Cavendish and Armitstead to headline at British national championships
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Thursday, June 13, 2013

Cavendish and Armitstead to headline at British national championships

by Ben Atkins at 5:18 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, National Championships
 
International stars up against the domestic peloton on preview of Commonwealth Games course

mark cavendishMark Cavendish (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) and Lizzie Armitstead (Boels-Dolmans) will be the headliners at the Great Britain national championships in Glasgow, Scotland, on June 23rd, as the British peloton gets a preview of a course that may be used in the 2014 Commonwealth Games. Both riders will come up against a strong domestic peloton, however, which will not want to simply roll over for the international stars.

Cavendish, despite having a list of victories that includes the 2011 World championships and 23 stages of the Tour de France, has never taken the red, white and blue banded jersey. The Manxman will be up against his former Sky teammates - including defending champion Ian Stannard - who have dominated the race since the team’s formation in 2010. Cavendish will have just one teammate with him in the race this time, in the shape of young sprinter Andy Fenn.

Team Sky’s line up will also include 2012 Tour of Britain winner Jonathan Tiernan-Locke, but not 2010 champion Geraint Thomas, or either Bradley Wiggins - the 2011 champion - or Chris Froome. Wiggins is presumably still recovering from the illness and injury that forced him to abandon the Giro d’Italia and pull out of the Tour de France team, while Thomas and Froome will be focusing on the Tour’s Corsica start the following weekend.

Other WorldTour riders making the journey to Glasgow will be 2007 champion David Millar (Garmin-Sharp), BMC Racing duo Steve Cummings and Adam Blythe, and Giro d’Italia time trial winner Alex Dowsett (Movistar). The Professional Continental level will be represented by 2005 champion Russell Downing, Jonathan McEvoy, Erick Rowsell and Scott Thwiates (all of NetApp Endura)

The international riders will be up against a determined domestic peloton, however, led by the powerful Rapha Condor JLT team that includes 2009 champion Kristian House and multiple Olympic champion Ed Clancy.

lizzie armitstead,emma trottThe 2013 women’s race will be something of a watershed for the women’s peloton, since it will be the first since 2001 not to feature ten-time champion Nicole Cooke. Armitstead will also not have to face competition from 2010 champion Emma Pooley (Bigla), who - despite winning last month’s Tour de Languedoc-Rousillon - is still working on her PhD, while defending champion Sharon Laws (Lotto-Belisol) is still to return to top form after recently returning from the fractured vertebra she suffered in a crash in the Cape Epic mountainbike race.

Armitstead, Pooley and Laws were teammates in the 2010-2012 races - using their numerical superiority to defeat Cooke - but the Olympic silver medallist will still be part of a three-rider team this time, with Boels-Dolmans teammates Lucy Martin and Emma Trott (pictured right).

Like in the men’s race, the women’s peloton will be peppered with riders from international teams, with Katie Colclough (Specialized-lululemon), Lucy Garner (Argos-Shimano), and British cyclocross champion Nikki Harris (Telenet-Fidea), along with the five British riders from Wiggle Honda in Elinor Barker, Dani King, Amy Roberts, Joanna Rowsell and Laura Trott.

Once again, however, the domestic teams will be determined to stand up to the international stars, with Hannah Barnes at the head of the MG-Maxifuel team, as well as powerful line ups from Matrix Fitness and Breast Cancer Care.

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