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Wolverhampton to host the 2020 British Road National Championships

Joseph Delves
12 Mar 2020

Event twins with Vélo Birmingham & Midlands for long-weekend of racing and riding

Wolverhampton has been announced as the host for the 2020 British Road National Championships. Running from 18th to 20th June 2020, the championships will be twinned with the Vélo Birmingham & Midlands sportive. Making for a big weekend of closed-road racing and riding, the combination of events should ensure large crowds at both.

Race central

Hoping to steal a march on Yorkshire, the Midlands is taking steps to market itself as a cycling destination. Along with bringing both the National Championships and the UK’s second-biggest closed-road sportive to the region, many local councils have been stumping up funding for cycling events and infrastructure. It’s part of an effort that will also see the Commonwealth Games coming to Birmingham in 2022.

'This is a huge advantage in riders’ preparation for that event,' said current British national road race champion Alice Barnes.

'Being familiar with the terrain and having strong spectator attendance can have a huge impact on the day, so it’s brilliant we’ll be able to maximise the advantage of a home Games.'

Time-trial

The first opportunity to nab a National Champs jersey will come with the time-trial events to be held on Thursday 18th June 2020.

With the Under-23 Men, Under-23 Women and Elite Women all sharing the same 23.6km course around North Warwickshire, the race will pass through Bentley, Furnace End, Over Whitacre, Church End, Ridge Lane and Mancetter, before returning to Atherstone.

Bringing their total to 41.4km, the Elite Men will complete an additional loop of the rural and undulating course.

Road race

By comparison, the road races will run between Birmingham and Wolverhampton. Both Men’s and Women’s Elite and Under-23 road races will start adjacent to the Vélo Birmingham & Midlands rider registration in Centenary Square. Drawing large numbers of riders to the site of the racing ahead of their sportive the next day, this should guarantee the racers get a good send-off.

From here they’ll head through the Borough of Sandwell towards Dudley, before passing into South Staffordshire and then up Himley Hall on the way to an 18km circuit.

Multiple loops of this will vary the length of the course, with each lap climbing The Holloway/Church Road, the largest ascent of the day. Both races will then travel to the finish line in Wolverhampton city centre.

Defending riders

Having put in a stunning performance to win both road race and time-trial titles last year, Alice Barnes will be looking to defend on two fronts. In the Men’s Road Race, Ben Swift will seek to hold on to his jersey, while Alex Dowsett will be looking to add a seventh title in the ITT.

To find out more about the 2020 HSBC UK | National Road Championships, and the course routes, visit: britishcycling.org.uk

British National Championships 2020: Key information

Time Trials

Thursday 18th June 2020
Start and finish - Atherstone Town Centre

U23 Men’s, U23 Women's, and Elite Women’s

Start Times - TBC
Distance - 23.6km
Elevation Gain - 280m

Elite Men’s

Start Time - TBC
Distance - 41.4km
Elevation Gain - 480m

Road Races

Saturday 20th June 2020  
Start - Centenary Square, Birmingham 
Finish - Wolverhampton city centre

Elite & U23 Women

Start Time - 09:00 (subject to change)
Distance - 136.3km (including 13km neutral)
Elevation Gain - 1,285m

Elite & U23 Men

Start Time - 15:00 (subject to change)
Distance - 172.7km (including 13km neutral)
Elevation Gain - 1,611m