Commonwealth Games Time Trial route detailed as top cyclists head to the Black Country
The eyes of the world will be on the Black Country as the best road cyclists in the Commonwealth take to the streets.
Across West Park, Goldthorn Park, Sedgley, Dudley town centre, Gornal and Himley, the cycling time trial on Thursday and will put competitors to the test as they race against the clock in men's and women's events to get the best time and the gold medal.
The "Race of Truth", as the event is nicknamed, has been a core sport in the Commonwealth Games since 1998 and some of the top names in road cycling are set to take on the 37 kilometre course for men and 29 kilometre course for women.
Among those taking part include Tour de France winner and 2014 Commonwealth Games road race champion Geraint Thomas from Wales and multiple medallist Rohan Dennis from Australia.
Commonwealth Games Time Trial route
The competitors will take on a course which goes across three Black Country districts and features several climbs that some of those taking part have described as brutal, with one-in-eight climbs in some places.
West Park in Wolverhampton will be the show-piece venue for the start and finish of the event, as well as the medal ceremonies, with a sold out crowd ready to cheer the competitors as they get underway.
The race then heads out of the east entrance to West Park and follows along Park Road East, before heading onto the Wolverhampton Ring Road and into the city centre and up past Queens Square and around the top of the city centre before leading out onto Penn Road.
The route takes a trip up past Wolverhampton Royal School on a run described by cycling legend Hugh Porter as undulating, before the first big climb up Rookery Hill, an eight per cent climb up to the top of Goldthorn Road.
A long run down Goldthorn Hill then swings right onto Wolverhampton Road East with a steady climb into Sedgley, with the first timing zone passed as the rider heads on the long straight down Tipton Road.
A short section of Birmingham New Road then turns right onto Priory Road for another undulating section into Dudley town centre before a route through the city centre on Ednam Road and past Stone Square.
It then heads out of the town centre up the Broadway, another challenging climb with several up and down sections, then heads along Burton Road and Kent Street, before the start of one of the most challenging sections of the event.
The riders will head down a windy and steep downhill section on Moden Hill, before then having to make an almost-dead stop before turning right onto Catholic Lane, a climb of around 15 per cent uphill.
After completing the climb of Catholic Lane, the riders head back into Sedgley and the second timing zone before heading out down Gospel End Street.
At this point, the two races diverge in different directions, with the women's race heading all the way down Gospel End Road to a turning onto Penn Road and onto Penn Common.
Meanwhile, the men's race heads on a windy route down Cotwall End Road into Gornal and the Straits, before a right turn onto Brick Kiln Lane and onto Himley Road.
The riders will be able to get up some decent speed as they head down Himley Road and Wolverhampton Road, before facing another steady climb up Wodehouse Lane and onto Penn Road and Penn Common.
The ride then takes a scenic journey down and then on a long and hard climb up through Penn Common to the final timing zone at the top of the hill, passing St Bartholomew's Church onto Church Hill before a right turn onto Penn Road.
The final stretch sees the riders build up speed along a two mile section of Penn Road, before heading back into Wolverhampton City Centre and over Market Square onto School Street.
Finally, the riders head back onto the Wolverhampton Ring Road before turning right onto Bath Road and Southgate before competing the arduous course to rapturous applause in West Park.
Time trial road closures
As with any event, there will be extensive road closures on the day, with roads either being closed with no access between 5am and 6pm or roads being open with changing traffic conditions in place.
Wolverhampton will see the largest number of road closures, particularly with the route which passes through the city centre for riders heading out on the course or making the final run towards the finish.
A number of crossing points will be available around the course, that will enable you to enter/leave the area within the course. The majority of these will be in operation between 5am and 9.15am, and 3.30pm and 6pm on the day of the race, with some exceptions.
Roads closed between 12.01am on August 2 to 6pm on August 5 are:
Park Road West, between Connaught Road and Summerfield Road
Roads closed between 12.01am and 6pm on August 4 are:
Park Road West
Albert Road, between Park Road West and Clifford Street
Roads closed between 5am and 6pm on August 4 are:
Park Road East
Wolverhampton Ring Road - between A449 Stafford Road and Birmingham Road A459 West
Bath Road - between Tettenhall Road A41 and Ring Road St Andrews, A4150
Park Road East
Ring Road St Andrews A4150 - between Chapel Ash Island and Waterloo Road
Ring Road St Peters A4150 - between Waterloo Road and Ring Road St Patricks A4150 Westbound
Wolverhampton City Centre Outbound Course - Waterloo Road, Darlington Street, Queens Square, Lichfield Street, Princes Street, Market Street, Garrick Street, Cleveland Street, Summer Row, Temple Street (between Bond Street and Worcester Street), Worcester Street
Ring Road St Johns A4150 - between Birmingham Road A449 and Penn Island
Penn Road Island A4150
Ring Road St Marks A4150
Penn Road A449 - between Penn Road Island and Pinfold Lane
Goldthorn Hill A4039 - between A449 and A459
Wolverhampton Road East/Wolverhampton Road/High Street A459 - between Goldthorn Hill and Bull Ring (Sedgley)
Dudley Street A459
Tipton Street/Sedgley Road A457 - between A459 and A4123
Penn Road A449
Birmingham New Road A4123 - between A457 and A4037 northbound only
Priory Road A4168
Dudley Town Centre - The Broadway A459 (Priory Road to Ednam Road), Ednam Road B4177, Priory Road, Priory Street, St James's Road (between Trinity Road and Stone Street), Parson's Street, Ednam Road, Priory Road (Ednam Road to The Broadway)
Cotwall End Road
The Broadway A459
Burton Road B4558 - between Traquain Drive and A459
Burton Road/Kent Street/Clarence Street/Dudley Road A459
Dudley Street A459
Gospel End Street
Gospel End Road A463 (used for women's race and remains closed for men's race)
Brick Kiln Lane
Himley Road B4176 - between Guys Lane and Dudley Road B4176
Dudley Road B4176 - past Himley Hall
Stourbridge Road A449
Wodehouse Lane A463
Penn Road/Sedgley Road/Pennwood Lane
Wolverhampton City Centre Inbound Course - Market Street, School Street, Waterloo Street
Leaders of where the event will run through has warned about potential disruption for residents living on or near the route, but also spoke of the honour of hosting a Commonwealth Games event.
Wolverhampton Council leader Ian Brookfield said the city was one of the first places in the country where cycling racing had taken place.
He said: "There have been as many 30 or 40 cycling manufacturers in the city, so it seems apt that we are hosting the event and get to show what this city has to offer.
"It's been great to walk around and see the city centre dressed up and know that on Thursday, you'll have thousands of people lining the streets to cheer the riders on, as well as joining us at the festival site.
"I've worked out as well that over a three hour period, Wolverhampton will be the most recognisable and popular place on earth with hundreds of millions of people watching.
"We've done absolutely everything we can as well to help people with disruptions, with letters going out and drop in sessions and we apologise for the disruption, but this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Wolverhampton."
South Staffs Council leader Roger Leese said: “Our district is looking forward to hosting part of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games cycling time trial event – it will be a memorable occasion for our communities.
“The course will pass through Penn Common, Gospel End, Wombourne and Himley offering residents the opportunity to spectate at one of five free road events being held over the course of the games.
“We understand there will be some disruption to affected residents and businesses on the day and so we’re making every effort to ensure they have all the information they need to fully prepare.”
Councillor Patrick Harley, leader elect of Dudley Council, said: “This is a significant event through the heart of Dudley and gives us an opportunity to showcase what we have in the borough on an international stage.
"This is our opportunity to be part of a global event and I am delighted we have been chosen to do that.
"It will of course naturally cause some disruption to roads while it is on, so I would urge people to check out the list of road closures and plan their journeys accordingly.”