June 21, 2018 | 25d | News
The start lists for both the time trials (Thursday June 28) and road races (Sunday July 1) are littered with household names, with the likes of Mark Cavendish, Dame Sarah Storey, Geraint Thomas and Elinor Barker all set to compete for the prestigious red, white and blue national champions’ jerseys in the North East.
Steve Cummings – one of 11 Grand Tour riders in the field – will defend his men’s time trial title on Thursday, with five-time champion Alex Dowsett among those looking to de-throne him.
In the absence of reigning women’s champion Claire Rose, 2015 and 2016 champion Hayley Simmonds will be looking to reclaim her time trial title, while Hannah Barnes will be seeking to upgrade the silver medal that she picked up at last year’s event on the Isle of Man.
Also bidding for a national title in the women’s time trial will be Storey, who with 14 Paralympic titles to her name is one of Britain’s most decorated athletes, and has recently returned to competition following the birth of her second child.
She will also take her place on the start line for Sunday’s road race, where, with reigning champion Lizzie Deignan absent due to the impending birth of her first child and Olympic, world and Commonwealth track champion Katie Archibald absent through injury, a host of riders will fancy their chances of claiming the red, white and blue stripes.
Barnes was victorious in Stockton in 2016, as she edged sister Alice into second place, and both will be in the hunt for glory in Northumberland. Joining them on the start line will be Olympic, Commonwealth and multiple world track champion Barker, while her fellow Welsh Olympic gold medallist Dani Rowe will also be targeting a medal off the back of her third-place finish at the recent OVO Energy Women’s Tour.
Rowe’s brother-in-law Luke forms part of a sensational start list for the men’s road race later that day, as Cummings looks to defend the second title he won on the Isle of Man last year.
Cavendish, Thomas and Dowsett will be joined by the likes of double former champion Peter Kennaugh, 2012 winner Ian Stannard and 2016 victor Adam Blythe on the start line for what is set to be a fiercely contested finale to the championships.
Who is Riding?
The road race action will be broadcast on ITV, with highlights of the women’s road race and live culmination of the men’s race being shown from 3pm on Sunday July 1. The programme will then be available on the ITV Hub for 27 days after the event.
More information on both events, including course maps, spectator and car parking locations.