Cycling fever hits Dumfries and Galloway as British National Road Championships begin

Elynor Backstedt, Pfeiffer Georgi, Lucy Gadd Credit: ITV News Border

Famous cyclists are taking to the streets of Dumfries and Galloway over the next few days as the British National Road Championships take place.

Olympian Mark Cavendish will be taking part in the event, as will Scottish rider Finn Crockett and Dumfries own Rebecca Saunderson, who's been dubbed as "one to watch".

The championship will last for three days and a total of 10 national champion jerseys will be awarded.

It's the first time the region has hosted the national event, and the first time the time-trial, circuit race and road race championships have been in Scotland since 2013.

It kicked off on 23 June with time-trials taking place on Crichton Estate.

The championships get underway with time-trials taking place on Crichton Estate in Dumfries Credit: ITV News Border

The following days will see circuit races on the streets of Kirkcudbright, and the road races start and finish around Castle Douglas. 

The British National Road Championships is the latest major cycling event to be hosted by Dumfries and Galloway.

Previously the region has hosted rounds of the Tour of Britain and Tour series, in partnership with EventScotland and as part of VisitScotland's Events Directorate.

Dumfries and Galloway is also welcoming the UCI Cycling World Championships next year.

On the first day of racing, the under-23 women, under-23 men and elite women will set a time over the 22.1km route, which includes a 141ft climb and passes the Caerlaverock Castle and Nature Reserve.

The elite men must complete two laps of the course making their ride 44.2km.

On Friday 24 June, the men's and women's circuit races will be contested over a 1km route.

The circuit will see cyclists pass through the harbour town of Kirkcudbright a number of times during each race, while also taking in the challenging local terrain which passes MacLellan's Castle. 

Finally, the road races conclude the championships on Sunday 26 June with the men's and women's routes starting and finishing in Castle Douglas.

Cyclists warm up ahead of competing in the time-trials on Crichton Estate as the British National Road Championships arrive in Dumfries. Credit: ITV News Border

British Cycling CEO, Brian Facer, said: "It will be fantastic to give cycling fans in Scotland the opportunity to see outstanding racing on their doorstep a year out from the UCI Cycling World Championships, and to encourage fans from across the country to travel and enjoy the area's hospitality. 

"I can't wait to see thousands of fans lining the roads to cheer on the country's best road riders and stars of tomorrow, as they battle it out for the honour of being crowned national champion."

Paul Bush OBE, Director of events for VisitScotland, said: "We look forward to welcoming both riders and spectators to the championships, which is part of an exciting calendar of cycling event taking place this year across as the country.

"The region will provide the perfect stage for three thrilling days of racing, with the routes showcase some of the area's many outstanding locations and attractions including Caerlaverock Castle, Kirkcudbright and Castle Douglas."

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