Organisers of this year’s Shrewsbury Grand Prix today announced they are already planning next year’s event, which will be more spectacular than ever.
The event took place on Sunday and saw thousands of spectators lining the street to experience the action-packed event.
About 350 amateur and professional riders tackled the tight, fast-paced 1.5km town centre circuit over seven different races.
It was the fourth edition of the event in the town, and has, for many, become a highlight in the cycling racing calendar.
The event is hosted by Shrewsbury based Rhino Velo Race Team which is run by event organiser’s Chris Pook of Estate Agents Cooper Green Pooks and Ben Lawrence of Beaumont Lawrence Chartered Insurance Brokers.
Race organiser Ben Lawrence said: “Sunday’s race was a fantastic event for the town.”
“There were around 6,000-7,000 spectators which was great to see. Not only did they cheer on the riders but they also helped the town’s economy by spending money in our local businesses.”
Mr Lawrence said they have already started thinking about next year’s event and are weighing up what date to go for.
He said: “It will be bigger than ever and we want to plan more family events around the race too. Cycling is such an accessible sport and it’s great to see everybody wanting to get involved.”
This year’s course was longer than previous years by 500m to make it 1.5km in total and included a steep climb up Claremont Bank.
Mr Lawrence said: “Riders told me they really enjoyed the course this year. We will be looking at it again carefully for next year and may tweak it to keep it exciting.”
The event began with the Hatcher’s Solicitors U10/U12 boys’ and girls’ race and was followed by the U14/U16 boys’ and girls’ youth race.
This was followed by the Dyke Yaxley Junior Men’s Race, the Beaumont Lawrence Men’s 4th Cat only race, the Flex IT Women’s only race and the Cooper Green Pooks Men’s 2/3/4 support race. The day finished with the Stan’s Cycles Trek Concept Store Elite Men’s race.
The elite race was won by reigning National Circuit Champion, Chris Lawless, of Axeon Hagens Berman, a UCI Continental cycling team based in the United States. Chris is a rising star in the sport and is one to watch out for over the coming seasons as his profile grows.
The final two podium spots were filled by Will Fox of Elite UK team Catford Equipe/Banks CC and local professional Liam Holohan of Metaltek Kuota.
Rhino Velo Race Team’s Chris Pook, event promoter and sponsor, took the win in the Men’s Regional A support race after attacking up Claremont Bank from a select group of six who had broken away early on in the race. Pook and Mammoth Cycling’s Matt Higgins drove the 6 man break along before Pook made his decisive winning move on the last lap.
In the Women’s Only race, Elite rider Annasley Park, from Drops Cycling, took the top podium spot.
Cerys Greaves, 10, and her 13-year-old brother Ryan Greaves, of Wem, both picked up medals in their races.
Cerys came second in the U12s race and her brother picked up third place in the U14s race. They are both members of Mid Shropshire Wheelers cycling club.
“The quality of racing was superb and the event has once again proven to be a huge success,” said Mr Lawrence. “There were spectators all round the circuit, which is testament to how popular the sport has become and how fantastic Shrewsbury is as a host venue for a wide range of events.”
“We would like to extend a sincere thank you to event sponsors Beaumont Lawrence, Cooper Green Pooks, Stan’s Cycles Trek Concept Store, Clear Design, Hatchers Solicitors LLP, Flex IT, Dyke Yaxley, Sentient Digital, Hatfields Jaguar, Salop Leisure, Charter Savings Bank, SJ Robert Homes, Matthews & Peart, SRM Painting & Decorating and Turners Plumbing & Heating, without whom the event would not be possible.”
Mr Lawrence said next year’s event will include even more activities for families.
“We can’t wait to start organising ready for 2018,” he said.
The Shrewsbury Grand Prix, which was re-launched in 2014 after a 20 year absence, is a British Cycling backed event and a nationally ranked race.