Hosting top bike races will make Monmouthshire the 'cycling capital of Wales'
12:01pm Saturday 12th October 2013 in Gwent news
SWA ST Danielle Sheridan 17/06/2013 Welsh Conservatives gather at Magor services to call for a M4 relief road around Newport, Bob Greenland Leader of Monmouthshire County Council speaks (1363370)
HOSTING the 2014 British cycling National Road Championships will make Monmouthshire the 'cycling capital of Wales'.
Bill Owen, organiser of the Abergavenny Festival of Cycling, welcomed the news, announced on Friday, that the county has won the bid to host the prestigious event for the second time.
He said: “This is an amazing achievement and it is down to the backing of Monmouthshire council and their vision for cycling in South-East Wales that we were able to bid for this in the first place.”
The council was one of 12 authorities to bid for the event which will take place in June.
The National Time Trial Championships take place on June 26 and the National Road Race Championships follow on June 29 ahead of the Tour de France. It is likely to attract the likes of Mark Cavendish and Tour de France winners Sir Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome.
The council’s deputy leader, Councillor Bob Greenland, 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.”
Jonny Clay, of British Cycling, said: “This will be the second time in five years that the championship 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.”
Peter Fox, the council's leader, said: " It’s a real privilege to host 2014 British Cycling National Road Championship in Monmouthshire. Our beautiful county is the perfect training and competition ground for the sport and people can expect an outstanding event. We have quite a legacy of cycling in Monmouthshire with the Abergavenny Festival of Cycling and many cycling clubs all showcasing the incredible talent in the county.
“When we hosted the Championships in 2009, it wasn’t just cycling enthusiasts that benefited. Local businesses, traders and our tourism sector all got a boost. This is something we want to capitalise on again.
“This news has come at the perfect time as we recently announced plans to build a cycle track in Gilwern. Cycling is a sport we take seriously and hosting this event will show our commitment and dedication in making Monmouthshire a premier cycling destination.”
Miles Preece, who owns M & D cycles in Abergavenny and is a keen cyclist, said the event will bring the best cyclists in the world to the area.
He said: “It’s absolutely brilliant for the area and for Wales.”
“It’s a major coo for cycling and puts Monmouthshire on the world cycling map. Us older cyclists and the many cycling clubs will be able to watch the best in the world compete in Abergavenny.”
This is the second major cycling announcement Monmouthshire council has made recently with news that a purpose-built cycle track is to be built in Gilwern and open next summer, if planning permission is granted.
Ian Saunders, head of leisure services, said: “We are thrilled we have the opportunity to host the national championships and we guarantee it will be a spectacular event. 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 see Monmouthshire truly become the cycling capital of Wales.”
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