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National Circuit Championships in Rochester: Everything you need to know including race times, road closures and parking

By Rebecca Tuffin

Hundreds of cyclists will whizz through Rochester this weekend, going head to head in a fast and furious race.

This year's National Circuit Championships will see elite cyclists pedal round a mile-long route in the town on Sunday.

With several other events taking place to celebrate all things two-wheeled, here's everything you need to know about plans for the day.

The National Circuit Championships will take place in Rochester on Sunday
The National Circuit Championships will take place in Rochester on Sunday

What is the National Circuit Championships?

The National Circuit Championships is a race organised for Britain’s top cyclists.

With a different host each year, this time round the historic town of Rochester has been selected.

Men and women race separately around a looping one-mile track, with winners announced at the day's close.

A family mass participation ride - the Medway Big Ride - will also take place on a short section of the race course.

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What time will the races start?

Warm up laps will begin at 4pm, with elite races kicking off at 5pm with the women.

Men will set off at 6.30pm.

Both championships races will run for 50 minutes, plus five final racing laps.

The Medway Big Ride will take place between 2.30pm and 3.30pm.

British Cycling is also organising free rides for adult club members and junior Go-Ride club riders earlier in the afternoon.

The National Circuit Championships will take place in Rochester on Sunday
The National Circuit Championships will take place in Rochester on Sunday

How do I take part in the Medway Big Ride?

To register for the ride click here.

The Medway Big Ride laps will start and finish on Boley Hill.

Registered riders will be able to join the ride at any time between 2.30pm and 3pm and complete as many laps of the course as they wish.

The race will go through Rochester High Street
The race will go through Rochester High Street

Where will the races take place?

The circuit will start and finish on Rochester’s Esplanade, travelling through the High Street.

The Medway Big Ride laps will start and finish on Boley Hill.

Who will be competing?

Three-time Olympic Gold medalist, Ed Clancy OBE, Commonwealth Games medalist, Scott Thwaites and last year's female winner, Anna Henderson will all be competing in the race alongside hundreds of others.

The National Circuit Championships will take place in Rochester on Sunday
The National Circuit Championships will take place in Rochester on Sunday

When and where will winners be announced?

The women's podium presentation will take place at 6pm at Rochester Esplanade.

Male winners will be announced at 7.45pm at the same location.

What other events will be going on?

Rochester Castle Gardens will host an array activities for visitors to enjoy from midday until 8pm.

These will include BMX stunt shows, a climbing wall, bike try-out shows, funfair rides and face-painting.

The kmfm roadshow will be blasting out the tunes throughout.

Food and drink will be available from various stalls.

There will also be a barbecue at the City Wall pub all day in High Street.

Rochester Castle Gardens will host an array activities on Sunday
Rochester Castle Gardens will host an array activities on Sunday

Where is the best place to park?

Most public car parks will remain open in Rochester on the day.

Park and Walk will be available at Jackson’s Field on Maidstone Road for £3 for the day.

What alternative transport is there?

You might prefer to avoid the crowds and pay to park in nearby Chatham and travel into Rochester by bus.

A number of Arriva bus services operate through Rochester on a Sunday:

  • 140: From Chatham and Strood
  • 145: From Chatham and Warren Wood
  • 155: From Maidstone and Chatham
  • 191/193: From Chatham, Strood and Grain
  • 700: From Bluewater and Chatham

For full timetables please click here.

If you would like to get the train, Rochester station is also less than five minutes’ walk from the race route.

Where can I store my bike?

1,000 free, secure bike racks will be available at The King’s School Paddock in Vines Lane, with 200 also on Rochester Riverside and The Esplanade.

Organisers will run a wristband system but ask you bring a lock for extra security.

What roads will be closed for the event?

Several roads will be closed in and around Rochester town centre between Friday and Sunday, to ensure spectators and competitors are kept safe during the races.

Roads you cannot park on from 10pm Saturday:

  • Baker’s Walk
  • Bishops Walk and including The Chimes
  • Boley Hill and including Satis House,
  • Castle Hill and including Castle View Mews, Moat House, Telford House, Merton, Castle Moat
  • Crow Lane and including Kings Mews, Coachmans Mews, Castle Gate House, Crow Corner buildings and Eden Mews
  • Epaul Lane
  • High Street and including Faraday House, Century Mews, Century Court, Phoenix House
  • Lockington Grove
  • Northgate
  • St Margaret’s Mews
  • St Margaret’s Street
  • The Esplanade

Roads are expected to be reopened by 10pm Sunday.

Roads you cannot move your vehicle from between 6am and 10pm Sunday:

  • La Providence
  • Love Lane and including Bishopscourt Gardens
  • Minor Canon Row
  • The Precinct and including Deanery Gate, King’s Orchard, Priors Gate House, College Yard
  • Eastgate Court
  • Eastgate Terrace

The main roads into Rochester will be unaffected by the event road closures.

Read more: All the latest news from Medway

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