Hundreds of cyclists from across the Midlands will be hitting the county’s roads as part of the Redrow Homes Staffordshire Cycling Festival in Stafford on Sunday 22 July.
The mass-participation cycle routes, known as sportives, are the curtain-raiser to a packed day of two-wheeled action in the heart of the county town, and cyclists looking to take part are being urged to snap up the few remaining places.
Starting and finishing in Stafford town centre, the riders will be tackling one of two routes on the day: a gruelling 60-miler (above), or a shorter 40-mile ride that cuts out some of the more challenging climbs. Both routes will feature feed stations for refuelling and, whichever one they choose on the day, riders will have earned their medals when they arrive back at the festival hub in Market Square.
After the sportives, there will be lots going on in Stafford town centre – headlined by the return of professional cycle racing to the county town. The best pro riders from across the UK will be competing in the Stafford Grand Prix, starting at around 7pm. Riders will be zipping around a new 750m town centre circuit that will see them completing a lap roughly once a minute. It will be fast-and-furious racing and a real spectacle for all the family to enjoy.
Before that there will be an Oxford v Cambridge university cycle race, and the stars of tomorrow will get to ride the pro course, too, with boys’ and girls’ races in under-14 and under-16 categories.
After the sportives, in the build-up to the races, there will be big-screen action from the Tour de France, a Strider balance bike course for the little ones; food and drink from Wildfire Pizza Company, Bear Coffee and Lymestone Brewery; and the latest cycling gear and goodies from Pro-Vision Clothing.
RideStaffs director Paul Rowlands said: “We’re delighted to bring professional cycle racing back to the heart of Stafford, but it’s the hundreds of cyclists who are getting involved by taking on our sportives who will also make the event extra special. Our sportives are always real social occasions. They’re a great chance to ride with friends and family – entry for under-16s is just a tenner – and to make new cycling buddies. And after their sportive, they can relax and enjoy a packed day of cycling action in the town centre.”