The final round of British Cycling’s Premier Calendar Series takes to North Yorkshire roads on Sunday 28th July for the annual Ryedale Grand Prix. In its 9 year history the event has on three occasions been run as the National Championship and this year’s race uses much of last year’s Championship course. A continuing feature from last year will be the inclusion of a Women’s Grand Prix to start the day off and this will incorporate the Women’s National Junior Championship.
North Yorkshire roads and those around Ryedale in particular are well known for their rolling “grippy” nature and events to date have tended to see action from the off. In 2012 the course played to the Rouleur strengths of Sharon Laws in the Women’s race and Ian Stannard for the men. Unfortunately Laws has since been beset by injury but Stannard’s National Champion’s Jersey became a prominent feature at the head of continental affairs as he was often seen driving the peloton in search of Team Sky successes.
Will 2013 be played out to similar style winners? Well as a National Series event there will be no UCI World Tour teams in evidence, instead for the men; the home based riders will continue the dogfight of this so far enthralling and open Premier Calendar Series. At the head of the standings lies Scot, Evan Oliphant the Team Raleigh rider who has been a model of consistency since his win in the opening round at the Tour of the Reservoir Stage Race. He holds a 52 point lead over team mate Tom Stewart and a 76 point lead over third place man; the on form New Zealander Mike Northey, who ironically won’t be at Ampleforth to take up the challenge having been scheduled to ride on the Continent that weekend. Looking back at the results from last year’s Championship for a guide Oliphant might appear to have the edge; he is also a former winner of the Ryedale Grand Prix back in 2006 albeit on a different but nevertheless still rolling course. Stewart in contrast is very much new on the scene; the University student from Doncaster having crossed over to Team Raleigh at the early part of the season. This followed a storming ride in Round One of the Premier Calendar, the Tour of The Reservoir Stage Two Day; since then his progress has been impressive. So it might be interesting to be a fly on the wall at the Team Raleigh pre-race briefing, Manager Cherie Pridham has indicated that it could be a tactical race, but are these between her own riders?
Slightly reduced in length from last year’s Nationals the race will nevertheless feature 93 miles of unrelenting challenge with climbs of Yearsley Moor and the tough drag through Ampleforth Abbey grounds to be faced with each lap of the race around its two circuit configuration. With the natural terracing of the Abbey grounds spectators are ideally placed to see the race develop as well as taking in the impressive backdrop of one of North Yorkshire’s gems.
The Women’s Series has so far been significantly focussed around town centre races and so this incursion into the rolling countryside will play into the hands of the climbers in the female peloton. Again the distance has been reduced from last year’s Elite National Championship. In this case the aim has been to provide a stage for the 27 riders who will join the field for the National Women’s Junior Championship to be run off as part of the Grand Prix.
The event is once again organised by British Cycling Yorkshire Region’s Events Group working with York based clubs and will again incorporate the Peter Longbottom Memorial in tribute to the former Malton Olympian. Sponsorship comes again from Grass Concrete Limited via its Grasscrete brand and from Ryedale District Council. Welcome to Yorkshire will be on hand with their Grand Depart Information stand as well.
Women’s Elite Grand Prix and Junior National Championship
0915 hrs Race convoy leaves the Race HQ.
0925 hrs Announcer’s Introduction
0930 hrs START
1134 hrs Scheduled FINISH
1145 hrs Presentation
Men’s Elite Grand Prix
1300 hrs Race convoy leaves the Race HQ
1310 hrs Announcer’s introduction
1315 hrs START
1726 hrs Scheduled FINISH
1745 hrs Presentation
Ampleforth Abbey and College
All Spectator Access
Estate Office Entrance
Please arrive via Oswaldkirk as other directions will conflict with the circuits
In addition to the Sunday events British Cycling will also be organising on Saturday the 27th a Sky Ride Local event the Howardian Heritage Ride taking in 34 mile loop through Ryedale. For further about this led ride please visit http://www.goskyride.com/Search/Details?eventid=24800