Croydon is to stage its first cycling festival, as the Tour Series men’s and Matrix Fitness women’s professional racing returns to the town centre on 18 May.
The Croydon Cycle Fest will kick off at 11am, with children’s and charity races taking place on the street circuit in central Croydon from noon. In addition there will be opportunities to experience demonstrations of cargo, electric and other bicycles. One of the aims of the event is to get people to consider cycling for local journeys instead of using the car. Visitors can also enjoy cycle-related entertainment and promotional exhibitions in North End, and within The Queen’s Gardens, where street food will be on offer from the stalls recently relocated there whilst Surrey Street is under refurbishment. During the day dance company Bicycle Ballet will be performing at locations in the town centre, including at Boxpark. There will also be music from a cycling pianist and pedal-powered smoothie making to keep you entertained. Free bike checks will also be available. The professional races start from 5.30pm.
For the third year running men’s and women’s teams will be going for gold in two exciting competitions which put the action in the streets of Croydon, in front of thousands of spectators who are expected to line the circuit. Further information including a map of the circuit, event programme and exhibitors will be released on the event website www.CroydonCycleFest.co.uk. Event news will also be released via Twitter @CroCycleFest and the CroydonCulture Facebook page. The event is being staged by Croydon Council with financial support from partners, including construction and property companies Willmott Dixon and Mulalley.
Councillor Tony Newman, Leader of the Council, said: “The town’s going to take on a party atmosphere for this great festival. It’s guaranteed to be a fantastic day out, regardless of whether you’re a cycle racing enthusiast or not. It’s nationally viewed events like this that help raise Croydon’s profile and encourage even more investment into the borough. Thanks to the generous support of our sponsors this year we’re able to deliver a bigger event at less cost to local taxpayers.”
Councillor Timothy Godfrey, Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Sport, said: “The brilliant thing about cycling, regardless of whether you are a serious racer, a keen commuter, or just a weekend leisure cyclist, is that it’s something almost anybody can do at any level. It’s environmentally friendly, healthy, convenient, and fun too. This festival will be a social event allowing the whole community to come together and enjoy the racing.”
Highlights of the racing will be screened on ITV4 and via ITV Hub, so TV viewers will catch glimpses of the iconic Croydon Clocktower, see riders navigating the tight turn beneath the flyover and sprinting up the High Street to the finish line.