The 2021 HSBC UK | National Road Championships will take place in Lincoln, and for the first time in the event’s history, the national champions’ jerseys will be presented for the road race, time trial and circuit in the same week.
Taking place from 14-17 October 2021 the event will begin with the time trials on Thursday, followed by the circuit races on Friday and the road races on Sunday. There will, in addition, be a sportive on Saturday and the Newells Michaelgate Hill Dash on the Saturday evening.
The Rapha Lincoln Grand Prix was initially planned to be the opening round of this year’s HSBC UK | National Road Series, however due to Covid-19 restrictions the event was postponed with a view to rescheduling later in the year. Following British Cycling’s decision to move the HSBC UK | National Road Championships from its traditional calendar date in June, the organisation has worked with Rapha Lincoln Grand Prix organisers Dan Ellmore and Peter Odam to bring the National Championships back to the city for the first time since 2015.
Following its inception in 1956, the Rapha Lincoln Grand Prix and its iconic Michaelgate climb have brought a host of the world’s best teams and riders to the city, with past winners of the race including Malcolm Elliott, Keith Reynolds, Russell Downing and Lizzie Deignan.
British Cycling CEO, Brian Facer, said: “I’m really excited that we have been able to announce that Lincoln will be hosting the 2021 HSBC UK | National Road Championships. The city has staged some fantastic races in the past and bringing the three championship races together in the space of a week will be a unique challenge for riders, and a proud new chapter in the race’s storied history.
“The pandemic has presented enormous challenges for road racing, and I want to pay tribute to organiser Dan Ellmore, Lincoln City Council and our team at British Cycling who have all worked around the clock to bring the event together at short notice. I am immensely proud of the way in which the racing community has come together to support the rebuilding of our sport, and I know that this event will give riders, teams and fans across the country a real boost as we head into the summer’s racing, and a focal point to aim for later in the year.”
In the 2015 championships Lizzie Deignan took the women’s title with a blistering solo attack on Michaelgate, while Peter Kennaugh claimed victory in the men’s race after a final lap drag race up the cobbles against Mark Cavendish. Later that year Deignan went on to claim victory in the UCI Road World Championships in Richmond, Virginia. The time trials at the 2015 championships in Lincoln were won by Alex Dowsett and Hayley Simmonds.
Lizzie Deignan, rider for Trek-Segafredo and former world and Commonwealth champion, said:
“Winning my third national road title in Lincoln in 2015 was a really special moment and I’ll never forget the noise and the atmosphere of that day. It’s a race that all riders want to win and after the past year I’m sure that will be truer than ever this October.
“The growth in the number and quality of female British riders since the last time the race was in Lincoln in 2015 has been absolutely incredible to see and I know that competition for the national champions’ jerseys will be fiercer than ever this time around.”
Event organiser, Dan Ellmore, said: “We are incredibly pleased to bring the National Road Race Championships back to Lincoln on the historic Michaelgate cobbles. The event brought over £1m in income to Lincoln when held in 2015 without the inclusion of the circuit championships so we hope to not only bring some fantastic racing to Lincoln in October but also a much welcome boost to the local economy.”
Cllr Bob Bushell, Portfolio Holder for Remarkable Place at City of Lincoln Council, said: “As a Council we are proud to be supporting this event and happy to see the return of the National Championships to the city.
“Lincoln prides itself in being a destination for cycling enthusiasts and we look forward to welcoming visitors back to the city for this event in October.”