The routes of the time trial and road races at the British national road championships were unveiled on Thursday. The British nationals are due to take place in the Isle of Man for the first time since 1995 with the road races set to take on the island's famous TT course.
"I know there's a huge amount of enthusiasm for hosting the national championships on the Isle of Man. The championships coming to the Isle of Man will be great for all involved, and it will be fantastic to see some of the country's best cyclists competing over these courses next month," Mark Cavendish, the island's most successful cyclist, said in a press release.
The time trials will kick the competition off on Thursday, June 22, with the men and women riding the same 11.1km course. The route will start at Tynwald Hill in St Johns where the Isle of Man government, whose legislature is known as Tynwald, meets once a year for an open-air sitting ahead of the summer break.
From St Johns, the course will take the riders towards the coast, and up to Kirk Michael before turning back on itself and heading back down the TT course, in the opposite direction to the one, they'll be taking during the road race. The course is undulates the whole way around with some steep sections near the start that should prove challenging on a time trial bike.
On an island such as the Isle of Man, it is hard to go very far without coming across any climbs, and the road race on June 25 will also be full of rises and falls as the main route brings the riders around the TT course. Two weeks before the nationals take place, the course will be utilised for the Isle of Man tourist trophy, a two-week motorbike festival where competitors race on the public roads. The speeds won't be quite as high but it will still be a challenging course for the riders.
The riders will set off from the TT Grandstand where fans will be able to watch the riders come through several times throughout the day and where the race will finish. After a short, flat section, the riders will hit the fast descent of Bray Hill before turning west towards the time trial course of a few days earlier. The route will twist and turn its way up to the north of the island before the steep climb from Ramsey onto the mountain road, an undulating stretch of road that is exposed to the elements. A fast run from the Creg Ny Baa will bring them towards signpost corner before the final stretch back to the Grandstand on Glencrutchery Road.
The women will complete just one lap of the TT course while the men will take it on twice before moving onto the shorter finishing circuit. From the grandstand, the riders will turn right before the descent of Bray Hill and will head out towards Scollag Road and north again to join back up with the TT course just after the Creg Ny Baa descent. From there they will head back to the Grandstand again. The women will complete six laps of the finishing circuit to bring the length of their race up to 103km, and the men will do 10 laps and ride a title of 193km.
Robert Millar was the last rider to win when the British national championships visited the Isle of Man while Manchester-born Manx rider Marie Purvis, the island's most successful female cyclist, won the women's event, the last of her five titles.