Bradley Wiggins (Cofidis) and David Millar (Saunier Duval-Prodir) will headline the 120-rider field competing in the final round of the British Cycling Premier Calendar series in the Tour of Pendle on Sunday 12th August.
Chris Newton (Recycling.co.uk) has already sewn up the series overall with consistent results throughout the year, which included winning 100 points for victory in the Ryedale GP. Newton has an unassailable 124 point lead over second placed Rob Sharman (KFS Special Vehicles).
The fight for second place is very tight with Sharman on 585 points, Gordon McCauley (Plowman Craven / Evans) 584 and Dean Downing (Rapha/Condor) 579.
Two riders have already been selected for the forthcoming world championships. Ian Wilkinson (ScienceinSport/Trek) rides for Team GB in the MTB Elite X Country world event in Fort William on September 9th and McCauley has just been confirmed for the New Zealand team where he will ride the time trial in the road championships in Germany.
Matt Stephens (Sigma Sport RT) is back on his bike following his crash on the finishing circuit in the British National Championships last weekend where he had been a central character for most of the event. The other key riders to watch for are Russell Downing (Team HealthNet – Maxxis), Lee Davis and Andy Roche (Pinarello RT) and the Rapha/Condor trio of Richard Wilkinson, Alex Higham and Matt Talbot. Malcolm Elliott (Pinarello RT) has not seemingly found the form that gave him victory in the Cicle Classic (Rutland to Melton) race earlier in the year but you can never rule out the seasoned professional.
Wiggins and Millar are ostensibly race favourites. Millar showed that he can simply ride away from the domestic field when he won the British title last weekend. Wiggins’s presence will add another dimension to the race. British cycle fans are expected to turn out in force to see the multiple world and Olympic track medallist battle with the former Tour de France yellow jersey wearer.
The field starts with three 28-mile laps around the famous Pendle hill before moving onto one lap of a finishing circuit in the provincial Lancashire town of Nelson to complete the 96-mile event in the pretty British countryside. The points for the king of the mountains competition will be won or lost on the two-mile climb on the road adjacent to Weets Hill beginning just past the village of Blacko on the big circuit. The race starts early at 09.30 outside Nelson Town Hall with the finish expected back in the town around 13.00. The event is generously sponsored by cottages4you.co.uk.