County prepares for invasion of the cyclists
9:20am Wednesday 25th June 2014 in Sport
THE stars of British cycling are heading to Monmouthshire as the British National Time Trial and Road Championships gets underway tomorrow.
The first event for the elite cyclists is the time trial, beginning and ending at Newport’s Celtic Manor tomorrow afternoon.
The under-23 men go off at 1.40pm, the elite women at 2.15pm and the elite men, including Sir Bradley Wiggins and Wales’ own Geraint Thomas, at 6.30pm.
The object of the time trial is simple; to finish the course in the fastest time.
Alex Dowsett has won the men’s event for the last three years with Wiggins triumphant in 2009 and 2010, while Joanna Rowsell is the reigning women’s champ.
Friday night sees the Abergavenny Festival Youth Circuit Races from 5.30pm for under-8s through to the under-16s at 7pm.
And the Abergavenny Traders Race Cardiac Carnival rolls out in spectacular fashion around the town centre from 7.15pm on Friday.
The evening then concludes with the Welsh Open Criterium Championship.
Saturday sees the Championship Sportive take over Monmouthshire, as hundreds of amateur cyclists choose their route around the county and you can sign up on the day.
And on Sunday it’s the road race with the elite and under-23 women going off at 9am and the elite and under-23 men at 1pm.
Last year’s champions were Mark Cavendish, Lizzie Armitstead and Simon Yates in the under-23 event.
Team Sky’s rising Welsh star Luke Rowe will be taking part and he’s encouraging everyone to get involved this week.
The Cardiff-born 23-year-old said: "It is great fun to ride a Sportive and is a really safe environment in Monmouthshire with the support of marshals and neutral service vehicles to help if you have a problem out on the road.
"Sportives are excellent for people new to cycling to enjoy a day out and find out more about it but they are also good for club riders and people who want to experience a real race with no pressure on them. There is always somebody on the course who will want a race.
"You can ride a Sportive relaxed with friends and family or, like the Championship Sportive, ride on a climb like the Tumble and find out what it is like to go up there."