A new battle has opened in the West Midlands of England between cities wanting to be included as part of the course for the Cycling Road Race during the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.
The Black Country, which is made up of the three Metropolitan Boroughs of Dudley, Sandwell, and Walsall, was already angry after Birmingham 2022 resisted calls to build a velodrome in the area for the event.
They now fear they could be ignored when organizers draw up the route for one of the showpiece competitions of the Games.
Wolverhampton is being put forward to play a major role in the cycling road race because it is claimed it staged the first-ever race on public streets in Birmingham more than 75 years ago.
Percy Stallard defied the then-national body, the National Cycling Union, to hold the road race from Llangollen finishing in Wolverhampton’s West Park in June 1942.
Local cycling officials in the region are trying to persuade Birmingham 2022 to design a course including Wolverhampton City Centre, Wightwick Manor, Himley House, Dudley Castle, The Black Country Living Museum in addition to Bridgnorth and countryside of the Severn Valley.
A petition signed by more than 5,000 people failed to persuade Birmingham 2022 to change their plans and build a new velodrome in the Black Country rather than host the event 130 miles away at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London.