RICHARDSONS-TREK cyclist Luke Ryan admits the Leigh team are in excellent shape ahead of this weekend’s National Road Race Championships.

Ryan and five team-mates head to the Isle of Man for the 193km road race.

George Wood, Kieran Brady, Ollie Maxwell, Jez McCann and Josh Outram will also compete, with Canvey’s Wood in with a shout of securing a podium spot in the Under-23 category after a storming season.

They will be racing against the very best British cycling has to offer, including Mark Cavendish, Peter Kennaugh and last year’s winner Adam Blythe.

And Ryan says he can’t wait to get out on the track.

“It is important we have good form coming into the biggest race of the year,” said the 27-year-old from Kent. “Realistically for me it is about looking after the younger guys and helping them get to the finish line.

“George is one of the best under-23 riders on the scene and we want to showcase his qualities and give him a chance.

“He came close in 2014 (a top five finish in the U23 category) and we are feeling confident.

“All of these guys are capable. Jez is doing brilliantly in Belgium kermesse races and Josh has stepped up and secured some top 20 finishes in Premier Calendar events.

“The guys get to go up against the best in the business and it will be a great experience.”

Ryan himself is hitting form, following a string of solid performances with victory in the Crawley CC Road Race in Surrey last Saturday.

Ryan caught the breakaway with 3km remaining to sprint to victory in the 135km race. Outram finished fifth and Wood eighth in a solid team display.

And Ryan said he was pleased with the win, and was enjoying racing with the team.

“It was a good race, as George, Josh and I all came in the top 10,” he said.

“Personally it has been a so-so season. I have had OK form but lacking wins aside so it was nice to get one last weekend.

“I have been riding with Dean (Shannon) and Andy (Lyons) for five years now and we are a close-knit group,” he added.

“There are some more big races around the corner so let’s hope we go well.”