Monmouthshire has been awarded the privilege of hosting the 2014 British Cycling National Road Championships.
With 12 bidding authorities in the running, today’s announcement declares Monmouthshire as the winning authority and cements its intentions as becoming a premier cycling destination.
The championships, which will take place in and around the Abergavenny area, will be held in June with the National Time Trial Championships taking place on Thursday 26 and the National Road Race Championships taking place on Sunday 29.
This is the second major cycling announcement Monmouthshire council has made recently with news of Gilwern cycle track – a state of the art closed-road circuit - announced this July.
Ian Saunders, Monmouthshire’s Head of Leisure Services, explains:
“We are absolutely thrilled that we have the opportunity to host the National Road Championships and we guarantee it will be a spectacular event. But this is not a one-off event for us. Cycling is a sport we take seriously in Monmouthshire. With the annual Abergavenny Festival of Cycling and our commitment and investment in the Gilwern cycle track, we have big plans that will see Monmouthshire truly become the cycling capital of Wales.”
Jonny Clay, Cycle Sport & Membership Director for British Cycling, said:
“This will be 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 this year and has a strong pedigree in cycling led by Grand Prix of Wales organiser, Bill Owen, who will organise the championships for Monmouthshire next 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 Départ in the UK.”
Bill Owen, organiser of Abergavenny Festival of Cycling, will work with the council to plan an outstanding event:
“This is an amazing achievement for us all and it is down to the backing of Monmouthshire County Council and their vision for cycling in South East Wales that we were able to bid for this in the first place.”
Councillor Bob Greenland, cabinet member with responsibility for economic development, said:
“Monmouthshire council recognises the economic benefits that major events can bring to our county. The high profile that British Cycling has brought to the sport since the great successes of last year's Olympics is plain to see. It‘s incredibly exciting that we have the opportunity to work with British Cycling and host next year’s prestigious National Road Championships.”
Building on the high-profile that the event will inevitably bring to the sport in Monmouthshire, the council are keen to encourage residents to get cycling.
Councillor Geoff Burrows, cabinet member with responsibility for leisure services, said:
“There are obvious benefits that cycling can bring to the county. Apart from the fact that it’s a great way to get around, it’s also a great way for everyone to improve their health and fitness. Our goal is for everyone to have the opportunity to cycle in Monmouthshire. Making the county a premier cycling destination will certainly help us achieve this goal.”
For more information visit www.monmouthshire.gov.uk or www.britishcycling.org.uk.