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Cycling elite come to Medway for race

Wed 19 June 2019, 4:08 pm

A weekend of sporting events in July will attract crowds from across the country, as Rochester takes centre stage for a major national cycling competition.

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British Cycling is inviting the country’s top elite male and female riders to race close to the famous cobbled streets and historic Rochester sights for the 2019 HSBC UK/National Circuit Championships on Sunday, 21 July.

The one-day event is an important annual highlight of the cycling calendar, and previous winners include professional cyclists Katie Archibald, Tom Pidcock, Joanna Rowsell Shand and Lizzie Deignan.

Before the men’s and women’s championship races, the Big Ride event will take place that allows members of the public to cycle through parts of the looping 1.6km course in the heart of Rochester.

There will also be a festival of cycling activities at the event village in Rochester Castle Gardens.

Jonathan Rigby, British Cycling’s commercial director, said: “The championships are one of the highlights of the road racing calendar, and always prove a huge draw for spectators. Rochester will be no exception, and we look forward to working alongside Medway Council to deliver another truly memorable championship.”

Medway hosted a stage of the Tour de France in 2007, and has invested in more than 70 miles of cycling routes that includes a new BMX track.

Medway Council leader, Councillor Alan Jarrett, said: “The historic town of Rochester will provide a spectacular, challenging and an exhilarating course for both the men’s and women’s races.

“The event is expected to attract thousands of visitors to the area keen to see the cyclists competing, and giving local businesses a boost and putting Medway firmly on the map.”

On Friday, 19 July, exercise enthusiasts can also head to Rochester High Street to take part in the Medway Mile - where they can choose to run, jog or walk.

The 12th annual mass participation mile will start at 5pm at Rochester Castle, and will include other events such as a competitive adult race, children’s races and mascot race.

There will be free sports activities as well as live entertainment and a fireworks finale.

Medway Sport, the council’s sports team which organises the Medway Mile, is planning on launching new one-mile running routes in the region’s parks this summer to encourage residents to get active.

For more information on the Big Ride head to: www.medway.gov.uk/bigride and to sign up for the Medway Mile visit: www.medway.gov.uk/medwaymile

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