Historic parks in Wolverhampton and Warwick will host the start and finish of the road cycling events at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, offering 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.
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.
“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," Tennant said.
"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.”
Approximately 160 cyclists from across the Commonwealth will take part in the men’s and women’s Road Race events. St Nicholas Park, situated in Warwick town centre, and 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.”
The routes for both events have not yet been finalised. The organisers and local authorities will be engaging with all local stakeholders, including residents and business owners when details are available.
Birmingham 2022, organisers of the Games, which will be staged from 28 July to 8 August 2022, has however confirmed that the Road Race will take place on a Sunday. The exact date and the details for the Time Trial will be unveiled in the next few weeks, when the full daily schedule for the Games is set to be published.