Elite riders to bolt through Chorley in a haze of lycra

Edmund Bradbury takes the cheers of the crowd as he claims victory in the Chorley Grand Prix 2016
Edmund Bradbury takes the cheers of the crowd as he claims victory in the Chorley Grand Prix 2016

More than 100 professional cyclists will hurtle through Chorley at Easter in the borough’s highly popular Grand Prix.

Chorley is hosting the prestigious HSBC UK Spring Cup Series for the third year running and is expecting thousands of viewers.

The British Cycling event has been described as ‘one of the best ever supported national road series races in the country’.

It has even seen the likes of multi-Olympic gold medal winner Ed Clancy come to town.

Councillor Peter Wilson, deputy leader of Chorley Council, said: “Chorley has some of the best cycling routes in the whole of the country with a mixture of flat open roads and challenging climbs and we are seeing more and more people visit each year.

“We have been overwhelmed with the success of the race since its inception two years ago and due to the fantastic feedback we wanted to bring it back again in 2017 and continue to put Chorley on the map as a destination which has a real enthusiasm for cycling.

“Not only does it put on a spectacle for local people it will attract many more people into the borough and boost the local economy.”

It will also showcase what Chorley has to offer to a European audience when the event is broadcast on Eurosport.

British Cycling’s director of cycle sport and membership, Jonny Clay, said: “We can expect to see an entertaining year of racing for new and existing fans of the sport.”

There will be a return of the decorated bikes along the route, with residents, community groups and schools being encouraged to again decorate, donate and recycle unwanted bikes, to give the cyclists a warm and colourful welcome to the borough. Bikes can be decorated with any suitable waterproof materials and then donated by contacting Chorley Council’s community team by Friday, March 31.

The race will be held on Easter Saturday, which is April 15, with British Cycling confirming the dates of all the 2017 national road series races.

Organised by Chorley Council, the Chorley Grand Prix will take in a 100-mile route with the start and finish line on Park Road, in Chorley town centre. It then takes the cyclists out to Rivington, Belmont, Abbey Village, Withnell, Brinscall, Wheelton, Buckshaw Village and back to Chorley.

The riders will complete five laps of the circuit but there will generally be rolling road closures in place, which will mean very minimal disruption to traffic. The exact route is yet to be confirmed.