New Lancaster GP bolsters British racing calendar

Former UCI president Brian Cookson lends his weight to organising new race in his home county

Junior riders Tom Pidcock and Rob Scott give it everything they've got to stay ahead of Ian Wilkinson during the Clayton Velo Classic in Lancashire on Sunday. Pidcock would take the win.
(Image credit: Andy Jones)

Former UCI president Brian Cookson has unveiled his latest project the Lancaster Grand Prix race, which has been added to the British Cycling road series calendar.

The 160km race is set to take place on Sunday June 9 and will feature seven laps of a circuit based largely on roads through the Forest of Bowland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

The event is being organised by Lune Racing Cycling Club in association with Lancashire and Lancaster councils.

Cookson, who organised many events prior to his stints as the president of the UCI and British Cycling, said the race had been planned to be “like an Ardennes classic” and will feature 2,673m of climbing.

He said: “We don't expect any large groups of riders to be together at the finish. It's a leg-breaker.”

After a short ride out from the start to the Forest of Bowland the race will start its circuit which has previously been used for regional championship road races in the area and the now defunct Fred Atkinson Trophy and the Levy Moores Two Day.

That route passes through the villages of Dolphinholme, Marshaw, Emmetts and Abbeystead before heading back to the start at Ashton Memorial where the race will finish.

No women’s race is planned for the inaugural edition as the date clashes with the women’s Cicle Classic UCI-level race.

The organisers hope that the race will one day grow to UCI-level status.

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Having trained as a journalist at Cardiff University I spent eight years working as a business journalist covering everything from social care, to construction to the legal profession and riding my bike at the weekends and evenings. When a friend told me Cycling Weekly was looking for a news editor, I didn't give myself much chance of landing the role, but I did and joined the publication in 2016. Since then I've covered Tours de France, World Championships, hour records, spring classics and races in the Middle East. On top of that, since becoming features editor in 2017 I've also been lucky enough to get myself sent to ride my bike for magazine pieces in Portugal and across the UK. They've all been fun but I have an enduring passion for covering the national track championships. It might not be the most glamorous but it's got a real community feeling to it.