A 100-mile sportive will take place ahead of the Nationals road race, with the women's road race the climax of the event
This year’s British National Road Championships will be staged in Norfolk, and for the first time amateur riders will be able to ride the route of the road race.
The introduction of a 100 mile sportive to be run on the same day as the road races, on the same route with fully closed roads, is a new initiative for British Cycling. Entry fees should also allow the governing body to offset at least some of the costs, which are likely to be substantial given the day-long road closures.
The elite road races will take place on Sunday June 30, with the time trials on the preceding Thursday. Distances and routes are yet to be confirmed, they are, however, likely to be similar to those at this year’s Championships in Northumbria. There the men raced 185km and the women 106km, however, in 2019 the women’s will close the weekend’s competition.
“Not only does that help us logistically, it provides a great crescendo for the day and it gives a platform many other events don’t provide,” said Tom Caldwell, director of Golazo, the event organizing company that is running the events for British Cycling.
Finalised routes will be announced once consultations with local groups are concluded, but Caldwell confirmed the start and finish would be in Norwich with the race heading north to the coast.
“There will laps in Norwich, but how many is yet to be determined as we are still working on some of that detail.”
It is the first time British Cycling has used a commercial partner, as opposed to local organising committees, to organise the nationals.
Specialising in cycling, Belgian events company Golazo run the UCI’s Gran Fondo Series, including the Tour of Cambridgeshire, and are also organising the 2021 World Championships in Flanders.
“Logistically we are very used to this type of event,” Golazo director Tom Caldwell told Cycling Weekly. “In the UK we have been doing it for four or five years in Cambridgeshire, having complex race going on at the front of a large sportive.”
Entries for the sportive will be £78, though British Cycling members will receive a discount code for pre-registration which opened earlier this week.
Hosting stages of both the Tour of Britain and the Women’s Tour, Norfolk has supported elite level cycling in the past, and while flat, the city centre laps should provide an interesting dynamic.
Part of the Great British Cycling Festival, the county will also stage a round of the mountain bike national cross-country series that weekend.