Historic parks in Wolverhampton and Warwick have been chosen to host the start and finish of the road cycling events at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.
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.
About 160 cyclists are set to 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.
#WARWICK: Are you ready for #Birmingham2022?— Birmingham 2022 (@birminghamcg22) September 29, 2020
We’re excited to announce that St. Nicholas Park will host the start and finish of our #cycling road race!
Who’s excited to see some of the world’s best cyclists take to the streets of the West Midlands? #B2022 pic.twitter.com/F5xsNoepG3
“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,” Birmingham 2022 chairman John Crabtree, said.
“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.
"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,” the Wolverhampton-born Andy Tennant, a Commonwealth team pursuit silver medallist at Glasgow 2014, 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.”
The venue announcement was welcomed by the local authorities in Wolverhampton and Warwick.
“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,” Ian Brookfield, Wolverhampton Council Leader, said.
“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.”
Andrew Day, the Leader of Warwick District Council, was also delighted with the news.
"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,” he said.
“Hosting the road cycling races start and finish in this iconic setting will give our visitors and TV audiences a spectacular experience.”
The routes and dates for both events at the Games, due to take place between July 28 and August 8 2022, have not yet been finalised.
Birmingham 2022 have confirmed, though, that the road race will take place on a Sunday.
The organisers and local authorities have promised they will engage with all local stakeholders, including residents and business owners when details are available.
Australian cyclists dominated the road race events at Gold Coast 2018.
Steele Von Hoff won the men's road race, with Chloe Hosking taking the women's.
Cameron Meyer triumphed in the men's time trial and Katrin Garfoot the women's.