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British criterium championships

By Gerry McManus

Both the men’s and women’s British circuit race champions will be crowned on the weekend of 17th and 18th June. The women’s event runs on Saturday in the northern town of Curborough in Staffordshire and the small town of Horwich in Lancashire hosts the men’s event not far from the Manchester Commonwealth Games road race circuit in Rivington.

Elite Women’s Criterium Championship

43 entries in the women’s event will race for an hour to see who will succeed last year’s winner Amy Hunt. Former champions Helen Gutteridge (Team Luciano (2003) and Clare Goss (Fat Birds Don't Fly) (2004) both race on the tight circuit where fitness will be tested to the limit.

Laura Bissell (GS Strada) will look to emulate her brother Peter who won his first champion’s jersey in the U23 road race recently and her vast experience on the track may just make the difference. Bissell currently sits third in the British Cycling Elite women’s ranking ahead of fourth placed Gutteridge. Last year’s runner-up Kim Blythe (Raleigh-ERV) will be looking to step up to the gold medal but has needs to improve on her recent performances. So far this season Blythe has scored only once in the BC women’s road race series but championship events can have the effect of bringing out the best in some competitors.

Joanna Rowsell (VC Londres) has proved the most consistent in the BC women’s series with two second places and a third in the first four counting events and she leads the series with one race to go. Watch out too for Leda Cox (Team Rapha/Condor) who showed form when she won bronze in the Derny paced championships at the beginning of the month.

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