Great Britain Cycling Team’s head coach Shane Sutton and double track world champion Becky James were on hand in Abergavenny to unveil the courses which will decide who will be the 2014 British national road and time trial champions.
Stars of the road for British national championships
Monmouthshire, James’ home county in Wales will host the championships in June and there are expectations that 50,000 fans will be roadside cheering on the best of British road cycling.
The championships will see riders fight for glory in the Elite Men's, Women's and Under-23 competitions in both the road and time-trial disciplines.
Team Sky duo Sir Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome, the last two winners of the Tour de France - are expected to battle it out for the Men's Elite Road Race title alongside reigning national champion Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) and Welsh double Olympic gold medallist Geraint Thomas (Sky).
The road races will start in Abergavenny, testing riders’ strength and endurance over 116 miles of rural roads and punishing climbs for the men’s race and over 63 miles for the women’s race.
Olympic medallists Lizzie Armitstead (Boels Dolmans) and Joanna Rowsell (Wiggle-Honda), the current time-Trial champion, are also expected to race in June. The women's time trial course is 20km around the grounds of the Celtic Manor Resort – home to the Ryder Cup in 2010 while men’s time-trial competitors will cover the same course but will ride two laps instead of one.
Jonny Clay, cycle sport & membership director for British Cycling, is looking forward to the upcoming championships. "This is the second time in five years that the championships has visited Wales with the event held in Abergavenny in 2009. Abergavenny also hosted a very successful British Cycling Premier Calendar road race last year and has a strong pedigree in cycling led by Grand Prix of Wales organiser, Bill Owen, who will organise the championships for Monmouthshire this year.
"In 2009 we saw a race in which Chris Froome, Sir Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish were all key protagonists and 2014 should be a fitting prelude to the Tour de France Grand Depart in the UK."
Bill Owen, Wales' representative on the British Cycling Board of Directors is anticipating a bumper championship with high-quality racing in both the men's and women's racing.
"Once again, our nation has the opportunity to showcase the best in cycling, both competitive and leisure riding, to the UK.
"Monmouthshire has an enormous tradition in the sport of cycling, with many wonderful riders, such as Becky, raised on the hills and roads of the county before going onto achieve great things on the international stage.
"This year's event is set to be spectacular and with the support of Monmouthshire council and the Celtic Manor Resort, I'm confident it will be an unforgettable experience."
The National Road Race Championships will take place in Monmouthshire 26-29 June 2014.