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Castle Classic cycle race will return to streets of Leicester

Published on Monday, July 18, 2016

THE Castle Classic cycle race will return to the streets of Leicester later this summer.

Elite cyclists will compete in a fast, flat and challenging kermesse-style race, taking in Mile Straight and linking the King Power Stadium with the cobbles in front of Leicester Castle.

The race – which is free to watch – takes place on Sunday 14 August, and will feature up to nine of the best professional teams in the UK, competing as part of British Cycling’s National Elite Road Race Series.

This year, the start and finish line will be located at the King Power stadium, giving even more people a chance to get a great view of the racing action.

Now a firm fixture in Leicester’s summer events calendar, the Castle Classic weekend will also feature a range of supporting races on Sunday 14 August, plus a sportive for keen amateur riders, on Saturday 13 August.

The Castle Classic sportive – a timed ride that is designed to challenge keen amateur riders, but is not a race – will offer three route options through the scenic Leicestershire countryside, covering 60, 100 or 160km.

Riders who complete the sportive will bag themselves a free pint, courtesy of sponsors Everards, which can be redeemed when they watch the events on Sunday. (An alternative freebie will also be available for people who don’t want a beer).

Last year, more than 300 keen riders took part in the Castle Classic sportive, with an estimated audience of 2,500 turning out to watch the Castle Classic professional race and supporting races.

The weekend will kick off the Ride Leicester festival – a two-week festival of all things cycling, which will offer bike try-outs, themed films, talks, discussions and social events.

Ride Leicester will culminate with the popular Leicester Sky Ride, which will take place on Sunday 28 August and will see Leicester’s roads opened up for cyclists and pedestrians to enjoy, traffic-free.

Cllr Adam Clarke, assistant city mayor responsible for energy and sustainability, said: “The Castle Classic is an important part of a summer of cycling events in Leicester, and a great to chance to watch some professional riders in action.

“As well as the Castle Classic and the Sky Ride, there’s also a series of free, local guided rides for all abilities throughout the summer, often on largely traffic-free routes, which people are welcome to join.

“Cycling is a great way to get around the city. We’re working hard to provide the infrastructure that cyclists need to feel safe and to make choosing to get on your bike a viable option.

"Our summer cycling events are aimed at showing people just how easy it can be to choose this sustainable, convenient and enjoyable form of transport.”

To find out more about the Sky Ride and local guided rides, visit www.leicester.gov.uk/cycling

To find out more about the Castle Classic and sportive, visit www.facebook.com/LeicesterCastleClassic

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