CYCLE racing enthusiasts in the area are looking forward to the first round of the National Junior Men’s Road Race series due to be held in Hatherleigh this March.
The Hatherleigh Junior Road Race on March 22 has been organised by William Hornby who said the event is something cycle racing enthusiasts in the south west are ‘very keen to host’.
“This event is being organised by the South West Road Race Work Group which represents all cycling clubs and individuals in the South West who are interested in road and circuit racing,” he said. “It is not possible for any individual to organise a cycle race by themselves which is why the majority of races are organised by clubs or in this case by volunteers from across the region.”
This race isn’t for the feint hearted though, as William said: “This race will be for experienced junior male cyclists from all over Britain. Although the race will be open to everyone of the correct age, as this is part of a national series, there is a selection criteria which will favour those with racing experience. In cycling, the junior age for 2020 is anyone born in 2002 or 2003 so that is anyone who has their 17th or 18th birthday this year.”
He added: “This would not be an ideal race for a rider’s first competitive event. The aim for the region of hosting national series races is not only to give local cyclists an opportunity to ride a national event on their doorstep, but also to give local spectators the opportunity to watch and hopefully to aspire people to have a go in the future. There are also numerous events in the South West which would be more suitable for a first time racer and local clubs which would be my first recommendation for prospective racers to get involved with and find out more about cycle sport. Details of clubs and local events can all be found on the British Cycling website here in the South West Region.”
William believes this event is a really positive thing for the area, bringing high profile road racers like Geraint Thomas and Bradley Wiggins to the South West. He said: “This is a great event for Hatherleigh to host because the race is the first round of the National Junior Men’s Road Race series. There are only nine rounds in the series which has been ridden by many of Britain’s most successful cyclists with previous series winners including Tour de France champions Geraint Thomas and Bradley Wiggins. It is the highest profile road race in the south west this year second only to the Tour of Britain for Elite Men which starts in Cornwall on Sunday the 6th of September with the second stage on the 7th starting and finishing in Devon.”
The Hatherleigh Junior Road Race on March 22 will start at 10.30am from the Hatherleigh Community Centre and it is estimated that the riders will finish the 108km event in Hatherleigh by approximately 2pm. William said: “For riders to cover the full race distance they will complete two large circuits which will head out to the west of Hatherleigh before tackling two smaller circuits taking the riders past the village of Jacobstow. The final leg of the race will take the riders back to the finish in Hatherleigh.”