A week of national championships
This week eight riders from CANYON//SRAM Racing will contest their respective road national championships from Isle of Man, Italy’s Piemonte, Chemnitz in Germany, across to Tennessee, USA. With the team’s three current road champions and one time trial champion all aiming to defend their title, the events are highly anticipated and hotly contested.
Elena Cecchini, who last year wrote her name in the history books as the second Italian woman to win three national road titles, and the only woman ever to win three consecutive titles, will be aiming to break records again as she targets four titles in a row.
“I always feel a bit sad and nostalgic when I know that it could be the last race with the tricolore and that happened again last week in London at the last stage of the OVO Energy Women’s Tour. But I feel privileged, honoured and proud to have worn the Italian champion jersey for three years in a row. It always gave me extra motivation and every win was special. I don’t feel pressure to win a fourth to be honest. I will go out, have fun and do my best. If I do win then it means that I want this jersey more than anyone else.”
Read the rider’s take on their respective championships:
Elena Cecchini and Barbara Guarischi | Italian National Road Championships | Volpiano, Piemonte
Individual time trial | 19km | Friday 23 June
“The ITT is short and all false flat, slightly uphill. It will be important to find a good pace from the start. I am very curious to see where I am at the moment in the ITT as it will be my first one for the season. I aim for a good performance and to conquer a podium place. To win would be a dream but I am sure that one day an ITT title will happen for me,” said Cecchini.
Road race | 111km | 25 June 2017
“The road race is a hard 111km course with two real climbs. The first 8 kilometre long climb comes early in the race, after just 20km and the second climb is just 15km from the finish line. I aim to be in a good position before the final climb and then be over the top with all of the best climbers. Like every year it will be a lot about tactics. The other times I haven’t been the strongest rider but I was the smartest and I will try to use that strength again this year,” said Cecchini.
Hannah Barnes | British National Road Championships | Isle of Man
“Last year I went into the nationals with very low expectations, so when I won the road race I was in shock. It has been an honour to wear the British national champion jersey and I would love to have the chance to do so for another year. It’s a race that is unpredictable but I know that my form was good at the OVO Energy Women’s Tour so hopefully I have recovered well and will go into the race with confidence,” said Barnes.
Individual time trial | 22.2km | Thursday 22 June 2017
“It’s a short but super hard time trial so pacing will be important and the long drag towards the end is where the race can be won or lost. While the road race can be quite unpredictable the time trial is down to your strength and your ability. I have seen improvements in my performances and I have worked hard over the past 18 months and I hope that can be seen in the result. I would really love to podium,” said Barnes.
Road race | 103km | 25 June 2017
“The road race is also short and there are several domestic teams with a lot of riders so it will be important to save as much energy and be clever, making sure to only go with the riders and breaks that are dangerous. The course is hard with a few long climbs on the big lap that if raced hard can really string out the peloton and leave a select group going into the six smaller laps. The finish circuits themselves are hard with a short, steep climb. I would love to podium in the road race too and to keep the jersey would be great.”
Alexis Ryan and Leah Thorvilson | USA National Road Championships | Knoxville TN
Individual time trial | 23.1km | 24 June 2017
“The ITT is divided into 3 x 7.7km laps. The course is fairly flat with a couple rollers towards the beginning of the lap. The straightaways are long and the corners are wide. It’ll be important to have a pacing strategy as you count down the laps,” said Alexis Ryan.
“I’m still learning and developing my time trial skills, so this is another opportunity to apply what I’ve been fine-tuning in training. The result doesn’t matter as much as nailing down my process and giving my best effort.”
Road race | 102km | 25 June 2017
“The road race is 8 laps of a 12.5km circuit. There is one key 800m climb on the lap that is very steep and narrow followed by a narrow descent. I think that is where the important moves will be made, so having good position coming into it is key. My goal for the road race is to win. To win either event would be a dream realised, an honour and a huge success on all fronts. I’ve been training hard and working on my weaknesses. A win would be confirmation that my efforts are not wasted,” said Ryan.
Trixi Worrack, Mieke Kröger and Lisa Brennauer | German National Road Championships | Chemnitz
Individual time trial | 31.2km | 23 June 2017
“The ITT is an out and back. It’s a pretty long distance on a slightly up and own course,” previews former winner Lisa Brennauer.
Road race | 116km | 24 June 2017
“The road race is a city circuit that we do six times. There’s a climb every lap so this could be the race deciding part of the course. It would be great to keep the national jersey within our team. The competition this year is really strong so I am expecting exciting fights. I want to go out and enjoy racing and be the best I can be,” said Brennauer.
CANYON//SRAM Racing’s Belarusian rider Alena Amialiusik misses the opportunity to claim her sixth time trial title and fifth road title as she recovers from a broken pelvis suffered in a crash in the recent OVO Energy Women’s Tour. Australian rider Tiffany Cromwell already competed in her national championships in January, whilst former French and World road champion Pauline Ferrand-Prévot will miss her national road championships in pursuit of another MTB title next month.