By Greg Johnson
Flooded roads and more rain in the forecast have forced the organisers of the British road national championship races to cancel this weekend's event. The situation in the region is so dire that hundreds of families were evacuated from an area threatened by a failing dam, and the organisers could not ask the already overburdened emergency personnel to deal with running a bike race.
"The organisers deeply regret having to cancel these events," said race director Andy Cawley. "We have been working with the police during this very difficult situation and understand they are very stretched. We felt the responsible decision was to cancel the events. We will now work with British Cycling to look at potential new dates."
With the chance to wear the national jersey at the Tour de France's London debut on the line, the smart money for this weekend's Elite men's British champion title would have been on the Grand Tour contestants. However, due to the cancellation, Roger Hammond (T-Mobile), David Millar (Saunier Duval) and 22 year-old rising stars Mark Cavendish (T-Mobile) and Geraint Thomas (Barloworld) won't have the chance to battle for the rights to wear the Union Jack at July's Tour. Event ogranisers announced the cancellation of this weekend's national championships just days before the scheduled run.
An announcement from the organisers read, "The race organisers felt it was important the emergency services and police were not asked to divert resources to helping with the cycle race when the recovery from the severe weather is still ongoing. Also, some sections of the routes for the June 30 and July 1 races are still closed."
The East Riding of Yorkshire Council will now work with British Cycling to organise an alternative, post-Tour date for the event.