Thousands of people are expected to line the streets of Shrewsbury this Sunday (May 29) for the return of a major cycle event.
Excitement has been building all week ahead of the 2016 Shrewsbury Cycle Grand Prix with more than 250 riders – some as young as eight – signed up to take part in the race action.
Race organiser Ben Lawrence said: “It’s going to be an action packed day of racing and we really hope people from all over Shropshire and further afield will come to the town to take part and support the event.
“It has taken months of organising but everything is now in place for a fantastic day of racing.
“We have riders of all abilities coming from all over the country to take part in seven different races.
“This year there is a huge emphasis on the youth racing with three events scheduled for the younger riders so it will be a great opportunity to see some of our sporting stars of the future in action.”
Road closures will be put in place from 7am in the morning and the race circuit will open to the public from 11am for the family ride.
This is a chance for cyclists young and old to ride the course ahead of the competitors.
The race action will then get underway at 12noon with the Hatchers Solicitors Under 12s/Under 10s race for boys and girls.
This will be followed by the Hatchers Solicitors Youth Race at 12.30pm for Under 16s and the Dyke Yaxley Accountants Junior race for Under 18s at 1pm.
The Beaumont Lawrence Insurance Brokers Men’s 4th Category Race will start at 2pm followed by the Flex IT Solutions Women’s Only Race at 3pm and then the Cooper Green Pooks Estate Agents Men’s 3rd Category Race at 4.00pm.
The racing will finish with the main event – The Stan’s Cycles Elite Men’s Race – at 5pm with a top field of riders drawn from the local, regional and national circuit.
Competitors will race for 60 minutes with the top riders reaching speeds of up to 40mph.
World Champion rider Sebastian Mora Vedri is expected to be among the starting field of riders alongside Shrewsbury-based rider Liam Holohan, who rides for Team Wiggins.
Mr Lawrence, who is also the managing director of sponsor Beaumont Lawrence, said: “It’s a fantastic line up of races this year and we are delighted to be staging the event over the bank holiday weekend.
“It will be a great day out for the whole family. In previous years we have received tremendous support from businesses and the local community and we hope they will get behind the event again this year.
“The only thing left for us to do now is to keep our fingers crossed for some good bank holiday weather.”
All races will start and finish in The Square and the route will take riders along High Street, Shoplatch, St Johns Hill, Cross Hill, Swan Hill, College Hill, Princess Street, Milk Street and then back on to the High Street.
The Grand Prix is a British Cycling backed event and a nationally ranked race.
The event this year is sponsored by Shropshire businesses Beaumont Lawrence, Stan’s Cycles, Hatchers Solicitors, Cooper Green Pooks, Flex IT and Dyke Yaxley.