A major new cycling grand prix comes to Lancaster this summer - with a top class field of 140 riders competing from Britain’s national teams.
The Lancaster Grand Prix will take place on Sunday June 9 and will be a round of British Cycling’s flagship calendar - the HSBC UK | National Road Series.
The event is being coordinated by The Lune Racing Cycling Club, in association with British Cycling, Lancaster City Council and Lancashire County Council.
The race will start and finish at the Ashton Memorial in Williamson Park, and will cover a hilly 100 mile course featuring seven laps of a circuit based largely on roads in the Forest of Bowland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
A top class field of 140 riders from all of Britain’s national elite men’s cycling teams will take part and the event will be televised as the third of eleven rounds of the prestigious Series.
During the race, a free festival of fun events and displays aimed at families and promoting healthy lifestyles will also take place in Williamson Park.
Mark Davies, director of communities and the environment at Lancaster City Council, said: “As a keen cyclist myself I can’t wait for this event to take place.
“It’s the perfect opportunity to showcase the Lancaster district’s beautiful and varied landscapes, while also bringing significant economic benefits.
“I also hope it acts as inspiration for more people to take up cycling and take advantage of the excellent infrastructure of off road paths and on road routes that we have to offer.”
County Coun Keith Iddon, Lancashire County Council cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “As more and more people are finding out, cycling is a great way to stay fit and healthy, as well as being a convenient and sustainable way to make local journeys.
“I’m very pleased to be supporting this new event which will help the local economy and promote our wonderful Lancashire landscapes to a wider audience.”
Jonathan Rigby, Commercial Director of British Cycling said: “The HSBC UK | National Road Series represents the very best of British road racing, and as such, British Cycling is committed to building a calendar of fantastic events which showcase the sport in towns and cities across the country.
“We are delighted to welcome Lancaster - a town with impressive cycling pedigree - to the series, and are sure that locals will revel in the opportunity of seeing Britain’s elite riders and teams battling for the prestigious national series title.”
Roger Hammond, Team Manager of Madison - Genesis Professional Cycling Team said: “Our mission is to support the British racing scene, so for us this major new event on such a challenging hilly course is great news, and we will of course support the race with a full team”.
Graham Jones, Chairman of Lune Racing Cycling Club said: “I am delighted to have been able to bring this top-class bike race to Lancaster, home to many cycling enthusiasts, and I would particularly like to thank the Lancaster City and Lancashire County Councils for their help in supporting the event. We hope to build the event in the future into something even more special for the area”.
Former President of both British Cycling and the UCI (International Cycling Union) Brian Cookson, who chairs the organising committee, said: “I am delighted to be back in Lancashire and helping to put on what I am sure will be a great event, showcasing our wonderful area and encouraging more people to get into cycling and to adopt healthy lifestyles”.