A prestigious cycle race that attracted thousands of people into Chorley will return to the borough for a second time at Easter.
Chorley Council has teamed up with British Cycling and Chorley Building Society to host the event that will see more than 100 professional riders take on a challenging course around the borough in the first race of the 2016 British Cycling Elite Road Race Series.
The popular event is returning to the borough after it was held in Chorley for the first time last year with the race being described as ‘one of the best ever supported national road series rides in the country’. It will also showcase the beautiful borough to a European audience when the event is broadcast on Eurosport.
Councillor Peter Wilson, Deputy Leader of Chorley Council, said: “Chorley has some of the best cycling routes in the whole of the country with a mixture of flat open roads and challenging climbs and we are seeing more and more people visit each year.
“We were overwhelmed with the success of the first race of its type to be held in the borough last year and we wanted to bring it back again in 2016 and continue to put Chorley on the map as a destination which has a real enthusiasm for cycling.”
“Not only does it put on a spectacle for local people it will attract many more people into the borough and boost the local economy.”
The race is once again being sponsored by Chorley & District Building Society, who are delighted to be supporting the community event.
Chief Executive of Chorley & District Building Society, Stephen Penlington, said: “We really enjoyed taking part in the race earlier this year and it was great to see so many people come out and support the event.
“We are really proud to be part of the Chorley community so it’s a pleasure to be able to sponsor an event like this, which showcases the fantastic variety of terrain we have for cycling and will encourage more people to spend their leisure time here.”
The race will be held on Easter Saturday, which is 26 March, with British Cycling confirming the dates of all the 2016 national road series races this week.
British Cycling’s director of cycle sport and membership, Jonny Clay, said: “We’re excited to confirm an extended calendar of men’s domestic road series event for 2016.
“With a calendar comprising popular established races and some fantastic new events, we can expect to see an entertaining year of racing for new and existing fans of the sport.”
The race, called the Chorley Grand Prix, is being organised by Chorley Council with sponsorship from Chorley Building Society. It will take in a 100-mile route with the start and finish line on Park Road, in Chorley town centre. It then takes the cyclists out to Rivington, Belmont, Abbey Village, Withnell, Brinscall, Wheelton, Buckshaw Village and back to Chorley.
The riders will complete five laps of the circuit but there will generally be rolling road closures in place, which will mean very minimal disruption to traffic. The exact route will be confirmed in the coming weeks.