Stockton's premier Cycling Festival event will end on a thrilling finale this Sunday 26 June, as the 2016 British Cycling National Road Championships race into town.
Kicking off the competition on Stockton High Street is the all-star women's road race at 9am. The current World Road Champion and recent winner of The Women's Tour, Lizzie Armistead, is set to defend her national title against a line-up of strong contenders including former Junior World Road Champion Lucy Garner, Olympic track champion Dani King and the current British Cycling Women’s Road Series leader, Nicola Juniper.
Following their lead will be the men's race which is set to begin at 1pm. Mark Cavendish leads a strong line-up in the men’s road race field as the 2013 British Champion and 2011 World Champion competes against Team Sky contenders Ian Stannard, Luke Rowe and Ben Swift, as well as former under-23 champion Scott Thwaites.
The races conclude four days of exciting cycling activities and entertainment which included the National Road Championships time trials that launched the Cycling Festival on Thursday (23 June).
Like the time trials, the adrenaline-fuelled road races attract Britain's best cyclists and will follow a challenging route which combines an undulating out of town circuit through the villages in the north of the Borough with a fast, flat but technically demanding town centre finishing circuit. It’s not an easy course for breakaway groups and so the closing laps are often dramatic as bunched riders vie for position and the optimum race line.
Councillor Norma Wilburn, Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Arts, Leisure and Culture, said: “The National Road Championship races are an unmissable event - it’s going to be absolutely fantastic watching these world-class cyclists dash across the finish line in Stockton on Sunday. I’m also looking forward to seeing everyone line the High Street to cheer them on and see who makes it onto the winners' podium.
“Don't forget that Sunday is also our Family Festival Day which is packed full of fun cycling activities for enthusiasts of all ages to watch or take part in. It will be a really busy day with something for everyone so I would encourage you to come along and join in the fun.”
The Family Festival Day offers a whole range of cycling-themed activities such as BMX stunt displays, the timed Rollapalluza challenge and a Go Ride area where younger novice cyclists can experience the thrill of bike racing.
At 1pm there is also RideStockton, where anyone can bring their bike and cycle a closed road loop around a traffic free Stockton High Street and take in the views of the River Tees.
To see the full Cycling Festival programme, visit www.stockton.gov.uk/scf