British Cycling has announced the stellar line up of British road talent who will be heading to Drenthe, the Netherlands, to compete at the 2023 UEC Road European Championships from Wednesday 20 – Sunday 24 September.
Rounding off a successful summer for British road racers, the 20-strong squad boasts 10 medallists from this year’s British National Road Championships, as well as two world championship bronze medallists.
The elite men’s squad will be led by Ethan Vernon, who comes straight from a strong showing at the Tour of Britain, which saw him place in the top six for the event’s first six stages, narrowly missing out on a stage win by a photo finish. Ineos Grenadiers teammates Luke Rowe, Connor Swift and Ben Turner join him on the squad, alongside Mark Stewart and Jake Stewart. Sam Watson completes the team, joining off the back of his first ever Vuelta a España.
Fresh from taking an impressive time-trial bronze medal in his first elite world championships last month, 19-year-old Josh Tarling completes the men’s road race squad and will also represent Great Britain in the elite men’s time-trial.
Following an impressive double world-title winning performance on the track at the recent world championships, Elinor Barker will return to the road to head up the elite women’s squad, competing in both the road race and time-trial. She will be joined in both events by Anna Henderson who just missed out on a time-trial medal at last month’s world championships, finishing in fourth place. Alice Barnes, Pfeiffer Georgi, Claire Steels and Beckie Storrie will complete the elite women’s road race team.
The under-23 women’s squad will be led by world championships bronze medallist Anna Shackley, who continued her fine form with a second-place finish in the first Tour de l’Avenir Femmes. Joining her will be Millie Couzens, Flora Perkins and Alice Towers.
Sisters Elynor and Zoe Backstedt will complete the road race squad and will also ride in the under-23 women’s time-trial. Elynor joins the squad off the back of two top 10 stage finishes during the Tour de l’Avenir Femmes, and Zoe will be representing Great Britain on the road for the first time as an under-23 rider following four junior world title wins in 2022.
Great Britain Cycling Team Performance Director, Stephen Park CBE, said: “After some impressive results for riders representing GBCT and their trade teams over the season, the UEC 2023 Road European Championships will be a great way to round off the year’s road racing for our riders.
“We saw some standout performances from the likes of Josh Tarling, Anna Shackley and Anna Henderson at the recent world championships, and to have a stacked team of national champions, world championship medallists and World Tour riders shows the calibre of talent that is still thriving on home soil. I’m very much looking forward to seeing how the team performs in the Netherlands, particularly as we inch closer to an Olympic year.”
The GBCT endurance programme on road and track has been a long-standing backbone of the programme, with the first road world championship medal won by Nicole Cooke in 2004 who went on to win Olympic gold in 2008. Since then, thanks to UK Sport World Class Programme, funded by The National Lottery, the Great Britain Cycling Team programme has continued to grow and nurture upcoming talent, resulting in a total of 38 world championship and Olympic medals won on the road.
Great Britain Cycling Team squad for the 2023 UEC Road European Championships:
Josh Tarling (road race and time-trial)
Elinor Barker (road race and time-trial)
Anna Henderson (road race and time-trial)
Elynor Backstedt (road race and rime-trial)
Zoe Backstedt (road race and time-trial)
Header image: 2023 Tour of Britain – Stage 6: Southend-on-Sea to Harlow (146.2km) – Danny Van Poppel of Team Bora Hansgrohe Wins Stage 6 of the 2023 Tour of Britain in Harlow with Ethan Vernon of Team Great Britain in second. Credit: Zac Williams/SWpix.com