Chris Froome has decided to miss this month’s British Cycling National Road Championships in order to focus on the Tour de France which starts on July 2nd. Froome, who won the Tour in 2013 and 2015, will also be trying to win gold in the road and time trial at the Rio Olympics in August.

Despite the absence of Froome a number of leading riders will be taking part in the nationals including the former world road race champion Mark Cavendish and Ian Stannard, Luke Rowe and Bet Swift.

Cavendish won the title in 2013 but since then Pete Kennaugh has claimed back to back victories. However, he is currently recovering from a broken collarbone which he suffered during the Tour of California last month so he will be unable to complete a hat trick of wins.

Geraint Thomas, the 2010 National Champion and reigning Commonwealth Games gold medallist, is also going to miss the race as he is likely to be a key member of Froome’s team in the Tour de France.

From the women’s field Laura Trott, Joanna Rowsell-Shand, Elinor Barker and Katie Archibald are all absent. However, reigning world champion Lizzie Armitstead will be taking part along with Emma Pooley who has come out of retirement to target the Rio Games.

Dame Sara Story, the 11 time Paralympic Champion, and Pooley will be competing in the women’s time trial which is taking place on June 23rd, the opening day of event.

The men’s time trial will feature Alex Dowsett who is hoping to achieve a record fifth triumph in the event.

Elsewhere, Lucy Garner has pulled out of the Aviva Women’s Tour due to two fractured ribs. She crashed in the Keukens van Lommel Ladies Classic last weekend and but she hopes to be back for the Giro del Trentino Donne the following weekend and in the British Championships.