Road stars take on track champions this Sunday in the first round of British Cycling National Criterium series in which a top notch field including track Olympic medallists and world champs take on some of the UK's top road riders.
Dean Downing (Rapha Condor), national Criterium champion, and Rob Hayles (Halfords Bike Hut), national road race champion, Athens Olympic silver and bronze medallist and past world champion, head a star studded field of 81 in the Hillingdon GP on Sunday, 17 May 2009, at the Hillingdon cycle circuit in Springfield Road, Hayes, the first of the British Cycling National Criterium Series.
Alongside Hayles will be Beijing track Olympic gold medallist Ed Clancy, who has also won three world championships, along with Andy Tennant, who has come through the BC Academy system that has produced so many champions.
They will be tested by last year’s winner Graham Briggs (Candi TV/Marshalls Pasta RT) and his veteran colleague Malcolm Elliot, the winner in 2006. The local favourite will be Tony Gibb (Plowman Craven), world and commonwealth games medallist, who started his racing as a youngster on the then unopened nearby Hayes By-Pass and won the most recent of the regular Tuesday evening races.
The Hillingdon Women’s GP has a strong field of 30 for this inaugural national series event at the Hillingdon circuit in Springfield Road, Hayes. For a winner watch out for west London rider Janet Birkmyre whose sprint abilities may well take the top honour, although Claire Thomas and Kate Breneman from Scotland will undoubtedly want to make their long journey worthwhile and must be watched.
There is a full programme of events:
10.45 Youth races - 40 minutes
11.45 3/4 category race - 1hr + 5 laps (riders not qualified for main event)
13.15 Women's national series criterium - 25 miles/40km - 27 laps
15.00 Hillingdon GP - 50 miles/80km - 54 laps
The organisation is by BC West London Promotions in conjunction with the Edgware RC and assisted by other clubs from the BC Central Region.
Plucked from the obscurity of his London commute back in the mid-Nineties to live in Bath and edit bike mags our man made the jump to the interweb back in 2006 as launch editor of a large cycling website somewhat confusingly named after a piece of navigational equipment. He came up with the idea for road.cc mainly to avoid being told what to do… Oh dear, issues there then. Tony tries to ride his bike every day and if he doesn't he gets grumpy, he likes carbon, but owns steel, and wants titanium. When not on his bike or eating cake Tony spends his time looking for new ways to annoy the road.cc team. He's remarkably good at it.