Mark Cavendish (Etixx-QuickStep) will look to win the British national champion's road race title for a second time at the end of the month, but will have his work cut out against a quality field of British riders on the testing course in Lincoln.
The Manxman, who has racked up 13 wins already this year, has been confirmed as part of a strong men’s field that includes E3 Harelbeke winner Geraint Thomas, reigning champion Peter Kennaugh (both Team Sky), and the Adam and Simon Yates (Orica-GreenEdge). Also racing are 2005 champion Russell Downing (Cult-Energry Pro), Ben Swift (Team Sky), Steve Cummings (MTN-Qhubeka), and Adam Blythe (Orica-GreenEdge).
Cavendish won the British title in Glasgow in 2013 before going on to win two stages in the Tour de France.
The 123.5-mile route for the 2015 championships is tough, and culminates with eight and a half laps of the eight-mile Lincoln Grand Prix circuit. That means nine times up Michaelgate, a cobbled climb that’s only 250 metres long but has a fearsome gradient of 16 per cent. It’s a factor that might swing the balance in favour of Thomas rather than the likes of Cavendish.
In the 67-mile women’s road race, 67 miles l, Olympic silver medallist Lizzie Armitstead (Boels-Dolmans) will go head to head with defending champion Laura Trott (Matrix Fitness) in a bid to win a third title in five years. Armitstead got the better of Trott to win the jersey in 2013 but last year had to settle for third as the 23-year-old took top spot on the podium.
They’ll face competition from 2014 runner-up Dani King (Wiggle-Honda) and multiple Paralympic champion Dame Sarah Storey (Pearl Izumi), along with Katie Archibald (Pearl Izumi), Lucy Garner (Liv-Plantur), and Elinor Barker (Matrix Fitness).
There will be no jersey defence from Bradley Wiggins in the men's time trial event. Last year he ended a run of three straight wins for Alex Dowsett but the Movistar rider will be favourite to reclaim the title despite face stiff opposition from the likes of Thomas and Matt Bottrill (Drag2Zero), who has cleaned up on the domestic scene over the last couple of years.
In the women’s event, three-time winner Emma Pooley’s retirement leaves the door open for the likes of Archibald and Storey – second and third respectively last year.
The men’s and women’s time trials take place on Thursday 25 June, ahead of the road races on Sunday 28 June.
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