Well, we’ve taken a spin round the course in Lancashire and it’s a belter. Actually, it was more of a grovel if truth be told for us non-fit types. No flat whatsoever, plenty of climbing and some nerve-wracking descents, all packed into an extremely compact 7.5 mile closed road circuit.
And it’s narrow lanes all the way, with no overtaking possibilities for team cars, but with a cut-through for vehicles needing to get ahead of the bunch.
So the men’s race will see 130 riders desperate to be near the front, but mostly incapable through sheer weight of numbers on the road. The opening two laps will be crucial and, if we’re not mistaken, the peloton will be split to pieces in double-quick time.
The British Championships is invariably a whittling down process where normal team work seems to fly out the window, but this will be more so. It is hard to see many riders being in with a shout come the bell lap.
Who will win? My punditry skills are renowned for their inaccuracy (except in matters of cyclo-cross) but I have a hunch that Cervelo riders will be in the medals in both men’s and women’s races. As for which riders, there is so far I am prepared to stick this scrawny neck out and no further.
It is live on Eurosport if you can’t get to Pendle in person, although there is a football match going on at the same time, apparently…
I know where I’d rather be.