Last week, our Specialized Birmingham team rider headed to the National Championship Circuit race to try his luck against some of the nations top riders and teams. The Race was held just up the road from our Birmingham Store on Broad st. The race was 50 minutes plus 5 laps around a 1.1km circuit with the local people cheering all the riders on.

BIRMINGHAM BLOG: NATIONAL CIRCUIT CHAMPIONSHIP 2016

Alex. Specialized team rider
Specialized Birmingham
Team rider Jon Harris

Last week, our Specialized Birmingham team rider headed to the National Championship Circuit race to try his luck against some of the nations top riders and teams. The Race was held just up the road from our Birmingham Store on Broad st. The race was 50 minutes plus 5 laps around a 1.1km circuit with the local people cheering all the riders on.

Jon has been racing for us all season as a Cat 2, so given that this race featured elite riders he had quite the task ahead of him to even keep up with some of the best Crit riders in the country.

We went up to support him and see how he got on. Scroll down to view our National Circuit Championships report and gallery and read how Jon got on and all about the gear he uses in his races.

NATIONAL CIRCUIT CHAMPIONSHIPS 2016

WOMEN'S RACE

Broad Street was busy with cycling fans who'd come up to watch the National championships and it was great to see such a prestigious cycling event taking place in the heart of the city.

First up was the Women's race. Like the men's race that would follow it the top female crit riders in the UK would ride for 50 minutes around a 1.1km circuit up Broad st, down Granville to Holliday street and then up a short but steep climb to the top of Bridge street for 50 minutes and an additional 5 laps.

The women's race was ridden at a fast pace, with several attacks off the front and featured another local rider and Specialized Birmingham customer, Kelly Murphy who now rides for Team Boot Out Breast Cancer. Kelly, who bought her first road bike from us only two and half years ago has since turned pro and is doing the West Midlands proud with some excellent rides and results.

Specialized team Rider Jon at the National Circuit Championships 2016
Broad street was lined with local cycling fans.

Specialized team Rider Jon at the National Circuit Championships 2016
Local rider Kelly Murphy put in a great ride and stayed with the peloton throughout the race, finishing just at the back of the pack.

Despite a sustained attack from Claire Rose who led out front for nearly 20 minutes, the race came back to a sprint finish on Broad Street and was won by Eilleen Roe racing for Belgian team Laowdeals.

Specialized team Rider Jon at the National Circuit Championships 2016
Eileen Roe takes the win in the sprint finish on Broat Street.

MENS NATIONAL CAHMPIONSHIP RACE

Specialized team Rider Jon at the National Circuit Championships 2016
Competitors got in some warm-ups wherever they could.

Specialized team Rider Jon at the National Circuit Championships 2016
Jon get's himself ready in the team rider area.

Specialized team Rider Jon at the National Circuit Championships 2016
After a one lap warm-up Jon waits at the start.

The man's national circuit road race was about to start and the teams line up in order of category which meant that the professional teams like JLT Condor, Madison-Genesis took their spots at the front, then it fell to the category 1 teams and riders and last but certainly not least was a handful of Cat 2 riders at the back of the starting line-up, Jon included.

Once the race was underway, the peloton set out at a blistering pace.

RACE TIME

Specialized team Rider Jon at the National Circuit Championships 2016
The competitors wait for the start, with the pro teams up front
and our Jon somewhere at the back.

Specialized team Rider Jon at the National Circuit Championships 2016
Jon made a great start from his position at the back making his way up the pack

Specialized team Rider Jon at the National Circuit Championships 2016
Jon tackling the bend onto Granville Street in the middle of the peloton.

Specialized team Rider Jon at the National Circuit Championships 2016
Jon made great headway at the start getting in front of some of the pro teams

After a frenetic start, the race settled down into a familiar pattern with all the pro teams, in particular Peadal Heaven and JLT Condor leading the pack at pace attacking each other and waiting for a breakaway. Despite starting from the back which always makes things tricky in a race of this nature Jon was still in the peloton even as his other Cat 2 level riders were abandoning given the sheer speed that the race was being ridden at.

Specialized team Rider Jon at the National Circuit Championships 2016
Pedal Heaven on their custom Specialized S-Works gear were a constant at the front of the race.

Specialized team Rider Jon at the National Circuit Championships 2016
Jon kept a great pace folloing the pro teams.

Specialized team Rider Jon at the National Circuit Championships 2016
Jon heading up the short but steep hill into the sunset as the race hit the halfway mark 3159

Specialized team Rider Jon at the National Circuit Championships 2016
After 45 minutes it all became a bit of a blur 3145

With the race heading into into the last few laps and having put in an amzing ride Jon was caught by the professional teams and decided that enough was enough and he pulled into the pits. It was a tremendous achievement to have ridden with the pack for so long considering that these riders are professional and Jon has raced a handful of Cat 1 & 2 races this year.

Specialized team Rider Jon at the National Circuit Championships 2016
Eventual winnner, Chris Lawless (far left) tracks the moves of the Pedal Heaven riders in the closing stages

Specialized team Rider Jon at the National Circuit Championships 2016
The teams head up Broad Street for the final Sprint.

After the 50 minutes and the five additional laps, the race was won in a sprint by JLT Condor rider Chris Lawless in a thrilling finish.

And with that and some jubilant podium celebrations, the National Circuti Chamionships 2016 drew to a close, until next year of course. And hopefully next year Jon will be back on his Venge ViAS for more punishment.

Specialized team Rider Jon at the National Circuit Championships 2016
Jon and his support crew, the Specialized Birmingham team at the finish line.

JON'S NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP GEAR

In his first year of racing, Jon has been using the latest Specialized kit, we asked him how he found it during the race.

The Venge ViAS Pro more than lived up to it's reputation. It was absolutely awesome, i've been on this bike for around 6 months now and it is so fast, whether it be on the flats, downhill or going up. This bike does give you extra speed when you need it. My results have been improving throughout the season and I have no doubt that it is in part down to the bike. No exaggeration, I love this bike.

I've recently been provided with some new kit including the S-Works Evade GC skinsuit, which is an incredible piece of riding kit. It's so light and super comfortable. I use it in all my races now. It also matches up nicely with my S-Works Evade helmet, which for me is super light and really well ventilated, perfect for racing.

In terms of footwear I spent ages deciding between the S-Works 6 and the S-Works Sub6. Both of them are the best road shoes I have ever used in terms of lightness and comfort. The power transition you get from them means you can feel every turn of the crank. In the end even though I have both, I opted for the sub6. I figured that going up against the Pro's I would need all the extra seconds I could get!

You can find out about all the gear I use below and if you would like to know more about getting kitted out for your own race and what we can do to help you increase speed and comfort on your bike then you can come down and chat to me at Specialized Concept Store Birmingham.

GEAR I USE

2017 VENGE VIAS PRO DISC UDI2


SAVE 15%
NOW £5100.00
WAS £6000.00

2018 S-WORKS EVADE


OUR PRICE £175.00

2017 S-WORKS SUB6 ROAD SHOES


OUR PRICE £275.00

If you are about to take part in a race and would like to speak to our team rider Jon, or another one of our sales assistants or our service centre for any advice on equipment and training you can call us on 0121 747 3444.

So if you would like any more information on the the best equipment and bikes to use then please feel free to call Specialized Birmingham on 0121 747 3444 or send us an enquiry

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