Norfolk Routes Revealed For Cycling Championships This Summer
19 February 2019, 17:06 | Updated: 19 February 2019, 17:08
British Cycling has today revealed the routes that the country’s best riders will take through Norfolk, as they bid for national titles at the HSBC UK National Road Championships this summer.
Norfolk will play host to the championships as part of the wider Great British Cycling Festival, a weekend-long celebration of cycling at all levels which will see families and amateur cyclists able to get involved in a series of rides and activities.
The pinnacle of the British domestic road calendar, the championships will see the men’s and women’s time trial champions crowned on Thursday June 27th and the road races contested on Sunday June 30th.
The Sunday will also see amateur cyclists of all abilities test themselves in the shadow of the professionals, with a 100-mile sportive.
Jonathan Rigby, British Cycling’s Commercial Director, said:
“This is a hugely exciting time for cycling in this country, with the recent announcement that Glasgow will host the first ever combined world championships in 2023, and the forthcoming UCI Road World Championships in Yorkshire. The HSBC UK | National Road Championships represent the pinnacle of our domestic road calendar, so we’re delighted that the Great British Cycling Festival will offer so many opportunities for the people of Norfolk and beyond to get involved in our fantastic sport.”
Thursday’s time trials – last year won by Hannah Barnes and Geraint Thomas, just three weeks before his Tour de France victory - will see elite men compete over 25.9 miles, and elite women and under-23s race over 17 miles. Both races will start and finish on the royal Sandringham estate, with the under-23 and elite races taking place across the afternoon.
Sunday’s road races will both start and finish in Norwich city centre, with the men racing over 125.2 miles and the women 83.5. Both routes will head north from the city centre, via Wroxham, Cromer and Wells next the Sea, then through Holkham Hall for the men, taking in some of Norfolk’s most spectacular coastline before riders make their way back towards Norwich through Foulsham.
Jonathan Rigby continued:
“We’re delighted to be able to confirm these routes. The list of previous winners of the road race or time trial titles – including the likes of Laura Kenny, Mark Cavendish, Lizzie Deignan and Geraint Thomas – gives some indication of the prestige of these titles, and to see them contested in Norfolk’s truly stunning surroundings will be a wonderful spectacle.
“We have worked closely with Golazo, Norfolk County Council, Norwich City Council and Active Norfolk to ensure that we have routes which provide the very best experience for riders and spectators, and we’re very confident that this year’s HSBC UK | National Road Championships will showcase the county and our sport in a fantastic way.”
Sunday’s 100-mile sportive – the British Cycling Challenge 100 – is just one of the ways in which the general public can get involved in the festival. The sportive will follow the same route as the elite men’s road race, again starting and finishing in Norwich city centre, and allowing amateur riders to test themselves in the same conditions as the elite competitors.
Tom Caldwell, Director of event organiser Golazo, said:
“The announcement of the route for the road races and associated British Cycling Challenge 100 sportive is a great milestone for the Great British Cycling Festival, and really whets the appetite for what promises to be a fantastic weekend of cycling.
“We share with British Cycling - as well as all partner organisations and the festival’s official sponsor, the University of East Anglia - a real determination to ensure that the top-level competition and great athletes we have in this country serve to inspire everyone to get more active through cycling, and the festival will be a great representation of that.”
Ben Jones, Director of Active Norfolk, said “The Great British Cycling Festival will engage local residents and visitors to Norfolk with the prestige and excitement of the world’s elite cyclists racing through some of Norfolk’s scenic countryside.
We are working to generate an array of engaging opportunities for people to get involved, and will be working with local schools, community groups and businesses to animate the route and develop a festival atmosphere so people of all ages can enjoy this event.”
Cllr Andrew Jamieson, Walking and Cycling Champion for Norfolk County Council said: “The Championships will attract a huge number of visitors to Norfolk over the summer bringing revenue for local businesses and introduce thousands of new people to this beautiful county.
“It is also hoped that the Great British Festival of Cycling will inspire a generation of new cyclists. Watching elite sportsmen and women cycling through our beautiful city and countryside and having the opportunity to take part in community events or the 100-mile sportive itself can’t help but encourage people to try it for themselves and start cycling on a regular basis. It’s a win-win for our region at all levels.”