The legendary Manx International GP returns on Sunday 10th April, with a top line up including Team Sky’s Pete Kennaugh and Ben Swift taking part in the racing.
Here’s five reasons why we’re excited racing is back on the Isle of Man.
Home of top level cyclists
The 33 mile long island is also home to JLT Condor’s performance manager Tim Kennaugh. as well as Mark Cavendish and Sky’s Pete Kennaugh. Its an Isle that offers a heady mix of scenery so stunning that it looks as though someone stole the best bits of Dartmoor, Cornwall, Devon and Scotland.
The 37.73-mile Isle of Man TT Snaefell Mountain course needs little introduction in two-wheeled circles, having hosted the legendary international motorcycle race since 1911. The annual Tourist Trophy, or “TT” has made famous names of petrol heads including Joey Dunlop, Mike Hailwood and Guy Martin. The Manx International Cycling GP uses the same stunning course as the TT. Riders will tackle three laps of the course riding a total of 113 miles.
Snaefell Mountain Road
Reaching over 1300 feet in height in just five miles, exposed Snaefell mountain has stupendous views over moorland and mountain. “First part of the climb is tough but after that it eases off and as the mountain is usually a headwind it makes it difficult for loan climbers to capitalise on any advantage gained on the first section.” explains native Tim Kennaugh.
The course is no stranger to top-level cycle racing. The Manx International ran from 1936 to 2003 and past winners have included Jacques Anquetil, Tom Simpson, David Millar and JLT Condor team manager, John Herety who took the win in 1980 riding for England.
Herety won the race 26 seconds ahead of Belgium rider Freddy De Feyter with Tour de France star Laurent Fignon finishing 12th that year.
There is no set format for the racing, which is why it is has attracted a mix of riders over the years. “Historically its had all sorts of finishes with even a large group finish possible, however I think it will be a small group that will contest the finish after the final climb of Snaefell.” explained team John Herety.
Following the Manx International
The Manx International GP Feminin takes place on Sunday 10th April too.
Race commentary will begin from 1pm
on the British Cycling live blog
The Manx International is part of the Motorpoint Spring Cup, follow the hashtag #MPSpringCup
for all the action throughout the race and series.