Stafford ready to welcome elite pro riders

Staffs Cycling Festival

Britain’s best cyclists will be speeding around Stafford town centre on Sunday 22 July as the excitement of pro cycle racing returns to the county town for the first time since 2015.

The Stafford Grand Prix is the highlight of the Redrow Homes Staffs Cycling Festival, which will see a packed day of cycling action for all ages.

Staffs Cycling FestivalElite pro riders from across the UK will be battling it out in the Chartley Coffee Stafford Grand Prix, starting at around 7pm from Market Square. They will be zipping round a tight 750m town centre circuit that will see them completing a lap every minute in a fast-and-furious race.

It will be the first time the Stafford Grand Prix has been staged since 2015, when huge crowds cheered on the riders.

World champion cyclist Andy Tennant from Wolverhampton raced the Stafford Grand Prix in 2015 – and he’ll be back this year. Andy, who has won 15 track gold medals at world, European and World Cup championships, is delighted to see road racing return to the county town.

He said: “The 2015 Stafford Grand Prix was exceptional. So many local people came out to soak up the atmosphere and see the spectacle of pro cycle racing. I can’t wait to get on that starting line again this year.”

With Tennant leading the line for Canyon Eisberg, the team of JLT Condor will have their work cut out on the night if they want to steal the win. With that in mind they’ve selected no fewer than three former Stafford Grand Prix winners in their starting line-up: Graham Briggs, Tom Moses and Jon Mould.

Motorists are advised that Tipping Street and part of Eastgate Street will be closed to traffic from 4pm until 9pm.

The Stafford Grand Prix is sponsored by Hixon’s Chartley Coffee, and event organiser RideStaffs has also worked with them to create official RideStaffs coffee stops in Staffordshire.

The pro race headlines the Redrow Homes Staffs Cycling Festival, a day-long celebration of cycling in Stafford town centre on 22 July delivered by RideStaffs.

Hundreds of cyclists will be taking part in two mass-participation cycle rides, known as sportives, with a medal and goody bag at the end of their 40 or 60-mile rides when they arrive back in Stafford. There’s still time to sign up if you want to be on the starting line.

Festival visitors can watch big-screen action from the Tour de France in Market Square from 11.30am and enjoy food and drink from Wildfire Pizza Company, Bear Coffee and Lymestone Brewery. There will also be a Strider balance bike course for the little ones (from 3.30pm), an Oxford v Cambridge university cycle race (5pm), and the stars of tomorrow get to ride the pro course in boys’ and girls’ races in under-14 and under-16 categories (5.45pm).

RideStaffs director Paul Rowlands said: “RideStaffs was founded in 2010 to bring pro races to Stafford, and we’re delighted to do it again this year. But we also encourage people in Staffordshire to get on their bikes, and hundreds of riders will be doing just that in our sportives. We’re looking forward to a brilliant day for the whole family.”