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Cycle race returns to Winchester after 16 years this weekend
2:32pm Friday 9th August 2013 in News
WINCHESTER will host its biggest cycling race for over 16 years this Sunday (August 11).
The city centre race will see nearly 200 cycling enthusiasts from all over the country descend upon the Saxon streets from as far afield as Sussex, Jersey and Abergavenny.
With such junior cyclists as winner Brendan Druitt and fourth placed Charles Page from last week’s RideLondon, it seems the criterium will be drawing in pros from past and present.
Thirty competitors are expected to take part in the women’s race, which cycletoursuk have promoted heavily, following the multiple achievements at the Olympics last year.
Eighty-five juniors and 80 racers across both men’s categories are also anticipated.
Crispin Quail, Velo Club Venta club secretary, said: “We’re pleased it’s back in Winchester and to see so many participating.”
However, with Winchester City Council expecting between 2-4,000 spectators, central car parks will be closed and people are encouraged to use the park and ride.
Chris Peach, sports development manager at the city council, said: “We’ve taken every precaution to minimise disruption and any other problems. I’d love to be up there, I’m a bit of a racer myself but work comes first!”
There’s more support from sponsors this year too, with the likes of Hendy Ford, BID and bike-fitters Vankru providing £500 for the women’s race prize money.
Cycletoursuk organiser, Graham Dawson, said: “I think cycling is a great way to get out and about. I joined VC and it grew from there.
“There was real demand for this event and it’s going to be bigger and better. We’ve worked closely with the council and hopefully the bad weather stays off.”
Starting at 12pm, the family fun day will have activities and stalls in the Broadway with youth races starting at 4pm and 7pm for the elites.
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