British Cycling today announced dates, organisers and locations for its 2013 national road series. Across men’s, women’s, youth and junior categories there will be a total of 39 events in 2013, bringing a total of 50 days of racing to the roads for the country’s best riders in addition to their respective National Championships.
The men’s elite calendar will kick off early next season with a strong mix of National A/B events that begins with the Eddie Soens and continues through traditional early season barometers of domestic form such as the Roy Thame, Wally Gimber and Jock Wadley. The Premier Calendar will begin at the Tour of the Reservoir which for 2013 will run over two days. These events are joined on the calendar by the Atlas Roadford Classic as a new National A event on the calendar.
Lincoln GP is the only Premier Calendar event to overlap with the Tour Series in 2013, taking place on 12 May before the Premier Calendar resumes at the end of June. The Beaumont Trophy will kick off the final four events which also include the Stockton Festival of Cycling, Grand Prix of Wales and Ryedale GP.
A compact Elite Circuit Series will see six races take place over three weeks in a series that British Cycling expect will receive better support from the country’s UCI continental teams than in 2012.
Women’s racing continues to be better integrated into the calendar, with the success of the women’s National Circuit Race Championship as part of the Sheffield GP, and the Curlew Cup as part of the Virgin Money Cyclone Weekend in 2012 setting a high standard. In 2013 the women’s National Circuit Race Championship will sit alongside the men’s event for the first time whilst Sheffield retains its women’s GP as part of the Women’s National Road Series. Further new additions to the women’s calendar are an early season Perth 2 Day, Otley women’s GP and the Ryedale women’s GP.
Speaking about the 2013 calendar and looking specifically at the men’s elite road calendar, British Cycling Cycle Sport and Membership Director, Jonny Clay, said: “We’re in a fairly good place overall but we recognise that there are areas where the sport as a whole needs to progress, for example we would like there to be more top class road events.
"We are doing the necessary work behind the scenes to create the conditions where that can happen and we’re willing to talk to any organiser, volunteer or commercial promoter who wants to have a dialogue about that.
“For now there are a number of events on the calendar that have the potential to form part of a national road series in the next couple of years. We’ll be working informally with the top teams to ensure that those races are supported and their organisers have clarity over what they need to do to become part of a top-flight domestic calendar of racing in the future.
“I think what fans should expect to see in the next few seasons is an evolution of the calendar where we have a more diverse programme with a mixture of events that provide regular opportunities for top teams to compete on home soil and isn’t arbitrarily judged on the number of races within a given series each year.”