The 2018 British National Road and Time Trial Championships will return to Northumberland – scene of Bradley Wiggins’ 2011 triumph.
Incorporated into the long-running Cyclone Festival of Cycling – the women’s and men’s road championships will see the winners of the well-established Curlew Cup and Beaumont Trophy crowned.
As a result, the Championships will form part of a four-day weekend of cycling in the North East; the time trials take place on Thursday June 28; the Tyne 6 Bridges Fun Rides on the Friday, the Cyclone Challenge Ride sportives are on Saturday June 30; and the national road race champions will be crowned on Sunday July 1 – six days before the start of the Tour de France.
When the national road races were last incorporated into the Cyclone Festival of Cycling, Wiggins won the men’s road race, while Lizzie Deignan – then Armitstead – claimed the first of her four women’s road race wins.
Alex Dowsett was crowned men’s time trial champion for the first time and Wendy Houvenaghel was the fastest woman against the clock.
Deignan will roll out as defending champion, bidding for a fifth national title, in the women’s race this year, with Claire Rose the defending time trial champion and Steve Cummings the current holder of both men’s titles.
While the routes for this year’s races are yet to be confirmed, the Ryals are likely to represent the biggest climbing challenge, with gradients touching 22 per cent in the middle.
It was on the climb, back in 2011, Team Sky were able to obliterate the peloton in a race they dominated – the British WorldTour team occupied the top four places.
The Northumbrian countryside will serve up undulating roads and sluggish surfaces too, with plenty to sting the thighs of Britain’s best riders.
Cyclone Festival of Cycling organiser Peter Harrison said: “It's exciting news that the Cyclone Festival of Cycling will hosting the National Championships again.
“With family rides, a four-route sportive and national championships in both Road Racing and Time Trials, this year's Cyclone will be a four-day Festival and it looks set to be our best yet, with something for everyone, whether they want to ride, race or spectate."
For more information, or to enter the sportive, visit www.cyclonecycling.com.