The historic Rochester Castle will provide the backdrop as this year’s national circuit champions are crowned, British Cycling has confirmed.
The governing body, in association with Medway Council, has revealed the route on which the HSBC UK | National Circuit Championships will be contested on Sunday, July 21.
The 1.6km circuit will start and finish on the Esplanade, initially heading south before making a sharp left on to Baker’s Walk. Riders will make their way down Vines Lane and Crow Lane, before coming back towards the castle via the High Street, past the cathedral.
They will turn on to Castle Hill before coming back down the Esplanade, where the races will come to a dramatic conclusion in the shadow of the castle.
Jonathan Rigby, Commercial Director at British Cycling, said:
“Rochester is set to provide a stunning backdrop to what will be a wonderful showcase of circuit racing. The national champion’s jersey is highly sought after, and we’re looking forward to watching some of the country’s best riders competing in such a picturesque setting at the end of July.”
Councillor Howard Doe, Deputy Leader of Medway Council and Portfolio Holder for Community Services, said:
“We are privileged that British Cycling is bringing the HSBC UK | National Circuit Championships to Medway and we would like to thank them for the opportunity to host another elite sporting event in Medway.
“We are thrilled that the countdown to the championships has officially begun. Rochester will provide a picturesque backdrop for the men’s and women’s races and the route will take cyclists through the heart of historic Rochester along the cobbled Victorian streets, past the cathedral and one of the oldest castles in the country before racing along the Esplanade to the finish line.
“We’re looking forward to welcoming thousands of cycling enthusiasts and spectators to Rochester on Sunday, 21 July and we’ve organised a number of cycling and family-fun activities for local people and cycling enthusiasts to enjoy throughout the day.
“Medway is one of the south-east’s historic gems, with world renowned heritage sites and award-winning parks and country parks for visitors to explore. Hundreds of thousands of tourists flock to Medway each year to enjoy its cultural scene and the colourful events held across its five towns.”
The men’s and women’s races will bring together some of the country’s best riders, to battle for the iconic red, white and blue national champions’ jerseys.
Last year’s titles were won by Anna Henderson and Matt Gibson, who added their names to an illustrious list previous national champions which includes Mark Cavendish, Katie Archibald, Ed Clancy and Lizzie Deignan.
This year’s rider list will be revealed by British Cycling during the week commencing July 1.
The elite races begin at 5pm (women) and 6:30pm (men), and form part of a day-long celebration of cycling in the historic city. A family mass participation race - the Medway Big Ride – will take place on a short section of the race course from 2:30-3:30pm, and British Cycling coaches and club volunteers will be on hand to deliver Go-Ride coaching, and HSBC UK Ready Set Ride activities for younger riders in the Castle moat area.