By Nick Butler

Kristian House winning the mens road race on the last occasion the British Championships were held in Monmouthshire in 2009October 4 - The British Cycling National Championships will be held in the Monmouthshire town of Abergavenny in Wales after a five year absence in 2014 in an event which should provide a final test ahead of the Grand Depart of the Tour de France in Yorkshire.

The return of cycling's most famous race to British shores so soon after should provide extra spice to the National Championships both to competitors seeking a final marker and spectators keen to glimpse their heroes.

This will only boost an already formidably high standard of competition.

The four senior races at the 2013 Nationals in Glasgow were won by an Olympic champion in Joanna Rowsell, an Olympic silver medallist in Lizzie Armistead, the winner of a grueling time trial at this year's Giro d'Italia in Alex Dowsett, and the 25-time Tour de France stage winner (Mark Cavendish).

When the event was last held in Abergavenny in 2009, Cavendish, as well future Tour de France winners Chris Froome and Sir Bradley Wiggins, were among the contenders.

The race was eventually however won by the less heralded Kristian House while the now retired Nicole Cooke took her tenth women's title.

Many of these contenders should be back for more next year where the likes of double Olympic champion Geraint Thomas could also be present to try and follow Cooke in securing a home victory for Wales.

Mark Cavendish wins the 2013 British Cycling Championships on the streets of Glasgow in front of 35000 spectatorsMark Cavendish wins the 2013 British Cycling Championships on the streets of Glasgow in front of 35,000 spectators

The growing stature of the event was emphasised by Jonny Clay, the Cycle Sport and Membership Director for British Cycling.

"Following on from the success of the 2013 championships, where we delivered an event witnessed by 35,000 people on the streets of Glasgow, we had significant interest from towns in hosting the championships for next year," he said.

"The spectacle provided by the victories of Joanna Rowsell, Alex Dowsett, Lizzie Armitstead and Mark Cavendish took the event to a new level.

"This will be the second time in five years that the Championships has visited Wales with the event held in Abergavenny in 2009.

"Abergavenny also hosted a very successful British Cycling Premier Calendar road race this year and has a strong pedigree in cycling led by Grand Prix of Wales organiser, Bill Owen, who will organise the championships for Monmouthshire next year.

"In 2009 we saw a race in which Chris Froome, Sir Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish were all key protagonists and 2014 should be a fitting prelude to the Tour de France Grand Départ in the UK."

Similar sentiments were also expressed by representatives from Monmouthshire County Council.

Bob Greenland, Cabinet member with responsibility for economic development, "the economic benefits that major events can bring to our county" and that the "high profile that British Cycling has brought to the sport since the great successes of last year's Olympics is plain to see."

This was reinforced in a different sense by Geoff Burrows, Cabinet member with responsibility for leisure services, who explained how "we want everyone in the county to have the opportunity to improve their health and fitness and cycling is the perfect sport for this."

The National Time Trial Championships are due take place on Thursday June 26 and the National Road Race Championships taking place on Sunday June 29.

With the Tour due to start the following week on July 5 it promises to be another glorious summer for the sport on British shores.

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