Manx bid for Cycling Championships

Mark Cavendish in GlasgowMark Cavendish is one of eight Manx cyclists on the GB Olympic Development squad

The Isle of Man Cycling Association has submitted a bid to host the 2016 British Cycling National Road Championships, it has confirmed.

While the island has produced the last two men’s champions – Peter Kennaugh and Mark Cavendish – it has not hosted the event for more than 30 years.

It is not yet known who will rival the Isle of Man’s bid, which has the full backing of the Manx government.

British Cycling said the winner will be announced on or before 20 March.

Isle of Man Cycling Association (IoMCA) chairman Richard Fletcher said its bid had been met with “huge enthusiasm”.

He said: “A successful bid would enhance the island’s reputation as a world-class cycling destination which is able to stage world- class sporting events.”

Peter Kennaugh said it was a special result to win the national road race  Peter Kennaugh said it was a “special result” to win the national road race

The island has a rich cycling history, having staged Britain’s biggest festival – International Cycle Week – for almost 70 years until 2003.

The Isle of Man has also recently held the Commonwealth Youth Games and annually hosts the TT motorcycle races which attract more than 40,000 fans.

This year eight Manx cyclists were selected for the Great Britain Olympic Development squad, including former winners Kennaugh and Cavendish.

Economic Development Minister Laurence Skelly said: “It would be incredible to watch our British and Olympic champions race on home soil.

He added: “An annual cycling festival would be a lasting legacy of this event and would no doubt inspire future generations.

“It would also prove an economic engine for tourism.”

According to Isle of Man Tourism, the event – which would incorporate the TT course and utilise the event’s infrastructure – has the potential to attract more than 15,000 spectators.

The 2015 event will be held in Lincolnshire in June.

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