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Stars of UK Cycling Launch the Staffordshire Cycling Festival 2015

by Nick Gregory

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The official countdown to the Staffordshire Cycling Festival began last week as JLT-Condor's Felix English and Peal Izumi Sports Tour International rider, Lauren Creamer -  winner of last year's Women's Tour of Staffordshire - joined Festival organiser Paul Rowlands in Stafford town centre to celebrate the Festival, which this year takes place on 3-4 July

Creamer said: "Staffordshire has some of the best roads in the country and the Staffordshire Cycling Festival has something for everyone. It's quickly become a top event on the calendar. I had a brilliant time racing last year and I'm looking forward to being part of the Festival again." 

Staffordshire Cycling Festival founder and organiser, Paul Rowlands, said: "I'm delighted to be able to bring the event back to Staffordshire for a third time. We've had almost 200 sportive entries so far and anticipate hosting another talented field of professional riders." 

He continued: "The response last year was fantastic. The weekend may have seen some rain but spirits certainly weren't dampened, as over 10,000 people turned out to participate and enjoy the full line up of Festival events." 

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Taking place across two days, the festival starts with the sixth edition of the now famous Stafford GP, which is set to attract some of the nation's biggest cycling stars. 

Those attending on the opening night to cheer on the stars will be treated to a host of activities to get the evening started - from balance bike races for the kids and a chance for the public to ride the closed pro circuit with Free Ride Friday, before the professionals take centre stage in the town centre. 

The action then moves to Shugborough Hall Estate for day two, with food and drink and more family-fun activities at this year's Festival Village, forming the backdrop for the two public sportives, the INTO Staffordshire 35 mile ride and a revamped route for the longer ride, at 66 miles. 

Open for sign-ups to anyone with a passion for pedals, the INTO 35 mile ride is a great introduction for those tackling sportives for the first time. The 66-mile challenge is for more confident riders and involves a number of tests, from steep climbs and heavy sections that will test all riders. 

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Having worked up a thirst, all sportive participants will be rewarded with a soft drink or free half pint of Staffordshire Cycling Festival Ale courtesy of Lymestone Brewery. 

A short course mountain bike race will kick off Saturday afternoon, before the pros finally draw the Festival to a close with the Francesco Group Women's Grand Prix and the fast and furious Shugborough Kermesse - both featuring the very best in British road cycling talent. 

With further Festival details still to be released, an overview of the programme so far includes:

Friday 3rd July

  • Stafford GP Men's Elite Race
  • Free Ride Friday
  • Balance Bike Challenge (under-fives)

Saturday 4th July

  • Festival Village
  • Free access to Shugborough Estate gardens
  • Mountain Bike Race
  • INTO Staffordshire 35 mile sportive
  • 66 mile open sportive
  • Francesco Group Women's Grand Prix
  • Professional race - Shugborough Kermesse

For more information or to register to ride one of the two sportives, visit www.ridestaffs.co.uk





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