Road cycling venues announced
Historic parks in Wolverhampton and Warwick will host the start and finish of the road cycling events at Birmingham 2022.
The events will offer local residents in opposite corners of the region the opportunity to see world-class sport on their doorsteps.
West Park in Wolverhampton will be the setting for the start and finish of the Time Trial, while the cycling Road Race, will start and finish in St Nicholas Park in Warwick.
Approximately 160 cyclists from across the Commonwealth will take part in the men’s and women’s Road Race events. St Nicholas Park, set in 64 acres of stunning landscape with views of the world-famous Warwick Castle, will provide a picturesque backdrop for the two races.
Around 80 competitors are expected to take part across the men’s and women’s Time Trial events, which will start and finish in historic West Park in Wolverhampton, 18 miles north west of Birmingham. Officially opened in 1881, the popular destination is one of England’s finest Victorian parks.
Often referred to as ‘the race of truth’, the Time Trial is a straight race against the clock for individual cyclists and is a real test of strength and endurance.
Spectators will be able to line the routes of both the Time Trial and Road Race, giving local people and visitors to each location a fabulous opportunity to view the drama of the races as they unfold.
Chairman for Birmingham 2022, John Crabtree, said: “Birmingham 2022 is a regional Games with Birmingham at its heart, and holding our cycling competitions in the Black Country and Warwickshire increases our regional reach and will allow thousands of spectators to experience live sport right on their doorsteps.
“Both parks are scenic locations and will guarantee a fantastic experience for spectators and cyclists alike, with TV viewers from across the globe also being treated to a showcase of the rich and varied landscape that the West Midlands has to offer.”
Wolverhampton has strong links to road cycling, with the first mass start cycling road race being held in the city in 1942. More recently, Andy Tennant, who was born in Wolverhampton and still lives in the city, won silver in the Team Pursuit for Team England at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and he welcomed the news that the Time Trial would start and finish in his home city.
Andy Tennant said: “I am absolutely delighted that West Park has been chosen as the venue for the start and finish of the Time Trial, especially as this is a park I raced in as a young cyclist. It is a fantastic location and I am sure local people will welcome the news that the Commonwealth Games is coming to Wolverhampton. I also know that local cycling club members will be inspired by the news that the Commonwealth’s best cyclists will be competing right here in our city.”
The venue announcement was welcomed by the local authorities in Wolverhampton and Warwick with both events expected to offer a strong economic boost, as well as potential volunteering opportunities for the local community.
City of Wolverhampton Council Leader, Councillor Ian Brookfield, said: “I am absolutely delighted that Wolverhampton has been chosen to host the start and finish of the cycling Time Trial for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games. The eyes of the world will be on the region, so this is a fantastic opportunity for us to showcase our magnificent city.
“Part of our commitment to Relighting our City is to host world-class events, attracting thousands of visitors to Wolverhampton as a destination. Hosting this event will do exactly that, as well as inspiring our children and young people to live active and healthy lives and maybe even become the next generation of sporting stars.”
Councillor Andrew Day, Leader Warwick District Council, said: “Warwick has witnessed some amazing moments in history, and we’re determined that when the World comes calling for the Games in 2022, our visitors will leave with happy memories they’ll cherish for a lifetime. Hosting the Road Cycling Races start and finish in this iconic setting will give our visitors and TV audiences a spectacular experience.
“Local volunteers look forward to supporting thousands of anticipated spectators from across the Commonwealth, giving a major boost to local tourism. This welcome news brings the promise of better times ahead, protecting jobs and encouraging investment in our key hospitality businesses, leaving a Games legacy that will benefit our local economy for decades to come.”