Fresh from a fifth-place finish at the British road race championships at the weekend, Scott Thwaites looks to make it three wins in five years at the Otley Grand Prix tonight.
The 25-year-old from Burley-in-Wharfedale won his local race in 2011 and 2012.
Sheffield’s Adam Blythe won last year’s version and is back to defend his title in the 30th anniversary of the race, with a crowd of 10,000 expected to watch the racing.
The JLT Condor team has a strong Yorkshire core with Ed Clancy – second last year – supported by Graham Briggs and the Moses brothers of Tom and Joe.
Doncaster’s Tom Stewart, who was 16th in the nationals at the weekend, lines up alongside Leeds’ Gabriel Cullaigh with a record 120 riders signed up for the grand prix.
The Otley Grand Prix, which starts at 8.30pm, doubles as the opening round of British Cycling Elite Circuit Race Series with further races to come in Sheffield and Beverley later in July.
The race, which is held under floodlights, will be contested over one hour (around 23 laps) of the town centre circuit.
Starting on Bondgate, the race heads west onto Burras Lane before a sharp left hander on Birdcage Walk. The race continues onto East Chevin road before a left onto Gay Lane leads riders back to the start-finish line on Bondgate.
The women’s race, which kicks off the evening at 6.10pm with 70 riders, will form part of the British Cycling Women’s Road Series.
Lizzie Armitstead was the popular local winner last year but is absent just days after winning the national title as she focuses on her build up to Giro Rosa in Italy. There are junior and veteran races in between when a further 220 riders will compete.