Mark Cavendish backs Isle of Man British Championships bid

Cavendish backs IoM national race bid

British road race champion Mark Cavendish has backed the Isle of Man's bid to host the 2016 British Cycling National Road Championships.

Last week the Isle of Man's Chief Minister announced the island would bid to host the event won by Cavendish in Glasgow in 2013.

Cavendish said: "I was thrilled to hear about the bid. I have already been thinking about possible courses."

It is expected the Manx course would include some or all of the TT course.

He continued: "It would be great to choose a course that shows off the Isle of Man to the full and brings thousands of people over to watch.

"For sure I think it needs to take in the TT course - maybe as a final lap.

"Hopefully I can share my views with the organisers and the (Manx) government. I would be thrilled to come home and race in 2016".

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 the profile and quality of cyclists coming from the island is a real boost to the bid.

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.

Infrastructure Minister Laurence Skelly said if they get the National Championships on the island, it would be "incredible to watch our world and Olympic champions racing on home soil".

"The Isle of Man is such a beautiful place it would be like an international race and a real draw for spectators."

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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