Organisers of the National Road Championships in Monmouthshire are giving you the chance to ride the route of the course the day before the professionals, with four different routes on offer – but you’ll need to be quick, since pre-registration for on-the-day entry closes tomorrow.
The Championship Sportive takes place on Saturday 28 June and organisers hope that the prospect of tackling the same roads as the likes of defending champions Mark Cavendish and Lizzie Armitstead will inspire people to get out on their bikes.
Following the recent announcement of the fields for the event, which includes the National Time Trial Championship on Thursday 26 June, race organiser Bill Owen said: “Excitement has been building for some time now about the British Cycling National Road Championships returning to Monmouthshire.
“This news shows that it’s not just locals who are looking forward to it, but the cycling stars too. We can’t wait to see Sir Bradley Wiggins, Mark Cavendish, Lizzie Armitstead and Laura Trott take on the courses that wind through the beautiful countryside we’re blessed with in the county.
“The great thing about the Championships is that mere mortals don’t only get the opportunity to see their heroes but can be like Bradley themselves and sign up to ride in the Sportive.
“We’ve got four different difficulties of routes which range from beginner to real cycling nut.”
Ian Saunders, Head of Tourism, Leisure and Culture at Monmouthshire County Council added: “Big names like the ones announced and big events like this can really inspire people to get on their own bike and we’d love as many people as possible to use the Championships to spark their own cycling story.
“There’s a lot said about legacy and sporting events, but we’re hopeful that long after the event is over, its impact will help Monmouthshire become a fitter, healthier and happier place,” he added.
You can find out more information on the event website, while sign up for the Championship Sportiveis via the British Cycling website, and the four route options are:
Leisure Bronze Route
Start time: 10.00
Distance: 20 miles/32km over the flat roads of Monmouthshire
Start point: Abergavenny
Entrance fees: £15 when pre-booked by 20th June
Audience: Open to all abilities, beginners, people looking for a quiet ride in the countryside, active families.
Start time: 9.30
Distance: 62 miles/100km over the Men’s British Road Race Championship Course
Start point: Abergavenny
Entrance fees: £40 on the day when pre-booked by 20 June
Audience: Regular cyclists.
Start time: 9.00
Distance: If you start at Abergavenny, 100 miles/160km over the Men’s British Road Race
Championship Course and extends to include the Tumble Mountain
Start points: Abergavenny (reach Tumble after 72 miles); Celtic Manor (reach Tumble after 54 miles); Chepstow (reach Tumble after 39 miles); Monmouth (reach Tumble after 25 miles)
Entrance fees: £50 on the day
Audience: Cyclists up for a challenge!
Women’s Only Route
Start time: 8.30
Distance: 46 miles/74km over the Women’s British Road Race Championship Course
Entrance fees: £35 on the day
Audience: For the first time, ever female riders have their own course.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.