Isle of Man geared up for the 2017 HSBC UK National Road Championships

Mon, 19 Jun 2017


The biggest cycling event ever to be staged in the Isle of Man is almost upon us.

 On Sunday 25th June, the Island will stage the prestigious 2017 HSBC UK National Road Championships – with both the elite men’s and women’s titles on the line, along with Under-23 honours. It promises to be highly competitive and to say there is no shortage of local interest would be an understatement!

 If you are still planning to come over to the Isle of Man and watch – it’s still not too late! Give us a call at Isle of Man Events on 01624 664460 and we’ll arrange all your last minute travel and accommodation.  That’s what you call service!

 Men’s Road Race

Whilst current men’s champ Adam Blythe will be looking to defend the title he won in 2016, he will once again go head to head with the most famous Manx cyclist of his generation,  Mark Cavendish, the man who he beat in a sprint finish to claim the title 12 months ago.

For Cavendish, the 2017 race provides him with a unique opportunity to claim a national champion’s jersey on home soil – on the roads he knows so well from the time he first took an interest in the sport as a youngster.  

One of 160 cyclists who’ll contest the race, he is bound to have the support of virtually the entire island and will be relishing the chance to win his second national road race title.

But Cavendish, currently lying second in the all-time list of Tour de France stage winners, is not the only high profile local rider hoping for a home win. Peter Kennaugh, the only Manx cyclist to have won an Olympic gold medal, is also keen to take the title, knowing a win would also write him into the record books as the first ever three-time winner of the road race. It promises to be quite a battle.

Women’s road race

In the women’s race, which will be contested by 92 riders, 2015 world champion Lizzie Deignan will start as the race favourite, but she faces a major challenge from the Barnes sisters, Hannah and Alice.

 A number of Great Britain’s recent Olympic and Paralympic heroes will also be in action, with 2016 team pursuit gold medallists, Elinor Barker and Katie Archibald, both competing for individual honours. Meanwhile, paralympic individual pursuit gold medalist, Corrine Hall, will also be taking part, whilst local interests will be represented by Anna Christian.

The course

Given that this year’s races are being contested in the Isle of Man, it’s surely fitting that the course for both the men’s and women’s races includes the TT course, the most famous road racing tarmac in the world.  

The races start on Quarter Bridge Road in Douglas before heading onto the main circuit across the A1 through Crosby and towards Ballig. The route then heads north via the A3 towards Kirk Michael before moving east through Sulby towards Ramsey and the start of the main climb over the mountain.

The route then heads south along the A18 before returning to Douglas. The men will do two laps of the TT circuit with the women taking in one lap of the island before the race moves to the finish circuit.

This section heads north up Ballanard Road before heading east towards Cronk-Ny-Mona, heading back to the finish on Quarter Bridge Road via Signpost Corner and Governor’s Dip. The women will do six laps of the finish circuit while the men will do 10. The finish itself is alongside the TT Grandstand. 

Schedule

Racing begins at 9am on Sunday with the women’s race - with the men set to start at 1.45pm.

If you aren’t able to watch the race from vantage points all around the course, you can follow the action on the British Cycling website from 8.45am on Sunday and there are highlights being broadcast on Monday 26 June on ITV4 at 6pm and on Eurosport 1 at 10pm.

     

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