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Norfolk to host National Road Championships in June

Madison Genesis's Connor Swift celebrates winning the mens HSBC UK National Road Championships Road. Credit: PA

Norfolk will host next June's British Cycling National Road Championships, the governing body has announced.

The men's and women's time-trials will take place on June 27, with the road races on June 30, as part of the Great British Cycling Festival, a new concept.

The event will also include the fifth round of the cross-country series, in Norwich, and a sportive for amateur riders.

Previous winners of the men's road race have included Tour de France champions Sir Bradley Wiggins and Geraint Thomas and 30-time Tour stage winner Mark Cavendish.

Lizzie Deignan (nee Armitstead) and Laura Kenny (nee Trott) have won the corresponding women's event.

Geoghegan Hart signs new deal with Team Sky

Geoghegan Hart has been with Team Sky for the most part of his pro career. Credit: AP

Tao Geoghegan Hart has signed a new deal with Team Sky that will see him remain with the team until the end of the 2020 season.

The 23-year-old rode his first Grand Tour earlier this year in La Vuelta a Espana. Elsewhere he claimed a top-five finish at the 2018 Tour of California as well as aiding Geraint Thomas' win in the Criterium du Dauphine back in June.

Speaking about the future, Geoghegan Hart told Team Sky's website: "I definitely want to try and target the Giro for 2019 and go there with everything I learned about Grand Tour racing at the Vuelta, but also the training and build-up to the race.

"Trying to get that right is key as it felt like I didn’t quite get as much from myself performance-wise as I’d hoped in Spain. It’s about continuing in the direction I’ve been going and to keep building forwards.”

Team Sky have been busy this summer after tying down Geraint Thomas until 2021 and bringing back Ben Swift for next season.

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Cavendish pens extension with Team Dimension Data

Cavendish has signed a contract extension with Team Dimension Data. Credit: PA

Mark Cavendish has signed a contract extension with Team Dimension Data which will see him become part of the team's new supervisory board.

The South African-based team had made clear earlier in the year their desire to keep the 30-time Tour de France stage winner, saying before the Tour in July that a deal had been "agreed in principle", but it proved a long wait for actual confirmation following speculation he would instead join Bahrain-Merida.

"After spending my last three years with Dimension Data I'm delighted to extend my contract, stay with the team that I love and people that I hold dearest to me in the sport," Cavendish said.

The delay in confirming Cavendish's contract coincided with another run of bad luck for the Manxman, who has struggled with injury and illness for much of the past two years, being diagnosed with the Epstein-Barr virus for a second time following a disappointing Tour in July.

The length of the 33-year-old's new deal was not announced, but it includes a new leadership role through which the team hope to maximise his experience.

Ben Swift to return to Team Sky in 2019

Ben Swift will return to Team Sky in 2019, the British WorldTour team have announced. Credit: PA

Ben Swift will return to Team Sky in 2019, the British WorldTour team have announced.

The Rotherham-born rider joined Sky for their launch in 2010 but has spent the last two seasons with UAE Team Emirates after leaving in 2016.

The 30-year-old said he was excited to be returning to a place where he knows he can fit straight back in.

"It's a great feeling to be re-joining Team Sky," Swift said.

"Obviously I know the ins and outs of the team. I feel really comfortable here and it's a place I've grown as a rider."

Most of Swift's best results, including podium finishes at Milan-San Remo in 2014 and 2016 - came in Team Sky colours.

His time with the UAE Emirates squad was frustrated by injuries, though he managed fifth place in last year's road world championships in Bergen, Norway racing for Great Britain.

He will now return to Sky as an experienced head, and the team's performance manager Rod Ellingworth said they would look to him to mentor their younger riders.

"Ben has got a crucial role to play next season," Ellingworth said. "He's not only a fine rider in his own right, but he's also a superb role model for the younger riders on the team to learn from, as we look to bring through the next generation at Team Sky."

Team Sky sign Narvaez for 2019 season

Credit: PA

Team Sky have announced the signing of the former Ecuadorian champion Jhonatan Narvaez.

The 21-year-old joins the British outfit from Quick-Step Floors after just one season.

Narvaez told Team Sky's website “I characterise myself as a bit of an all-rounder and next season one of my goals is to try and develop further so I can be in a position to help the team and also win races.

“I am 21 years old and I know on this team I will have great support to improve myself and grow as a rider.”

Narvaez won the Ecuadorian national championships in 2017 and finished second in the race this season.

Sky also announced a new five-year deal for young Colombian Egan Bernal, who was a stand out performer this year particular in the Tour de France.

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Cavendish pulls out of London Six Day

Credit: AP

Mark Cavendish has withdrawn from next week's London Six Day event after only recently returning to training following a six-week lay-off with Epstein-Barr virus.

The 33-year-old was in August diagnosed with Epstein-Barr virus, commonly known as glandular fever, for a second time in 18 months, bringing a premature halt to his road season.

The 30-time Tour de France stage winner, a three-time Madison world champion on the track, returned to training earlier this week, but will not compete in the event, which is as much about entertainment as sport.

Cavendish wrote on Twitter: "Disappointed to say, after just 4 days training since recovering from my illness, I won't be riding @sixdaycycling London. Gutted. I'll be there supporting though. Always a great party."

Cavendish's future remains uncertain, as his contract with Team Dimension Data expires at the end of the calendar year and there is no news on who he will be riding for in 2019.

Cavendish has finished as London Six Day runner-up in the last two years - in 2016 with Sir Bradley Wiggins and in 2017 with Pete Kennaugh.

The Six Day event takes place at Lee Valley VeloPark, formerly known as the Olympic Velodrome, from October 23 to October 28.

Team Sky secure Bernal on new five-year deal

Egan Bernal has signed a five-year deal with Team Sky. Credit: PA

Team Sky have made a major statement of intent by tying down their bright young Colombian talent Egan Bernal on a five-year deal.

The length of the contract is highly unusual in the volatile world of professional cycling, showing Sky's faith both in Bernal and their own future in the sport.

Bernal, 21, has just completed his first season with the British WorldTour team, winning both the Colombia Oro y Paz and the Tour of California before helping Geraint Thomas to victory in the Tour de France in July.

"I'm very happy to sign a new contract with Team Sky," Bernal said.

"It feels like a new stage in my life. I know five years is a long time and that it's not too common in cycling, but the team has been great for me. They offer me everything I could want and I'm excited about the future."

Team principal Sir Dave Brailsford said he was convinced Bernal is a future Grand Tour winner, and that Sky is the best place for him to develop under the wing of both Thomas and Chris Froome.

"This is an important moment in the development of the team," Brailsford said. "A five-year deal in cycling is exceptional, but Egan is an exceptional talent."

Tour de Yorkshire upgraded by UCI ahead of 2019 race

The Tour de Yorkshire has been given a status upgrade by world governing body the UCI ahead of the 2019 edition. Credit: PA

The Tour de Yorkshire has been given a status upgrade by world governing body the UCI ahead of the 2019 edition.

Next year's race will come just months before Yorkshire hosts the road cycling world championships, and the UCI has chosen the moment to upgrade the popular event from 2.1 to HC status - the highest status for a multi-stage race which is not part of the WorldTour.

"That's a great honour for us to get the upgrade to HC, that's one below WorldTour status," Welcome to Yorkshire chief executive and race organiser Sir Gary Verity said.

"To have hors categorie for our race, there are not many races in the world that in such a short space of time have gone from not existing to getting HC status. That's almost unprecedented so we're really, really pleased

about that.

"In view of the cycling reforms that are going to come up in the next few years that puts us in a really strong position."

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