Mid summer marks the middle of the season and the opportunity for the foreign based riders to return to their home nations to race in front of their families and friends.
This year the National Championships are being held in Saltburn in the North East of England. 12 of our 24 Riders are on the list, we are hoping to see them all take the start on Sunday. They race for the U23 title but are also eligible to win the Elite title as the race is combined. Most of them are riding as individuals without the benefit of team mates. It's a tall order against some of the stronger teams that will show up at the biggest single day race of the season in the UK. Take a look at the riders and their colours below.
Oliver Knight from Bedford has raced for AVC Aix for four seasons now and is based in Aix-en-Provence in the south of France. He is in his final year as U23 and after many wins last season he had work experience with World Tour Team UAE Emirates. He had an unfortunate crash and broke his pelvis when he was with them but is receovered now and going well.
3rd year Louis Sutton from St Albans is also a member of AVC Aix and lives in France. He has had success already this season with stage race wins in Spain, which is turning out to be his speciality !
Charlie Paige from Clitheroe in Lancashire.
He has been in France for four years joining the DN1 team Bourg-en-Bresse Ain Cyclisme for this season. (The place where the special chickens come from)
A crash in September resulted in fractured pelvis leaving him in French hospital unable to move for weeks. He is ok now.
Bjoern Koerdt from Leeds is a first year rider for CC Etupes. A famous team from the east of France it has developed many World Tour riders including Adam Yates, a Rayner rider in 2012
Lucas Towers is from Swadlincote and after a very successful season last year with Maglia Team he was able to join the Team of Caja Rural Alea, the development team of Caja Rural Seguros RGA. He lives in Navarra in Spain.
Ben Askey is a first year U23 who with loads of international experience as a junior was able to go to the development team of Groupama FDJ. The team has a big presence a the Championships with representatives from the Development and World Tour Team. The jersey is almost (exactly) the same so look out for them as an entity.
Owen Lightfoot is second year U23 rider who lives in the north-west of Spain with the Team Maglia Tecnosylva Bembibre Cycling Team. Recently won a stage in the Tour of Portugal Futuro.
Max Rushby from Halifax, in his last year as U23 is based in Belgium where he has won already with the team Geofco Material Velo.
Adam Mitchell from Holmes Chapel has had a lot of success already with his French team U Charente Maritime, based in Pons. Third year of U23 this is his first season abroad full time.
Mattie Dodd from London has just finished a levels and will now be able to join his Austrian team Tirol KTM CT on a permanent basis.
But before he goes full time he appears in Saltburn as a first year u23
Zac Walker is from the Isle of Man and is now based in Switzerland with Tudor Pro Cycling Development Team. Last year he was Junior National Champion so he knows what it is like to wear the stripes.
Alfie George the Scottish rider from Dundee has been a member of top team Vendee U Pays de la Loire for two seasons now. He has won already this year, but also ha some crashes leading to time off the bike ... hope he is ready now!
In addition to all the 2023 riders listed above we can count on 24 further riders who have spent time racing on the continent with support from the Rayner Foundation. Look out for World tour riders James Shaw and Owain Doull of EF Education EasyPost, Sean Flynn of Team DSM, Mason Hollyman and Stevie Williams of Israel Premier Tech, Jake Stewart, Lewis Askey and Sam Watson of Groupama FDJ, Leo Hayter of Ineos Grenadiers plus Harrison Wood of Team Cofidis.
Here is the start list, look out for the #Raynerites