Thousands of people are expected to descend on Shrewsbury next month (May) to watch the town’s only major cycle race.
The Shrewsbury Grand Prix will take place on Sunday May 28 with spectators young and old lining the streets to experience the action packed event.
Last year more than 200 amateur and professional riders tackled the tight, fast-paced town centre circuit.
Race organiser Ben Lawrence, managing director of local insurance broker Beaumont Lawrence, said he is looking forward to the fourth annual race, hosted by the Shrewsbury-based Rhino Velo Race Team.
He said: “The race has become a permanent fixture in the cycling calendar and is a great event for the town and the county. We really appreciate all the support from local people who come out to cheer on the cyclists and watch some high quality racing.”
This year the course has been extended by 500m to make it 1.5km in total and it now includes a punchy climb up Claremont Bank. The top cyclists are expected to reach speeds of 40 miles per hour.
The event, which has the full backing of British Cycling, will begin at midday with the U10/U12 boys’ and girls’ race (20 minutes), sponsored by Hatchers Solicitors.
At 12.25pm, the U14/U16 boys’ and girls’ youth race will start (25 minutes), sponsored by Sentient Digital.
This will be followed by the Dyke Yaxley Junior Men’s Race (35 minutes) at 1pm. The Beaumont Lawrence Men’s 4th Cat only race (40 minutes) will take place at 1.45pm followed by the Flex It Women’s only race, including juniors, for one hour.
At 3.45pm, the Cooper Green Pooks Men’s 2/3/4 support race, part of the West Midlands Road Race League, will begin for one hour. This will include some of the best amateur riders in the local area and will be hotly contested.
The professionals and elite riders will take to the course at 5pm with the Stan’s Cycles Trek Concept Store Elite Men’s E/1/2 Race, which lasts one hour and five minutes.
Mr Lawrence said: “We still have spaces in the youth (boy and girl), junior categories and women categories but people should register quickly as it is a popular event.”
The event will be filmed and played back live on a giant screen in the High Street so spectators can follow all the action as it unfolds around the whole circuit. It will also be live streamed on the internet via a link on the event website www.shrewsburygrandprix.co.uk.
The extended course will take riders from High Street through the town via Barker Street to Claremont Bank and then along St Chad’s Terrace and up St John’s Hill, and Cross Hill. Riders will then follow College Hill to Princess Street and Milk Street before returning to the High Street and the Start/Finish line adjacent to The Square.
Mr Lawrence said: “The course is fast and exciting to watch. We also have professional commentators Nick and Diane Jeggo back for a fourth year, which is great.
“We also have lots on for families. There will be a family hour from 11am as well as Rollapaluza, which gives people the chance to battle it out on static bikes at a sprint distance at speeds of more than 50 miles per hour. It’s great fun and will be free for anyone to have a go at in the Square.”
Sponsors for the event include Stan’s Cycles Trek Concept Store, Hatchers Solicitors, Dyke Yaxley Accountants, Flex IT Consultants, Cooper Green Pooks Estate Agents, Beaumont Lawrence Insurance Brokers, Sentient Digital, Salop Leisure , SJ Roberts Construction, Charter Court Financial Services, Clear Design, Hatfields Jaguar, Matthews & Peart, Masons IFA, Turners Heating & Plumbing and SRM Painting & Decorating.
For more information about the Shrewsbury Grand Prix or to register, visit https://www.britishcycling.org.uk/events/details/149978/Shrewsbury-Grand-Prix or see www.facebook.com/ShrewsburyCycleGrandPrix/