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Black Country to host prestigious national road cycling championships

By Richard Guttridge | Wolverhampton | Sport | Published:

Britain's best cyclists will battle it out in the Black Country as it was announced the National Road Championships will be held this summer.

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Road races will be held between Birmingham and Wolverhampton on June 20, a day before the Vélo Birmingham and Midlands event, which is expected to attract up to 15,000 amateur cyclists.

The prestigious event will see some of the country's best cyclists battle it out for victory.

Past winners of the event include Tour de France stage winner and ex-world road race champion Mark Cavendish, Tour de France winner Geraint Thomas, 2012 Olympic medallist Lizzie Deignan and 2008 Olympic road race champion Nicole Cooke.

Check out the course as the road race passes key Black Country landmarks

It adds to what it already an exciting time for sport in the West Midlands, ahead of the Birmingham Commonwealth Games in 2022.

Men's and women's road races will start in Birmingham's Centenary Square and end in Wolverhampton city centre passing Dudley Zoo, the Black Country Living Museum, Himley Hall along the way.

Time trials will also be held in Warwickshire as part of the competition.

Officials in the region have hailed the decision to stage the event in the region. It will, however, bring disruption to roads and there has previously been controversy over the staging of the Velo in the Midlands.

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Tour de France champion Geraint Thomas is among past winners.

Julie Harrington, chief executive of British Cycling, said: “This partnership is fantastic news for the Midlands, for the HSBC UK National Road Championships and for our riders, as they prepare for a home Commonwealth Games in 2022.

“While winning medals at international level is a huge part of our remit, the value of those medals, and the impact of elite riders’ performances is hugely important to unlocking the benefits that cycling can bring to society, and partnering with an organisation such as Active Sport will help us deliver on these ambitions.”

Wolverhampton Council leader Ian Brookfield said: “I am delighted to welcome this year’s national road race to the Black Country, which will finish in Wolverhampton after passing through Sandwell and Dudley.

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Cyclists will pass landmarks including Dudley Zoo and Castle

“It is particularly fitting for our city as we have a huge pedigree in cycling thanks to the likes of Olympic ace, Hugh Porter MBE, and our proud heritage in cycle manufacturing.

“These championships will also be a great way to encourage more people to get involved in cycling and exercise.

“It will attract more visitors, which can only be good for our local economy, and will give us national and international exposure that will hopefully secure further events for our region in the future.”

Richard Guttridge

By Richard Guttridge
Investigations Editor - @RichG_star

Investigations Editor for the Express & Star.

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