NEWCASTLE TO HOST MAJOR BRITISH CYCLING ELITE RACE
This is the first time in over 20 years that a race of this kind has been staged in the city and it is a coup for Newcastle to be named as the venue for one of only six races in the HSBC UK | National Circuit Series. The series attracts some of Britain’s best cyclists including former Olympic and European Champions and riders and race teams who compete in other world-renowned events including the Tour de France.
80 of Britain’s best professional riders will compete in the Newcastle Elite Nocturne Race, at a crucial midway point in the six-race series. Called a Nocturne because they take place in the evening, the Newcastle Elite Nocturne Race will be 1km in length starting at 8.00 pm and finishing at the city’s iconic Grey’s Monument on Grey Street.
The route will be a tight, technical street circuit around Newcastle’s listed Grainger Town with a number of 90-degree bends along the route. The course will be challenging for the technically skilled competitors and, largely on the flat, will be a fast-paced event. The race will last for approximately an hour with the riders doing multiple laps of the course passing many of Newcastle’s famous buildings, shops and retailers as they speed around Clayton Street, Nelson Street, Grey Street, the Bigg Market and Nun Street reaching speeds of up to 50 KPH.
A winner’s podium will be set up at Grey’s Monument with parking suspended on a number of surrounding streets to enhance the area for spectators and for the prize presentation ceremony. A winner’s jersey will be awarded at the end of the Newcastle Nocturne race with an overall series winner announced at the end of the six-race series..
Crowds are expected to line the route to see the riders and watch the fast-paced cycling action, which promises to be an exciting addition to the elite series with Newcastle providing the most northerly location and a unique city centre setting. Prior to the races, the teams and their entourage will descend on the city in pro-team mobile workshops and tour buses to occupy a race zone near Grey’s Monument where bikes will be on display as riders and support staff gear up for the main event. Autograph hunters and cycling enthusiasts will be able to congregate here to see their heroes and witness all the race preparations.
As a warm up to the main, men’s elite race in Newcastle, an under-16s youth support event will be staged. Some of Britain’s leading U14 and U16s racers will line up to race on a reduced sized circuit, an event that will last for approximately an hour.
The series is now one of the major highlights of British Cycling’s road racing calendar attracting some of the country’s best riders. The sport is continuing to grow and attract more supporters and participants.
Adrian Waddell, Chief Executive of NE1 Ltd who proposed the idea of bringing the event to Newcastle and approached race organisers, Velo 29 to explore the idea said:
“We are very excited indeed to be bringing one of the key races in the 2019 HSBC UK | National Circuit Series to Newcastle city centre. The series is one of the major highlights of British Cycling’s road racing calendar, and it is a major coup to secure one of these races. Newcastle has an enviable track record of hosting major sporting events and delivering an exceptional experience for participants and visitors alike and with the growth and increasing popularity of cycling we’re delighted to add this event to the city’s sporting mix. The public will be able to get close to the action to witness some of Britain’s best riders competing in an event that will turn Newcastle’s historic and majestic city centre into a cycle race track for the evening. We can’t wait for the action to begin and we encourage everyone to come and enjoy the racing.
“We hope to deliver an outstanding event in a unique setting to create a spectacular, exhilarating and memorable course for both the men’s elite and the youth riders as well as the thousands of people we know will line the route.”
Richard Williamson, Velo 29 events organiser said:
“Newcastle will be the most Northern event in the series and it will provide an amazing backdrop for the elite and youth races. We are confident that it will attract the crowds making the event very special. Riders love and want to race in front of big crowds and we are confident they will receive a great reception in the city. Logistically, it is not easy staging a race like this in one of the UK’s busiest retail and business centres but having Newcastle’s city centre as the focal point of the action with iconic, historic landmarks and notable shops and businesses lining the route will give the event an unique edge.”
Jonathan Rigby, British Cycling’s Commercial Director, added: “Road and circuit racing in Britain is thriving, as we’ve seen at countless national and international events in recent years. The HSBC UK | National Circuit Series is one of the highlights of our domestic calendar, and as such we’re delighted to confirm the addition of Newcastle to the series.
“The event will give locals the opportunity to watch the country’s best riders doing battle for crucial series points in one of the country’s most iconic city centres, and will provide what is sure to be a fantastic evening of entertainment.”
Cllr Kim McGuinness, Newcastle City Council cabinet member for culture, sport and public health, said: “I am delighted that the Elite Circuit Series has been added to Newcastle’s ever-growing sporting calendar and our fantastic city centre will provide a spectacular setting for what promises to be a hugely exciting day’s racing.
“It is sure to be an amazing spectacle to see these talented, powerful riders pushing themselves to the limit as they zoom around the 1km circuit past spectators at Grey Street, Grainger Street and the Bigg Market.
“This is a seriously high standard of cycle racing and it’s a pleasure to be able to welcome it to Newcastle and have the opportunity to add to our reputation as a top-class sporting city.”
Full dates for the HSBC UK | National Circuit Series and National Circuit Championships:
British Cycling - HSBC UK National Circuit Series - Colne Grand Prix - Colne, Lancashire, England (Image: Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com)