National Road Championships 2017: Isle of Man set to stage major cycling event

Adam Blythe
Adam Blythe and Hannah Barnes won the 2016 national road race titles.

Hosting the British Cycling National Road Championships can help put the Isle of Man at the forefront of world cycling, the event's director has said.

The biggest date in the British road race calendar will see men's and women's champions crowned in both road and time-trial disciplines.

Director Steve Shimmin said the project started 11 years ago and the island is "determined to deliver a good show".

Both the men's and women's road races will involve the famous TT course.

The event's co-director Richard Fletcher said the TT course "picked itself".

He said: "It couldn't really be anywhere else given the history of the TT races and cycling on the Isle of Man.

Peter Kennaugh
Isle of Man cyclist Peter Kennaugh won the British road race title in 2014 and 2015

"Manx stars are definitely amongst the favourites and the event is certainly gathering excitement."

Manx rider Mark Cavendish, who won the national road race title in 2013, said there is a "huge amount of enthusiasm" for hosting the national championships on the Isle of Man.

Fellow Manx rider Peter Kennaugh won the title in 2014 and again in 2015.

Kennaugh is the fourth man to win successive national road race titles in the professional era.

Other Manx riders taking part include Mark and Anna Christian and Isle of Man resident Ben Swift.

Both the men's and women's line-up includes .

Bikes on the TT course in the Isle of Man
Residents have decorated bicycles on the TT course in the Isle of Man

Residents have been asked to paint old bicycles red and gold to decorate the course and the Isle of Man government has sent bunting to businesses on the course.

Silly Moos campsite have decorated their campsite on the TT course, and announced: "We're looking forward to seeing Peter Kennaugh and Mark Cavendish racing past our farm."

Mr Shimmin continued: "We've been working a long time for this day and we are all very proud and really excited.

"The Isle of Man has a massive history of cycling dating back to the 1930s but this is the first championship of its kind here in the modern era.

Anna Christian
The Isle of Man's Anna Christian will compete in both the time-trial and road race.

"We want the Isle of Man to be at the forefront of world cycling as this event can only help with that vision."

The event will begin on Thursday with the time trials which see riders take on a 13.8-mile (22.2km) circuit which starts and finishes at Tynwald Hill.

The men's road race on 25 June will see riders complete two laps of the 37.7-mile (60km) Mountain Course before 10 laps of a 4.5-mile (7.2km) finishing circuit in Douglas.

The women's race, held on the same day, will involve one lap of the TT course and six laps of the finishing circuit.

British Cycling's director of cycling Jonny Clay said the routes incorporate some of the island's "most famous sites".

A mass participation sportive event will also take place on Saturday.

Current champions
Source: British Cycling
MenWomenMen-U23Women U-23
Time trial Alex DowsettHayley SimmondsScott Davies
Road race Adam BlytheHannah BarnesTao Geoghegan HartAlice Barnes

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