A legion of Scottish riders will head to Dumfries and Galloway this week for the British Road Championships from Thursday.
With so many Scots in action, we’ve compiled a preview of what to watch over Thursday and Friday.
Thursday - Time Trial
Roads surrounding Dumfries will play host to the Time Trial Championships with the U23 Men and Women racing one lap of the 22.1km course, while the senior riders will race two tours of the circuit.
Racing starts at 10am with the Under 23 Men’s, where Scot Ciaran Mc Sherry (The Cycling Academy) will be the first to leave the start ramp and get the championships underway and will be followed by Logan Maclean (Wheebase CabTech-Castelli).
Callum Thornley (Wheelbase CabTech-Castelli) will be one to watch from the early starters, as the Peebles rider has shown some great form in recent weeks, setting a course record on the Freuchie 10-mile course at a recent Fife Midweek TT, with a time of 18:50 – only four seconds shy of a Scottish record.
Oscar Onley (Team DSM) comes to Dumfries straight off the back of the U23 Giro d’Italia, which the Borders rider finished ninth on the overall general classification, and certainly will be one of the local favourites in the final few starters; he’ll be looking to improve on his bronze medal in Lincoln last year.
Ross Birrell (Team Inspired) and Matti Dobbins (Wheelbase CabTech-Castelli) will also be in action.
Kate Richardson (Alba Development RT) will be the sole Scot in the Women’s U23 Time Trial, she’ll be looking build up on her recent strong form, with the added bonus of ridden the course several times in recent weeks. Richardson will leave the start gate at 11:05am
The afternoon’s racing will start with the Men’s Elite Time Trial held over 44.2km. Scottish Student champion, Cameron Richardson (RT23) will be the first down the start ramp at 1.45pm, with riders heading off at two-minute intervals.
In terms of UCI riders, Stuart Balfour will be the sole Scottish Ribble-Weldtite rider in action as teammate Finn Crockett has been ruled out of the week’s racing due to a positive Covid test, while Michael Gill (Saint Piran) will also be in action.
Team Scotland’s Kyle Gordon (RT23), John Archibald and Mark Stewart (Bolton Equities Black Spoke) will hope to show glimpses of the form that they’ll need in Birmingham in just over a month’s time
Thursday’s racing will culminate with the Women’s Elite Time Trial.
Sophie Lankford (Alba Development Road Team) will be the first Scot on the course at 5.26pm. Former Scottish National Road Race Champion Jennifer George (NoPinz) and her successor in the jersey Becky Storrie (CAMS-Basso) will be in action 10 and 12 minutes after Lankford.
Team Scotland’s Neah Evans (Team HUUB) and Katie Archibald (Ceratizit-WNT) will be both be looking at possible podium places, with Archibald in her first race since the UCI Track Nations Cup in April.
Team Scotland, and indeed Tokyo 2020 teammate, Anna Shackley (SD Worx) will not be defending her U23 Time Trial title from 2021 and will instead be targeting a place on the podium in the Elite Women. The Milngavie rider comes off the back of training bloc in the French Alps and will look for a good result before heading to the Giro Donne next month.
There are no live TV pictures of the Time Trial on Thursday, but you can keep up to date with all the goings on via @ScottishCycling on social media.
Friday – Circuit Championships
Kirkcudbright plays host to a Friday night of fast, frantic criterium racing. The town centre circuit is 1km in length, with the races both being held over an hour + five laps. The women’s race will start at 5pm and the men’s race will start at 7pm.
Scottish National Criterium Champion Beth Maciver will lead a ten-strong contingent of Scots in action on Friday evening.
Coming off the back of a strong finish to the Tour Series in May, the Alba Development Road Team will be ones to watch, with Scots Arianne Holland, Victoria Smith and Erin Murphy joining the aforementioned Maciver, as well as Sophie Lankford and Kate Richardson on the start line.
Beth Morrow (CAMS-Basso) scored a brace of Top Ten finishes at the recent Tour Series, including a strong sixth place in the Grand Final in Manchester, and will look to better that on Friday evening.
Jenny Holl (Tekkers CC) will want to better her tenth place in Lincoln last year, while Beth Harley-Jepson (Jadan Vive-le-velo) has shown consistent riding in this year with four Top 20 placings in her Tour Series campaign in May. Morven Yeoman (Tofauti Everyone Active) will be one of two juniors in action.
A minimum of eight Scots will take to the start on Friday’s Men’s Championship race. Cumbria-based, but Scottish-raced Wheelbase CabTech-Castelli will have a sextet of Scots on the line in Kirkcudbright as Scottish National Road Race Champion David Duggan will be joined by Fraser Martin, Tom Merry, Matti Dobbins, Tim Shoreman and Callum Thornley.
Ross Birrell (Team Inspired) and Cameron McLaren (NoPinz) will also be racing on Friday.
Meanwhile, the Spokes RT duo of Daniel Kain and Lee Rosie, as well as Gregor McArthur (The Cycling Academy) are on the reserve list, so may also start.
Both races will be live streamed on Eurosport and GCN+, as well as British Cycling’s YouTube channel.
Sunday sees the Road Race take place for Elite Men and Women, a preview will be shared on the Scottish Cycling website on Friday – stay tuned for that by following our socials @ScottishCycling.