A great summary of what’s to come in just under 6 days time here on the British Cycling website
“The big news is that last year’s winner, Rob Jebb, who has won the event 8 times, is out recovering from shoulder surgery. In his absence Nick Craig who won in 2009 and was second last year will probably start favourite. However, Hope team duo Paul Oldham and Dave Collins, both returning to the race after missing it for several years, should also be in the hunt.
Of the women competitors, the last two years’ winner Renee Saxton is back, but may find it hard to retain her title with the return of four times winner Louise Robinson, who holds the women’s record over the course, 3-39.33, considerably quicker than Saxton’s p.b of 4 hours 18 minutes. Nick Craig’s 2009 win showed that being a veteran is no bar to winning the race, so if Robinson is fully committed, she could just do it. Also likely to be in the frame is Isla Rowntree, another former winner.”