REIGNING Olympic and World champion Katie Archibald will be just one of the names to watch out for among a star-studded field of cyclists heading to Stamfordham this weekend.
Archibald, who was part of Team GB’s gold winning team pursuit track team at the Rio Olympics, will return to the area as she looks to reclaim the Curlew Cup which she won back in 2014.
She is just one of the 300 elite riders who will arrive in Tynedale for the women’s national series road race and the international men’s road race, the Beaumont Trophy, on Sunday.
The Scottish rider, the current world champion in the omnium discpline, will join Team WNT Pro Cycling teammates Eileen Rose, the reigning national circuit race champion, Natalie Grinczer, Hayley Jones, Bex Rimmington and Gabriella Shaw on the start line at 9am.
She will have to try to dethrone last year’s winner Nikki Juniper if she wants the Curlew Cup back, Juniper representing Team Ford Ecoboost alongside Melissa Brand, Bethany Hayward, Kelly Murphy, Charmaine Porter and Jennifer Powell. Drops Cycling Team will also send a strong team with Laura Massey, the winner of the race in 2015, heading up Rose Osborne, Hannah Payton and Abigail Van Twisk.
Chanel Mason, of Storey Racing, currently leads the series after four rounds, with Sian Botteley, of Cycle Team OnForm, second and Grace Garner, of Wiggle High5, third
There is also an illustrious field for the Beaumont Trophy, although last year’s winner Dion Smith, who has switched teams from ONE Pro Cycling Team, will not defend his title.Yet the team will be determined to win in the area again, and are likely to be one of the main threats in the race.
Pete Williams and New Zealander James Oram will look to improve on their fourth and sixth positions from 2016, with new recruit Tom Stewart, Hayden McCormick and Kamil Gradek also in action.
One of the men to watch will be Chris Latham, the winner of the trophy in 2015 as a 21-year-old, who will look to build on his recent World Track gold in Hong Kong as he represents Team Wiggins.
Making up Sir Bradley’s strong squad is former world team pursuit champion Andrew Tennant, Samuel Harrison, Rob Scott, Etienne Georgi and Joey Walker.
The GB National Team is also sending a team of riders from its Olympic Senior Academy Programme, with Jacob Hennessy, Reece Wood, Angus Claxton, Ethan Hayter, Matthew Walls and Matthew Bostock taking to the start line.
Leading British cycle racing team Madison Genesis has confirmed its team as Rich Handley, Johnny McEvoy, Erick Rowsell, Tobyn Horton, Matthew Holmes and Connor Swift, the latter two making big impressions at this year’s Tour de Yorkshire.
Wearing the distinctive red and yellow kit of one of the best loved cycling brands, Raleigh GAC, will be former Movistar rider Enrique Sanz, Sebastian Mora, Adria Moreno, Adam Kenway, Yoeri Havik and Tristan Robbins.
The 117-mile race, starting and finishing in Stamfordham, will start at 1.15pm
The elite races are part of the Cyclone Festival of Cycling weekend. More details can be found on page 40.