British Cycling has today announced that Mark Cavendish – out of action since March with glandular fever – is among the field for this year’s national road championships, which take place on his native Isle of Man next month.
The Dimension Data rider, winner of the national championship in Glasgow in 2013, is due to take to the start line on Sunday 25 July – less than a week before the Tour de France begins – alongside a field also including two-time national champion and fellow Manxman Peter Kennaugh of Team Sky.
Five other Team Sky riders – Jonathan Dibben, Owain Doull, Luke Rowe, Ian Stannard and reigning under-23 champion, Tao Geoghegan Hart – will also race, as will defending champion Adam Blythe of Aqua Blue.
The field for the women’s race, which takes place the same day, is headed by former world and British champion Lizzie Deignan of Boels Dolmans, alongside last year’s winner, the Canyon SRAM rider Hannah Barnes.
Thursday 22 June will see Alex Dowsett of Movistar and Team WNT Pro Cycling’s Hayley Simmonds aim to win the men's and women's time trial title, respectively, for the third year running.
If Dowsett is successful, it would be a record sixth national title for the rider from Essex, while Simmonds will face a challenge from two of Team GB’s Rio gold medallists in the team pursuit – her WNT team mate, Katie Archibald and Elinor Barker of Matrix Fitness.
Jonny Clay, British Cycling’s director of cycling, said: “It’s fantastic to be able to announce a field of this quality for the 2017 HSBC UK | National Road Championships.
“The calibre of the riders who will be taking to the start line speaks volumes for both the health of road racing in Great Britain and the draw of a championships taking place in such an iconic venue which is synonymous with our sport.
“We are sure that cycling fans will share in our excitement and turn out in huge numbers to help make this a truly memorable championships.”
Laurence Skelly MHK, Minister for the Isle of Man Department of Economic Development, added: “It’s fantastic to see our home-grown cycling heroes returning to the Island’s shores this year and I’m delighted that cycling fans will be able to see international athletes take to our famous TT course. Riders and fans alike are sure of a warm Manx welcome this June.”
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.