Isle of Man bids for British Cycling National Road Championships

Mark Cavendish in Glasgow

The Isle of Man has launched a bid to host the 2016 British Cycling National Road Championships.

Mark Cavendish won the 2013 event in front of 30,000 spectators in Glasgow, while fellow Manx cyclist Peter Kennaugh finished fourth.

The island's Chief Minister Allan Bell said a successful bid would "embed our reputation as the home of cycling".

He made the announcement at the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome in Glasgow during a tour of Commonwealth Games venues.

Cavendish and Kennaugh will spearhead the Manx team's campaign for medals at this summer's Games.

Bell added: "The Isle of Man has a rich history of producing modern-day elite riders whose level of performance has helped to inspire future generations.

"We have a disproportionately high profile with the quality of cyclists coming from the island which is a real boost to our bid.

"Hosting Britain's showpiece road race will provide a further lasting legacy."

The Isle of Man has a rich cycling history having staged Britain's biggest festival for almost 70 years, between 1936 to 2003.

Isle of Man International Cycling Week attracted world-renowned competitors, including the Tour de France's most successful rider Eddy Merckx.

It is thought that the road race course will include some or all of the island's famous TT course and utilise the event's infrastructure.

In 2012 the championships attracted 10,000 spectators to Yorkshire and last year more than 30,000 watched the men's road race in Glasgow.

According to Isle of Man Tourism's bid, the event has the potential to attract more than 15,000 spectators to the island.

Chairman of the Isle of Man Cycling Association Richard Fletcher said the bid had been greeted with "excitement".

He added: "The Manx public's interest in our sport and local participation has increased exponentially over the past five years.

"As the sport's governing body in the island, the Isle of Man Cycling Association is wholly committed to the bid."

The British National Road Championships will return to Monmouthshire in Wales next year with Lincolnshire confirmed to host the 2015 event.

British Cycling has not yet formally opened applications.

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