British Cycling has announced the field for the National Road Championships in Stockton-On-Tees, in the northeast of Britain, later this month, confirming that Lizzie Armitstead, Mark Cavendish, Alex Dowsett, Emma Pooley, Dame Sarah Storey and Dani King will all fight for the national champion’s jerseys up for grabs across the road race and time events.
Missing from the entry list are 2015 men's road race champion Pete Kennaugh (Team Sky), who fractured his collarbone at the Tour of California, and Tour de France contenders Chris Froome and Geraint Thomas. Several riders from the Great Britain track squad for the Rio Olympics have entered the road race, including Ed Clancy, but Bradley Wiggins’ name is not on the official entry list for the road race or the time trial as he focuses on preparing for the team pursuit.
The time trials will take place on Thursday 23 June on a 11.6-kilometre circuit starting and finishing in Stockton town centre, which will be completed four times by the men and three times by the women and under-23 men, giving total race distances of 46.4 kilometres and 34.8 kilometres respectively.
The road races will take place on Sunday 26 June and start in the centre of Stockton before heading out of town where the riders will complete six laps (women) and 12 laps (men) of a 13.4-kilometre circuit. The riders will then return to Stockton town centre and enter the 6.7-kilometre finishing circuit to complete three laps in the women’s race and six in the men’s, before racing for the line on the High Street.
Stand-out names on the start list for the men’s road race include Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data). The 2013 British champion and 2011 world champion will go up against Team Sky riders Ian Stannard, Luke Rowe and Ben Swift as well as former under-23 champion Scott Thwaites (Bora–Argon 18).
Leading the challenge from the British-based domestic teams will be in-form rider Ian Bibby (NFTO), winner of the recent Manx International Grand Prix and Cycle Wiltshire Grand Prix, and riders from Team Wiggins, Raleigh GAC, Madison Genesis, Pedal Heaven, JLT Condor, and Britain’s only UCI Professional Continental team, One Pro Cycling.
Defending champion and world road champion Lizzie Armitstead (Boels-Dolmans) is the favourite to win her fourth national road race title. Her challengers will include Olympic track champion Dani King (Wiggle High5), 2015 under-23 champion and recent winner of the Women’s Lincoln Grand Prix, Alice Barnes (Drops Cycling Team), and current British Cycling Women’s Road Series leader Nicola Juniper (Team Ford Ecoboost).
Emma Pooley continues her comeback from retirement in the run-up to the Rio Olympic Games and is a favourite for the women’s time trial. The Beijing Olympic time trial silver medallist will have to overcome competition from 2015 champion Hayley Simmonds (UnitedHealthcare), 2015 silver medallist Molly Weaver (Liv-Plantur), and multiple Paralympic champion and 2015 bronze medallist Dame Sarah Storey.
In the men’s time trial Alex Dowsett (Movistar) will attempt to win a record a fifth British time trial title and a put up a strong ride in the road race to help secure him a place in the Movistar team for the Tour de France.