In the men’s road race, Cavendish (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step) will be up against his former team, Sky Pro Cycling, who have dominated the event for the past three years. Team Sky will be out in force with a strong squad that includes defending champion Ian Stannard, 2012 Tour of Britain winner Jon Tiernan-Locke and Olympic Team Pursuit Champion Peter Kennaugh who has finished on the podium at the event in four of the last five years. Amongst the other riders looking to end Sky’s dominance of recent years will be fellow pro tour riders Adam Blythe and Steve Cummings (BMC Racing Team) and 2007 champion and Scot David Millar (Garmin-Sharp).
Also challenging for the podium will be the newly formed Team Netapp – Endura which includes 2005 champion Russell Downing and 2011 U23 champion Scott Thwaites. Leading the charge for the British-based teams will be the likes of Ian Wilkinson (UK Youth), Pete Williams (IG Sigma Sport) and 2012 bronze medallist Russell Hampton (Team Raleigh). In form Ed Clancy (Rapha Condor JLT), 2009 champion Kristian House and early season revelation Tom Stewart (Team Raleigh) will also be riders to look out for during the championships.
In the women’s race, Lizzie Armitstead (Dolmans Boels) will be looking to reclaim the title she won in 2011. Amongst her competition will be defending champion Sharon Laws (Lotto-Belisol), in form Hannah Barnes (MG-Maxifuel Pro Cycling) and last year’s U23 champion Katie Colclough (Specialized-Lululemon) who moves up to contest the elite category. The local crowd are expected to give a warm welcome to the Wiggle Honda team that includes London 2012 Team Pursuit champions Laura Trott, Joanna Rowsell and Dani King.
In the U23 men’s competition the challenge is likely to be led by British Cycling Olympic Podium Programme athlete Simon Yates (100% ME) who has been on strong form on the road since becoming World Points Champion on the track in February. Other riders likely to be challenging for the podium include Yates’ teammate Owain Doull, Daniel McLay (Lotto-Belisol U23) and Matt Holmes (Team Raleigh). Contenders for the U23 women’s title include double Junior Road World Champion Lucy Garner and Wiggle Honda’s Elinor Barker and Laura Trott.
In the Time Trial Championships, defending champion Alex Dowsett starts as one of the favourites in the men’s competition. The Movistar Team rider enjoyed his first Grand Tour stage win with victory in the Giro d’Italia time trial in May but will face stiff competition from 2011 silver medallist Steve Cummings (Team BMC), Andrew Tennant (Madison Genesis) and Matthew Bottrill (www.drag2zero.com).
The women’s competition will see the entire trio from the London 2012 Olympic Games Team Pursuit winning squad, Laura Trott, Joanna Rowsell and Dani King, competing individually against the clock and each other for the title. Upcoming talent and 2012 Junior Time Trial World Champion Elinor Barker will be another one to watch as she takes part in her first elite level national time trial championships whilst former champion and silver medallist for the past three years, Julia Shaw, will be looking to get her hands back on the title she won in 2005.
In the U23 men’s race, defending champion Sam Harrison (100% ME) will face competition from his teammate and the man he beat to the gold medal in 2012, George Atkins, as well as the likes of former European Junior Time Trial Champion Joe Perrett.
The National Time Trial Championships will take place on Thursday 20 June in Stewarton, East Ayrshire. The women’s race will start at 15:00, finish at approximately 17:00 and cover two laps of a 17km course. The men’s race will start at 18:30, finish at approximately 20:30 and cover two laps of a 24km course.
The National Road Race Championships will take place on Sunday 23 June and will start and finish at Glasgow Green. The city centre course will feature elements of the proposed route for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. The women’s race will get underway at 9:30 and finish at 12:30. The men’s race will start at 13:30 and finish at approximately 17:30 hours.
The full start list and further information about the event including course maps, the best places to watch and information about travel and accommodation can be found on the official event website www.nationalroadchamps.co.uk.
Highlights of the British Cycling National Road Championships will be broadcast on ITV4 on Monday 24 June at 19:00 hours.