News – Manx International Returns in April


The iconic Manx International road race is back on the calendar after an absence of 13 years, with sponsorship from Zurich International Life.

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News – Manx International Returns in April

By John Wilkinson

— Sunday April 10,
— Start 1.30PM
— Distance: 182km / 113 miles
— Headquarters: TT Grandstand, Glencrutchery Road, Douglas, Isle Of Man, IM2 6DA

The iconic Manx International road race is back on the calendar after an absence of 13 years, with sponsorship from Zurich International Life.

The race, on closed roads over three laps of the world-famous 37.75-mile TT motor-cycling circuit and in which greats of the sport such as Eddy Merckx, Laurent Fignon and Sean Kelly cut their international teeth as amateurs, returns on Sunday, April 10 as the second round of the British Cycling Elite Series Spring Cup.

It will be supported by the two-lap Manx International Grand Prix Feminin, the opening round of the BC Women’s Road Series, and a support race over one lap for second, third and fourth category riders.

The first Manx International was held in 1936 and was a pioneer in the field of domestic road racing as it offered a rare opportunity for massed start racing as highlighted by the editor of The Bicycle, W. J. Mills in his programme notes: ‘It can be of incalculable value to the cause of English cycling in international races. For many years English riders who went abroad to compete in international events such as the world championships were at a disadvantage owing to lack of experience in massed start racing. There is no possible doubt that given a suitable opportunity, and acquiring the necessary technique, English riders will soon be able to hold their own with the world’s best amateurs’.


The race continued, apart from a break during the Second World War, until the last Manx International Cycling Week in 2003, and in 1995 incorporated the British professional championship which saw, Robert Millar solo to victory by over two minutes in a race record 4 hr 32 min 53 sec, beating the previous best by nearly 10 minutes.

Times have changed since the first running, but the current event organisers believe that the day still offers something that is a little bit different for the non-elite riders in particular.

“Not many category riders get to race on closed roads so we think this offers a great opportunity,” said event co-director, Richard Fletcher.

“We have a three-year plan to bid for the National Elite Championship in 2018, and the Isle of Man Government has recognised the vision and given us a commitment which enables us to promote the event this year and next.

“Most of the top UK teams have already entered the International and there has been a lot of additional interest, including two very strong Irish squads. We are hoping for a similar response from the Women’s teams and category riders for what we hope will be a great day of racing.”



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