Families and cycle fans are in for a real treat on Easter weekend as the Chorley Grand Prix returns to the Chorley borough for a second time.
Local people are being urged to show their support and get involved in the spectacular event from 11am on Saturday 26 March by lining the route and taking part in a whole host of family activities in Chorley Council’s cycle village on Park Road in Chorley town centre.
The prestigious race, which has been organised by Chorley Council and British Cycling with support from Chorley Building Society, will start and finish on Park Road in Chorley town centre before the cyclists take on a five lap 116 mile route through Chorley, Limbrick, Rivington, Belmont, Abbey Village, Withnell, Brinscall, Wheelton, Buckshaw Village and back to Chorley.
Over 140 of the country’s top cyclists will race around the challenging course in the hope of taking the first round of the 2016 British Elite Road Race Series and being crowned the winner of the second Chorley Grand Prix.
The field includes last year’s Chorley Grand Prix winner, Ian Bibby from Preston, who rides for NFTO and the multi-Olympic gold medal winner, Ed Clancy MBE returns to Chorley for a second time. There are also five cyclists from Team Wiggins and the winner of the 2015 Spring Cup series, Steve Lampier will also be in contention for JLT Condor.
Councillor Peter Wilson, Deputy Leader of Chorley Council, said: “Last year’s Chorley Grand Prix was an amazing event with great support all along the route and we are hoping even more people will come out to cheer on the cyclists and get involved this year.
“The race starts at 11am on Park Road in Chorley town centre and we’ve put together a whole host of cycling fun and activities in our cycle village to keep everyone entertained while the cyclists are out on the course.
“We’re encouraging people to bring flags and banners and line the pavements anywhere along the route to see a brilliant sporting spectacle. Primary schools and community groups have already started the ball rolling by creating some fantastic displays using old bicycles and we are proudly showing these off in and around Chorley for everyone to see. Plus the huge bales of straw displays will be returning in the fields.
“Cycling fans might choose to go up to Rivington to see the Choose Chorley for Business King of the Mountains challenge but if you’ve got children and want to keep them entertained, bring them along to the Chorley Council cycle village where they will be able to watch the cyclists start the race then take part in cycling games, arts, crafts, challenges and much more.
“Plus people can bring their own bikes to get them checked out by our bike doctors before watching the spectacular finish to the race and the trophy presentations from around 3.15pm.
“We’re really excited and proud that Chorley is once again hosting the first round of the British Elite Road Race Series. We know Chorley is a fantastic place to cycle and it will be brilliant to see the country’s top cyclists racing around the borough once again.”
Stephen Penlington, Chief Executive of Chorley & District Building Society, added: “We are really proud to be playing a major role in the Chorley Grand Prix again and we hope the rest of the borough’s communities will get involved and show their support for this fantastic event.
“We will be in the cycle village on the day of the race with plenty of giveaways to create a noisy reception as the cyclists race up Park Road to the finish line.
“It will be another fantastic occasion for Chorley, showcasing our borough as a brilliant cycling destination and hopefully encouraging even more people to visit.”
On the day of the Chorley Grand Prix, there is also the opportunity for people to take part in cycle rides but they will need to register beforehand. To take part in the three mile Astley Park Potter family ride at 9.30am, visit goskyride.com/chorley and for women only, there is an eight mile Breeze The Grand Prix ride taking place at 1pm, starting at Astley Park’s gates off Park Road. Ladies can pre-register at goskyride.com/chorley
Anyone attending the Chorley Grand Prix or travelling in the area on Saturday 26 March is being reminded that there will generally be rolling road closures in place as the cyclists go past.
However, Park Road and part of Queens Road in Chorley town centre will be closed for the full day, Southport Road will be closed for the last lap only and one side of Sheep House Lane and Rivington Road will be closed to west-bound traffic for the day, meaning there will be parking restrictions and diversion routes in place around these areas.