’d like to find out more about supporting domestic road races as a Commissaire or Accredited Marshal, you can email our team to find out more at email@example.com.