Castle Classic will herald weekend of cycling events
Published on Thursday, April 26, 2018
THOUSANDS of people are expected to line the city’s streets for the return of the popular Castle Classic cycle race this summer.
The race, which takes place on Sunday 12 August, is free to watch, and will see elite cyclists competing in a fast, flat and challenging 80km, 20-lap race, taking in Mile Straight, the King Power Stadium and a tricky cobbled section outside Leicester Castle.
It’s now a firmly established event in the city’s summer cycling calendar, and will once again take place as part of the Ride Leicester festival, a two-week celebration of all things cycling, running from 11-26 August.
The Castle Classic will attract leading British elite teams, giving spectators a chance to see Olympic, world and national champions taking to the city’s streets.
The race, which forms part of British Cycling’s Grand Prix series, will take place between 10am and 12noon, and will be recorded and later televised by Eurosport.
The start and finish point is on Western Boulevard, close to Bede Park, with great viewing spots along the length of the route. Last year, it’s estimated around 2,500 people watched the Castle Classic and supporting races.
The action is preceded by a full programme of Castle Classic support races on Saturday 11 August. These will take place at the Leicester Cycle Circuit, at New College, and will include races for all ages and abilities.
And on Sunday, once the excitement of the elite race is over, everyone in Leicester is invited to join in with HBSC UK’s Let’s Ride Leicester – a mass family bike ride on traffic-free streets, looping between the King Power Stadium, Leicester Castle and the Clock Tower.
Organised by Leicester City Council, British Cycling and HSBC UK, the ride will include lots of cycling-related entertainment and activities en route.
Additional activities on offer during the Ride Leicester Festival include guided rides, cycle talks, bike films and a rickshaw parade. There will also be several neighbourhood mini-fests with cycling-themed activities, held in conjunction with the sustainable transport charity Sustrans.
The Ride Leicester festival includes a two-day re-enactment of the Green Bicycle Mystery, an infamous local murder case from 1919. It will feature a led bike ride, on both Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 August, followed by case presentations and a re-enactment of the courtroom trial at the original courtroom in Leicester Castle.
Cllr Adam Clarke, deputy city mayor responsible for the environment and public health, said: “The Castle Classic is a great event to have in the city over the summer, and having it on the same day as Let’s Ride Leicester means people can enjoy a full day of cycling activity in the city centre.
“We want to do all we can to encourage cycling because it benefits everyone, from individuals to the wider community. Whether people to choose to ride to work or for pleasure, we want to provide the sort of infrastructure and encouragement that makes cycling safe, fun and a viable transport option for people.”
More information about the Castle Classic and supporting events and the Ride Leicester festival is available at the visitleicester.info website.
To find out more about the HSBC City Ride and local guided rides, visit letsride.co.uk/events/leicester