With just 100 days to go until Vélo Birmingham & Midlands, event organisers have today announced a partnership with British Cycling that will see the Midlands play host to the prestigious HSBC UK | National Road Championships in the West Midlands.
Running from the 18th-20th June 2020, the championships will now form part of the UK's second biggest closed road sportive, generating a wealth of benefits for both events.
This year's Velo Birmingham & Midlands sportive will take place on Sunday 21 June with a choice of 100 or 45-mile routes on closed roads.
With Britain's best male and female riders set to go head-to-head in a time trial within Warwickshire and a road race from Birmingham to Wolverhampton, aligning the historic championships alongside Vélo Birmingham & Midlands 2020 will deliver an unrivalled week of world class cycling within the Midlands, enabling amateur riders and their professional counterparts to experience the thrill of riding on closed roads in front of huge crowds.
Dating back to 1951, the championships has a long and proud history. Former winners include Mark Cavendish, Geraint Thomas, Lizzie Deignan and Nicole Cooke, and the 2020 championships will once again host some of the world's most decorated professional riders as they battle to be crowned national champion and earn the right to wear their national colours in the peloton for the year ahead.
With the Commonwealth Games coming to Birmingham in 2022, the national championships will give the region a flavour of what to expect from a high profile and competitive cycling event. Crowds are expected to come out in their tens of thousands to line the streets and cheer on the riders, creating a celebratory feel right throughout the region.
Welcoming the news, current British national men's road race champion, Ben Swift, said: "It's fantastic to hear that the HSBC UK | National Road Championships will now be fixed in the Midlands in 2020. The Championships are a key focus for most elite British riders, and I hope to be able to defend my title in the Midlands this June."
Current British national women's road race champion, Alice Barnes, added: "This is a huge advantage in riders' preparation for the Commonwealth Games. Being familiar with the terrain and having strong spectator attendance on the road-side can have a huge impact on the day so it's brilliant we'll be able to maximise the advantage of a home Games."
As well as helping the championships fulfil its potential as one of the most iconic spectacles on the British racing calendar, the new partnership also helps usher in a new era for cycling in the Midlands. By bringing such a high profile event to the area, organisers of Vélo Birmingham & Midlands and British Cycling hope to inspire a new generation of riders and create a legacy of cycling in the Midlands.
In turn, Vélo Birmingham & Midlands participants, volunteers and supporters will now be immersed within one of the biggest weekends of cycling on the UK calendar. The start of the men's and women's elite and under-23 road races will be located adjacent to the Vélo Birmingham & Midlands Rider Registration in Centenary Square, giving sportive participants front row seats to see the professionals set off before taking part in their own 100 or 45 mile challenge on closed roads the following day.
A limited number of Vélo Birmingham & Midlands general and charity entries are still on sale. Visit the event website at www.velobirmingham.com to enter today.