Sir Bradley Wiggins and defending champions Mark Cavendish and Lizzie Armitstead will all compete at the British National Road Championships this year, British Cycling have announced.
Cavendish and Armitstead won the respective road races in Glasgow last year, and will head fiercely strong fields at this year’s races in Abergavenny, Monmouthshire on Sunday June 29.
Cavendish will be joined by team-mate Andrew Fenn as he bids to defend his blue and red striped jersey and the right to wear it on the Tour de France start line in Leeds.
But he will face stiff competition from the likes of 2011 champion Wiggins – one of seven Team Sky riders due to start the race – as well as David Millar (Garmin-Sharp) and Orica-GreenEDGE duo Adam and Simon Yates.
Welsh pair Geraint Thomas and Luke Rowe will contest the jersey on home roads, and they will be joined by Sky team-mates Josh Edmondson, Peter Kennaugh and Ben Swift, while Ian Stannard could make his return from injury in the race
Alex Dowsett (Movistar) completes the list of WorldTour riders on the provisional start sheet, while a strong domestic line-up is also expected – including Kristian House (Rapha Condor JLT), winner of the championships in 2009 when it was last held in Abergavenny, and current elite road series leader Yanto Barker (Team Raleigh).
Scott Thwaites, who is on the Tour de France longlist for Team NetApp-Endura, in-form Alex Peters (Madison-Genesis), 2005 winner Russell Downing and Adam Blythe (NFTO Pro Cycling) are also set to race.
In the women’s race, Armitstead will bid for a third national title – having been on the podium in each of the previous five years.
Wiggle-Honda’s track superstars Elinor Barker, Jo Rowsell, Laura Trott and Dani King, the latter two having been second and third respectively last year, are among the other contenders alongside their fellow world team pursuit champion Katie Archibald (Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International).
Archibald will count Dame Sarah Storey among her team-mates, while 2012 champion Sharon Laws and her UnitedHealthCare team-mate Hannah Barnes will also race.
Lucy Garner (Giant-Shimano), the highest-placed British finisher at the Women’s Tour, in-form Nicola Juniper (Team Echelon-ROTOR) – theTour of the Reservoir and London Nocturne winner – and Emma Pooley (VC Norwich) also form part of a strong line-up.
Both road races take place on June 29, but are preceded three days earlier by the time trials where Dowsett will bid for a fourth straight title in the elite men’s race.
Olympic champion Wiggins, Commonwealth Games winner Millar and last year’s runner-up Matt Bottrill (www.drag2zero.com) will be among those bidding to stop the Essex-born rider, who last week broke the national 10-mile time trial record by clocking 17 minutes and 20 seconds at a local event.
In the women’s race, Rowsell starts as defending champion with Armitstead, Storey and Archibald her chief rivals for the prized jersey.
For more information, and full rider line-ups, visit http://www.britishcycling.org.uk/nationalroadchampionships.