Ryedale Grand Prix the location for the British Road Race Championships in 2012
While the Australians battle it out for their road titles in the heat of summer this weekend, British riders will be in North Yorkshire for the British Road Race Championships in June. While British Cycling has yet to release details of the event ahead of meetings this month, VeloUK thought now would be a good time to look at the Ryedale Grand Prix which has twice before been the venue for the British Road Race Championships.
2005 and the first running of the Ryedale Grand Prix and Russell Downing is pretty pleased to have won the British RR title ahead of Steve Cummings. Both are expected to be challenging for the title again in 2012, Downing in the colours of Endura Racing and Cummings riding for BMC.
The Ryedale Grand Prix was first held under that name in 2005 and the winner that day was Russell Downing (rides for Endura Racing in 2012) who was the proud wearer of the British Champions jersey for the twelve months afterwards. The race is organised by Bob Howden of the company, Grass Concrete Limited.
The event was previously styled as the Peter Longbottom Memorial and promoted by VC York, with help from neighbouring Clifton CC, Pete’s two clubs before he moved on to Manchester Wheelers. In 2004, the event stepped up to Premier Calendar level sponsored by Castle BMW and organised by Richard Welburn. The circuit then was at Sherriff Hutton and negotiated the climb of Bulmer Bank with a roadside finish just before Sherriff Hutton. The podium that year saw Malcolm Elliott on the top step from John Tanner and Rob Sharman.
After this event, Richard Welburn stepped away from organising to focus on his catering business which left a void that would have seen the event cease to continue. To avoid this, British Cycling’s Yorkshire Region stepped in to take over as the official promoters with Chairman Bob Howden as the nominated Organiser and Race Director. The organisational team was then drawn from the combined resources of BC Yorkshire Board and Events Group together with members and friends of the York based clubs.
Race boss Bob Howden of sponsors Grasscrete, in charge of the first race in 2005 at Duncombe Park.
The first decision was to re-locate to a course that provided a venue rather than a roadside finish, the second decision was to bid for the National Championships for which there was an organisational vacancy in 2005. The bid was secured as was the venue at Duncombe Park, the Stately Home of Lord and Lady Feversham in the market town of Helmsley.
The rebranding to the Ryedale Grand Prix recognised Ryedale District Council’s support for the event, though the event continued to incorporate the Peter Longbottom Memorial with the added poignancy of him being a former Ryedale DC Surveyor. Since 2005, the event has been sponsored by Bob Howden’s company Grass Concrete Limited promoting their worldwide Grasscrete brand. In addition to hosting the National Road Championships in 2005, the event again hosted them in 2008 when Rob Hayles won the race.
It may be just coincidence that both winners of the British title at the Ryedale have been British based pros. After two years of dominance by Team Sky, it could be time for a rider from a British based team to win the title again and with the likes of Endura Racing have a very much European based programme, could Russell Downing repeat his win of 2005?
Rob Hayles winning the British title in 2008 when he was in sensational form. Rob has now retired but is busier than ever with work in the media as well as being Mark Cavendish’s personal assistant when the World Champ is Britain. Will we see the World champion winning the British title with Team Sky? With ten potential British Sky riders, that is perhaps a real possiblity.
2012 will see a major re-structuring of the event as it again takes on the mantle of National Road Race Championship to be held on the 24th June. As a single day promotion, the venue is switching to Ampleforth Abbey and College that has traditionally hosted the Race HQ.
This magnificent site is the home to Benedictine monks and has been used in recent years for the start and finish of BC Yorkshire’s Ryedale Rumble Sportive and the run in to the finish never fails to draw comments both for the scenery and the deceptively tough drag up through the grounds. It’s this drag that now becomes the finishing straight that will then continue over a short but steep double hairpin climb before returning to the highway.
Once on the road, the circuits are completely new, with a shift away from the Hovingham hub that has featured on previous editions.
Headquarters: Ampleforth, York, North Yorkshire, YO62 4EN (click for a plan of the venue and finish)
The Women’s Championship, off first at 9.15am will take in seven laps of a 9.5 mile circuit using Ampleforth and Yearsley as its main reference points. It’s also traditionally “rolling” as befits this part of the world.
Map – Click for PDF (600k)
The Men’s Championship later in the day will cover this circuit as a finishing loop of six laps after first negotiating three laps of an 18.9 mile route that takes in Ampleforth, Wass, Coxwold, Crayke and Brandsby en-route and includes a hard drag from Bransby to Yearsley.
Both circuits will lap through Ampleforth where the event village will be located.
Timings for both events can be seen on the event website — click here.
Winner of the Ryedale GP in 2011 was Jon Tiernan-Locke — will the King of the Mountains in the 2011 Tour of Britain be able to repeat his win with the help of Endura Racing in 2012?
Bob Howden will once again be the nominated Event Organiser and Race Director and Grass Concrete will be the main sponsor. Other sponsorships currently agreed are Ryedale District Council and Welcome to Yorkshire. Bob Howden has produced another course profile that he feels will encourage racing throughout the circuits rather than just focussing on a single climb as the selection point. This he reasons provides the opportunities for home based riders to step up to the mark.
It is certainly a big year for Yorkshire in cycling with the Circuit Race Championships also being held there, in Otley, where the likes of Mark Cavendish have won in the past.
We’ll bring you more details on the Championships as we get them. In the meantime, good luck to all the Australians racing for British teams in their championships this weekend. In six months, it will be the turn of the Brits to battle for the title and the Aussies to have a rest day!
2012 EVENT NEWS
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- Result: Surrey League Dunsfold Park 4ths Series
- Results: Hog Hill Summer Series 2
- Result/Report: NCRA Rockingham Raceway Handicap Series: Race 2
- Results: Staffs & Shropshire RR League
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- Report/Results: Ciclos Uno Summer Series #1
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- Report/Results: Brooks Cycles Track League
- Results: Wolverhampton Wheelers Track League
- Result: Mallory Park Thursday League 5
- Results: Castle Combe Week 3
- Results: Lotus Cars Cycle Racing League Race 2
- News: Wiggins abandons Tour of Italy
- News: 100th Victory for Mark Cavendish
- Results: CDNW UCLanSport Circuit Race Series
- Report: Debut Win for Cox! Moreton Race 2
- Report: NYRRL event 1 Bishopswood Selby
- Team News: House at Home in Durham Tour Series
- Report/Results: Royal London 360 Youth League Round 6
- Report/Photos! Tour Series – Durham (North East)
- Results: InGear Trainsharp Dunsfold Series
- News: Scotland Gearing Up for ‘Grand Depart Weekend’
- Results: Litherland Circuit League
- Result: BEC CC Road Race
- Results: Behind The Bikeshed’s Summer Circuits 1
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- Results: Border City Wh CC Hilly 22