George Atkins (100% ME) leads the British Cycling Elite Circuit series as the entourage moves to East Yorkshire for the penultimate round of the quick-fire town centre series.
Above: Consistency is paying off for George Atkins (100% ME) who leads the 2013 series by 42 points ahead of Beverley round.
The 2013 series hasn’t yielded the dominant team performance that saw Graham Briggs’ Team Raleigh GAC squad steamroller the 2012 edition.
Instead, the four rounds so far have seen two wins for Rapha Condor JLT (Felix English and Ed Clancy), one for Mike Northey (Node4 Giordana Racing) and one for series leader Atkins. It’s been consistency that’s paid off for Atkins, with regular top ten placings and a win in Stockton seeing him atop the table with just two rounds remaining.
The small town of Beverley in East Yorkshire has long been a home to elite circuit and road racing action and is unlikely to disappoint when the UK’s top riders descend on Friday evening.
With the teams so evenly matched in 2013 it’s hard to pick a winner from the pack but if Yorkshireman Graham Briggs can make home advantage pay he could do his title defence a big favour with a much yearned for win in Beverley.
Briggs lies in second in the overall standings (139 points) ahead of Ed Clancy (130 points). The Rapha Condor JLT man won the Colne GP after Briggs’ Team Raleigh lead-out train was swamped at the death by a pincer move from Madison Genesis and Clancy’s men in black.
Fellow Yorkshireman Dean Downing (Madison Genesis) took second place in Colne and looks to be in stellar form, following a win at the Beaumont Trophy Premier Calendar road race earlier in July.
However the Madison Genesis rider will miss the Elite Circuit Series event, concentrating on Sunday’s British Cycling National Circuit Race Championships in York. Speaking to British Cycling following his Colne podium, Downing vowed to return for the series finale in Sheffield (24 July) and sounded pumped-up for a home win.
Ed Clancy completes the trio of Yorkshire favourites for the East Yorkshire Classic – the Olympian used his track speed to great effect to win the bunch sprint in Colne and is poised in third position in the series, 42 points behind Atkins - a win, combined with a slip in form for Atkins could see Clancy take the top spot.
Clancy’s teammate Richard Lang was victorious in Beverley in 2012, so director sportif Jon Herety’s outfit know how to put together a win in the Yorkshire town.
Racing begins at 6:20pm with the Regional B event before the E/1/2 race starts at 7:45pm. Check out the British Cycling website for reports and reaction.