This weekend, Bristol plays host to two large-scale cycling events that will see people of all ages and abilities take to the streets on two wheels.
On Saturday 19 August the Bristol Grand Prix will once again take over some of the city’s centre, bringing high quality racing to Bristol. It’s followed on Sunday 20 August by the HSBC UK City Ride Bristol, where everyone with a bike can follow a closed-road ride around th city. It’s a fun packed weekend of cycling, all being held during Bristol’s year as a European City of Sport.
The Bristol Grand Prix is a free event for spectators who can view the action from any part of the course. The City Ride is free to enter, with cyclists able to turn up and ride on the day.
Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol, said: “As European City of Sport, it is great that we have events like this taking place within the city. Being a city which takes sport seriously is not just about how many sports stars we have, it’s also about making sure that everyone has opportunities to take part, have fun and get active. We want to celebrate the talent that we have and make sure that there are events which everyone can get involved with. I hope that this year we will see more people than ever before taking part in these events, getting active and trying something new.”
The Bristol Grand Prix is returning for the third year in a row, bringing competitive cycle racing to the streets of Bristol. Male and female racers will battle it out around a challenging circuit that begins at the bottom of Park Street, travels down behind City Hall, round the historic Hatchet Inn and sees riders complete a lap riding past the Hippodrome.
The track is 1.8KM long, which makes for fast-paced racing and an exciting spectacle for any racing fan. The competitive racing starts at 11:30 am with the Veteran’s race, and ends at 7pm at the conclusion of the showpiece Elite Men’s race involving professional teams like Morvelo Basso RT, Bike Channel Canyon and DRK Racing.
The event is free to view, with visitors able to walk around the entire of the circuit, and they can also take part themselves. At 10:30am members of the public can enjoy the Love Your Bike lap and ride the course before the racers take to the streets. Entries to this part of the race can be made at the Bristol Grand Prix website with all proceeds being donated to local charity, Bowel Cancer West.
Phil Adkins, Bristol Grand Prix Race Director said:
“The Bristol Grand Prix is the South West’s fastest growing city centre cycle race, and we want as many people as possible to come and enjoy the action. The racers will be doing their best to put on a show, and delight the crowd with fast paced racing. We want everyone to enjoy how exciting racing is, so come on down and try the course for yourself as part of the Love Your Bike lap. Every bike is a good bike!”
On Sunday, riders will be able to take part in HSBC UK City Ride – the British Cycling organised mass bike ride. This event promises to be a full day celebration of inner-city cycling with off road courses, with a special Sir Chris Hoy Speed Challenge and the promise of a mystery cycling celebrity joining the riders.
The route will take in the Old City and Queen Square as well crossing the Bristol Bridge and travelling through Castle Park, where a range of cycling activities including Virtual Reality stationary bikes and BMX tracks will be based.
Brian Johnston, British Cycling’s Partnership Manager for South West and Wales:
“Bristol has a proud history of incorporating cycling into people’s day-to-day lives and HSBC UK City Rides are a great initial way of doing that. We’re hoping to see thousands of people of all ages and abilities cycling the route on Sunday 20 August.”
As part of Bristol’s year as European City of Sport, the ‘Are You Game?’ campaign continues throughout the summer, giving people around the city the opportunity to try a range of sports for free. Working with clubs and organisations around the city the council has pulled together a database of free taster sessions that can be seen on the City of Sport website. For more information, and to try something new for free, visit www.bristolcityofsport17.co.uk/are-you-game