British Cycling appoint elite road race task force
British Cycling, the UK’s governing body, has created a task force to look into ways to reinvigorate the domestic scene. The eight person body have three months to develop recommendations for implementation in 2024 and beyond.
The members of the British Cycling task force are;
- Ed Clancy (Chair): Three-times Olympic gold medallist.
- Steve Fry: Co-owner of sports marketing agency, M2 Sports.
- Monica Greenwood: Rider for DAS – Handsling.
- John Herety: Former manager of JLT-Condor and Great Britain Cycling Team DS.
- Phil Jones: MD of Brother UK and long-time sponsor of domestic teams.
- Chris Lawrence: Organiser of races including Newark Town Centre Races and Dudley GP.
- Jess Morgan: UK Marketing Manager at Rapha.
- Jo Tindley: Rider for Pro-Noctis Heidi Kjeldsen – 200 Degrees Coffee.
These eight bring a broad range of experience from within the sport, covering current and former riders, event organisers, team management and media and marketing.
What is the remit?
BC say the “The task force has been given a targeted remit to consider the composition of the elite national calendar (including road and circuit), the challenges facing domestic teams and opportunities to grow the reach and profile of domestic races” British Cycling already has a Road Commission, whose role is to increase participants and events across all levels. Hopefully the two will complement each other to increase participation overall.
While record numbers of British riders are competing in the World Tour and Women’s World Tour, the domestic scene is suffering. British men’s and women’s UCI Continental teams have dropped from eight to five. It’s not just the teams that are suffering, increased costs and shrinking budgets have hit organisers. Between 2016 and 2023 the total number of combined rounds in men’s and women’s elite national series has fallen from 25 to 24. While this may seem small, when you take a closer look the four new women’s events have been countered by the loss of five men’s events. The same period also saw a decrease in road races from seventeen to eleven.
British Cycling CEO, Jon Dutton, said:
“Since joining the organisation in April I’ve spoken to a huge number of passionate and talented people in our community about the current challenges facing domestic road race organisers and teams. Our new task force is an example of how we want to bring people closer to the organisation and work collaboratively towards solutions against the challenging and complex environment that we operate in.
“This won’t be a talking shop – the task force will be meeting regularly over the coming months with a view to providing our team with clear recommendations to implement. While we are clearly working within challenging financial parameters, and some changes will naturally take us longer to enact, there are a number of areas where we can and will make immediate progress.
“The health of domestic elite road racing has a significant impact on the overall financial health of our organisation, and our ability to support more events and programmes across our range of disciplines in the future. While the past few years have been challenging, I’m optimistic about our ability to turn the tide and forge a sustainable roadmap for the future.”
BC say that further updates on the task force’s recommendations and 2024 calendar will be shared in the coming months. If you’d like to volunteer as a Commissaire or Accredited Marshal, contact British Cycling at firstname.lastname@example.org.