Published: Tuesday, 18th June 2019

Local primary schoolchildren are being encouraged to get creative and help decorate the route for the HSBC UK | National Circuit Championships 2019, which takes place in Rochester on Sunday 21 July.

Medway school pupils are being challenged to create a colourful welcome for Britain’s top riders by decorating large silhouettes of a racing cyclist. All submitted designs to the Make Your Mark competition will then feature on the 1.6km cycling route, which will start and finish on the Esplanade.

As one of the highlights of the national road racing calendar, the championships is set to attract thousands of local residents and cycling enthusiasts to Rochester’s cobbled streets, with Rochester Castle providing a dramatic backdrop to the event.

The colourful designs may reflect Medway’s heritage and history, cycling, or the school’s colours and aspirations. The designs will be judged by representatives from British Cycling and members of the public will be able to have their say as they will be put on display at a special exhibition at Rochester Cathedral on the afternoon of the Medway Mile on Friday, 19 July. The winning design will win a coaching and activity session with a specialist British Cycling Go-Ride coach at their school.

Aspiring young racers, families and other cycling enthusiasts will also have a chance to cycle on the championships route on race day as part of the Medway Big Ride. Cyclists must register for the Big Ride and places are limited.

An event village in Rochester Castle gardens will offer fun activities for all keen cyclists and families to enjoy from midday on race day, including face painting, BMX stunt shows, free coaching by British Cycling and a big screen showing the Tour de France.

The men’s and women’s elite races will bring together some of the country’s best riders, to battle for the iconic red, white and blue national champions’ jerseys. The elite women’s race will take place from 5pm and the elite men’s race will be start at 6.30pm.

Last year’s championship titles were won by Anna Henderson and Matt Gibson, who added their names to an illustrious list of previous national champions which includes Mark Cavendish, Katie Archibald, Ed Clancy and Lizzie Deignan.

Fantastic opportunity 

Cllr Howard Doe, Medway Council’s Portfolio Holder for Community Services, said: “We are delighted to be hosting the HSBC UK| National Circuit Championships in Rochester next month and I’m pleased that we will be celebrating with children from local primary schools. The national cycling event provides a fantastic opportunity for residents to watch elite cyclists compete on their doorstep and will no doubt inspire some residents to take up cycling. I would like to take this opportunity to encourage schools to get involved and decorate one of the silhouettes for race day on Sunday, 21 July. We are looking forward to welcoming thousands of cycling enthusiasts to Medway and we hope residents will also line Rochester’s historic cobbled streets to support the elite cyclists, as well as those taking part in the Medway Big Ride.”

Find out more, and register for the Big Ride.

With 100 silhouette templates available, schools are encouraged to get in touch with Medway Council by email to request a template: circuitchamps@medway.gov.uk

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