Town set for top-level cycle event

AN ESSEX town is to host a dramatic, one-day top-level cycle race next week.

Roddy Ashworth

AN ESSEX town is to host a dramatic, one-day top-level cycle race next week.

Some roads in Colchester are to be closed on Thursday June 18 to allow the 50 participants to ride high-speed laps of the town centre.

Colchester is one of just 10 English towns and cities selected to stage a leg of the event, which forms part of the two-month Tour Series.

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Ten teams of five highly tuned professional cyclists will be competing to become the overall champions.

The Colchester event, which is the eighth event in the Tour Series calendar, will also include an afternoon of cycling-themed activities for local people and it is hoped the whole day will help build a carnival atmosphere in the centre of the town.

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The race will start and finish on the High Street. The competition will be filmed and highlights broadcast by ITV4.

The Tour Series is being organised and promoted by SweetSpot, a Weybridge-based company that also organises the Tour of Britain, along with media and sponsorship company, Cyclevox.

The two companies are working with both Colchester Borough and Essex County councils in an effort to produce an exciting, high-profile race.

Yesterday Tim Young, the council's streets services portfolio holder, said: “This event should attract more than 10,000 people into Colchester to spend money in our shops and enjoy the spectacle of a professional cycling race.

“We are hopeful this will lead to more events of this type in the future.

“It's true that we will have to close some roads for the day, but we think the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages.

“As a council we had to make the decision on whether to host this very quickly, but most of the businesses we have spoken to are very happy that we will attract these extra people into Colchester.”

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