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Route for 2018 British National Championships revealed

Testing course of two loops of Northumberland circuit for this year's nationals

Joe Robinson
19 Apr 2018

British Cycling has revealed the route for the 2018 National Road Championships, to be held in Northumberland on Sunday 1st July.

Both the men's and women's races will start and finish in the village of Stamfordham, around 20km west of Newcastle-upon-Tyne. The small village previously saw the 2011 championships pass through with Bradley Wiggins and Lizzie Deignan taking the honours on the day.

The race will focus itself around two loops, a 22km short loop and a 35.4km long loop. 

The men's race will be 185km in length with riders tackling the shorter loop on laps one and six and the longer loop on the second through to fifth laps.

The women's race is shorter at 106.2km and involves three laps of the larger loop.

On the day, the difference could be made on the duo of climbs that will be tackled on both courses. The peloton will first hit the testy narrow section of Counden Hill before climbing Ryals climb, the most significant hill on offer.

This will probably make more of a selection in the women's race given that Ryals climb comes 10km from the finish, where in the men's race the riders will still have 30km to ride when they crest it for the final time. 

Talking about the championships, event organiser Peter Harrison gave his opinion on where he feels the decisive attacks would come.

'The narrow roads that typify the run-in to the famous Ryals climb force the riders to race hard for position: the climb of the Ryals then gives stronger riders the chance to pressurise an already strung-out field,' said Harrison.

'The eventual winners and national champions will have to be tactically sharp and prepared to go with the inevitable attacks up the Ryals.

'Then, we anticipate a game of cat and mouse between smaller groups of riders down to the finish.'

Steve Cummings will likely return in the hope of defending both his road and time-trial titles but in the women's road race there will definitely be a new jersey wearer, with current champion Lizzie Deignan set to give birth to her first child in September. 

The championships will start on Thursday 28th June with the men's and women's time-trials.

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