By Gerry McManus
The Hull Thursday Road Club promote a number of races over the busy weekend based around the town of Beverley in East Yorkshire near Kingston on Hull. Saturday’s British Women’s championship race will decide the Elite Women’s and Under 23 titles in the same event. On Sunday the Elite Men will fight it out over a longer distance but both events finish on the same circuit in Beverley.
Women’s Elite and U23 road race, June 24, 63 miles
Nicole Cooke (Univega-Raleigh) goes for her seventh consecutive title and few would bet against the Welsh star. The world silver medallist will have tough competition from Rachel Heal (Victory Brewing) but not Emma Davies-Jones (Topsport). Davies-Jones has suffered serious setbacks this year including breaking her collarbone in Holland recently, and has decided she won't be at the level needed to race in the scenic countryside of the East Ridings.
Teenager Joanna Rowsell (VC Londres) is currently leading the British Cycling Women’s race series by a considerable amount and could be in contention for a medal in the Elite or U23 category. Rowsell is supported by a strong team including Lara Wann.
Helen Gutteridge and Jeanette Tebutt both ride for Team Luciano-Kuota. Emma Pooley and Claire Goss look the strongest on paper in the massive 10-strong Team Fat Birds UK team and the team size could be decisive for at least a podium place if they can play the tactics game correctly.
Lizzie Armistead (Raleigh ERV) rides with the boost of taking the criterium title last weekend and must be full of confidence for the longer event. Watch out for criterium silver medallist Tanja Slater (Scienceinsport.com) and fourth placed Janet Birkmyer (Planet-X).
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