British Cycling has officially launched this year’s 2012 National Road Race Championships in Ampleforth, North Yorkshire, with riders from Rapha Condor Sharp, IG Sigma Sport, Team UK Youth and Node 4 – all due to compete in the Halfords Tour Series in Durham this evening – also attending this morning’s formal presentation of the route to be used on 24 June.
Both the men’s and women’s races will start and finish at Ampleforth College, with the women covering seven laps of a rolling 15.2km circuit for a total distance of 107km. The defending champion is Lizzie Armitstead who comes from Otley, West Yorkshire, around 50 kilometres to the south west.
The men’s race starts off with three laps of a 30.4km circuit that passes by the remains of Byland Abbey and through the villages of Coxwold, Oulston, Crayke and Brandsby prior to an ascent towards Yearsley.
The riders then complete six laps of a shorter, 15.3km circuit, with a total race distance of 182km. As with the women’s race, each lap will see the riders pass through the grounds of Ampleforth college as well Ampleforth Village, Yearsley Moor and Gilling East.
The current champion is, of course, Bradley Wiggins Team Sky riders have managed a clean sweep of the podium in each of the past two editions, with Geraint Thomas triumphing in 2010.
Race organiser Bob Howden said: “It's great to welcome the national road champs back to Yorkshire. Whenever the race has visited the region it’s provided memorable racing and we have a course and a location befitting of a race of this stature in store for the riders in June.”
Jonny Clay, Cycle Sport and Membership Director at British Cycling added: "The winners of the last three National Road Race championships have nine Olympic and 22 World championship medals between them, a reflection of what it takes to win this event these days in both Men’s and Women’s categories.
“The course in and around Ampleforth is a challenging and impressive backdrop for this event that will no doubt provide a worthy winner on the day."
More information regarding the event can be found on the British Cycling website.
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.