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Castle Classic support races kick off an action-packed cycling weekend

Published on Wednesday, August 2, 2017

AN ACTION-PACKED weekend of cycling will kick off at Leicester’s new cycle circuit on 12 August, as the Castle Classic races return to the city.

The circuit, at New College, will play host to a full programme of supporting races tied to the popular Castle Classic Kermesse elite race, which takes place the following day, 13 August, on the streets of Leicester.

Support races at the circuit include regional youth championships, the Leicester Castle Classic women’s race and the Leicester Castle Classic 2/3 category race, which is for keen amateur riders who have accumulated points from other races.

Then on Sunday, nearly 100 elite riders who have contested the HSBC UK Grand Prix Series this summer will take to the cobbles of Leicester’s historic streets as they compete in the Leicester Castle Classic Kermesse, the fourth and final race of the series.

It’s a race that attracts riders of the very highest calibre, with the winner of the first Castle Classic in 2013, Simon Yates, picking up the white jersey for leading young rider at this year’s Tour de France.

The races – all of which are free to watch – have been organised by British Cycling and Leicester City Council, in partnership with local cycle clubs.

They form part of the Ride Leicester festival, a two-week celebration of everything to do with cycling, which runs from 12-27 August.

As part of Ride Leicester, the HSBC UK City Ride – The new Sky Ride – is open to everyone and will take place straight after the Castle Classic elite race on 13 August.

Starting at 12.30pm, the mass-participation City Ride will give people of all ages and abilities the chance to ride for free on traffic-free city streets, as well as through the King Power Stadium and St Peter’s Square. 

Cllr Adam Clarke, assistant city mayor for the environment, said: “The Castle Classic races are a chance for riders of all levels to compete – and this year, many will get the chance to try out our fantastic new cycle circuit.

“The elite race brings a great atmosphere to the city. By hosting this race and the City Ride on the same day, we demonstrate our commitment to cycling not just for elite riders, but at all levels.

“We want as many people as possible to enjoy travelling around the city by bike – over this weekend, and every day.”

Supporting races director Dean Barnett added: “Once again, Leicester will welcome Olympic, world, European, Commonwealth and national medalists to The Leicester Castle Classic. The Classic, in conjunction with the City Ride, will be a unique opportunity for Leicester to celebrate cycling for all”.

To find out more about the Castle Classic races and the Ride Leicester festival, visit

To find out more about the HSBC UK City Ride, visit