It’s that time of the year once again; when riders battle it out for the right to wear national champion's jerseys for the year ahead.
Many countries’ national road championships take place during the final weekend in June and in 2016 the British champion’s white jersey with its red and blue bands will be fought over in the northeast of Britain, in Stockton-on-Tees, not far from Newcastle.
The 2016 British national road race championships form part of the annual Stockton Cycling Festival and will begin on Thursday 23 June with the national time trial championships. The senior road race titles will be contested on Sunday June 26, with current national champions Lizzie Armitstead (Boels-Dolmans) and Pete Kennaugh (Team Sky) expected to defend their titles.
Alex Dowsett, Hayley Simmonds and Scott Davies won the time trial titles in 2015 and they will compete on an 11.6km circuit, with the men completing four laps, while the women and U23 categories will each complete three.
The road races 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 13.4km circuit that takes in the neighbouring villages of Carlton, Thorpe Thewles and Redmarshall. The riders will then return to Stockton town centre, entering the fast and twisting 6.7km 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.
In 2015 Kennaugh retained his 2014 national road title in a closely fought battle with fellow Manxman Mark Cavendish. The Team Sky rider only managed to distance the sprinter on the final climb of the race in Lincoln, while Ian Stannard rounded out the podium. Cavendish, who started the race without any teammates, took the fight to Team Sky and made the winning move inside the closing stages of the race. Kennaugh, who had already been on the attack, made it across, leaving Stannard and Luke Rowe to fight for bronze.
Armitstead won her third national women’s road race title in Lincoln with a dominant performance. She attacked on the penultimate ascent of the Michaelgate climb and despite a valiant chase from defending champion Laura Trott (Matrix Fitness), Armitstead opened up an unbridgeable gap over the top of the climb to win alone.
British National Road Race Championships - 2016 201623 June 2016 - 26 June 2016 | Stockton-on-Tess | CN