For the first time, 2013 will see the national championships for time trial and road race combined, with the time trial title to be decided on the roads of East Ayrshire on Thursday 20 June.
The men will race over two laps of a 24.6-kilometre course while the women and under 23s will face two laps of a shorter 17.6-kilometre parcours.
Winner in 2011 and 2012, Movistar’s Alex Dowsett is looking to make it a hat-trick of national titles in 2013 and comes to the event on the back of an impressive win in the longer of the two Giro d’Italia individual time trials.
The course in Scotland is over a similar distance, so Dowsett is undoubtedly the rider to beat. If Dowsett manages to complete a trio of victories, he will become the first male rider to win three consecutive national time trial titles.
Only one man has won more; Stuart Dangerfield taking the jersey in 1998, 2001, 2003 and 2005, while Michael Hutchinson took three titles in 2002, 2004 and 2008. 2011 silver medallist Steve Cummings is likely to pose a significant challenge, the BMC Racing rider having performed well in the second of the two Giro d’Italia time trials.
Doug Dewey took the 2012 silver medal and returns to challenge in 2013 while bronze medallist Matt Clinton is conspicuous by his absence.
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Sam Harrison (100%ME) took the under 23 title in 2012, ahead of teammate George Atkins and Rapha Condor Sharp’s Richard Handley. Handley is absent from the 2013 start list but Harrison is joined by 100%ME and Great Britain team mates Atkins, Joe Kelly and Owain Doull.
Atkins was runner up in 2011 too and will be keen to go one better this time around, while Doull has the chance to make it at an all 100%ME podium, the Welshman finishing fourth in 2012 and coming into the nationals on the back of a strong UCI Nations’ Cup campaign.
Thirty five riders will contest the women’s time trial title event, but with the reigning champion absent, will it be youth or experience that will take the crown?
Wendy Houvenaghel took back to back titles in 2011 and 2012 but is absent in 2013, leaving the door wide open for a new champion. Julia Shaw has been runner up for three consecutive years so perhaps 2013 is the year when the www.drag2zero.com rider can prosper.
Shaw’s hopes are further buoyed by the absence of 2009/10 winner Emma Pooley; however, the 47-year-old faces a young challenger in the shape of junior women’s road time trial champion Elinor Barker.
Barker’s rise has been meteoric, bagging the silver in the junior worlds in 2011 and going one better in 2012. Now part of the Wiggle Honda outfit and an integral piece of the Great Britain team pursuit squad, the mega talented Barker is sure to sparkle on the Stewarton course though she has tipped teammate Joanna Rowsell to be a key contender.
Other threats include Emma Trott – the Dolmans Boels rider took bronze in 2012 and will be eager to capitalise on the absence of Pooley and Houvenaghel. Also in the mix is Ciara Horne. Fourth in 2012, Horne, now riding for Breast Cancer Care Cycling Team, will be angling for a podium position.