Croydon’s first Cycle Fest kept smiles on many faces throughout a day of racing and fun activities on Thursday (18).
School races started the day, with instructors from Bikeability on hand to help young riders learn more about competitive cycling techniques. St. Peter’s took the overall title, with Mahra from Winterbourne taking first place in the girls’ competition and Rudy from St. Peter’s coming top in the boys’ races. Around the town, the early-afternoon crowds were kept entertained by a cycling pianist and a wacky troupe of bicycle ballet performers. Meanwhile, youngsters pitted themselves against the clock on the extreme-sprint Rollapaluza challenge. In The Queen’s Gardens, DJs and live bands raised the tempo for the day, and around the circuit there were plenty of stalls and demonstrations on hand showcasing new cycle products or giving advice on maintenance or security. Charity races took place in the middle of the afternoon as riders took to the circuit to enjoy the experience and raise money for worthy causes. The Willmot-Dixon team emerged victorious in a close-fought contest.
Mayor of Croydon, Councillor Wayne Trakas-Lawlor, said: “Everyone had a brilliant time. The racing was outstanding and during the day there was a great mix of activities all designed to help get people on their bikes more in the future, including me. There is a lot of enthusiasm for this event to be repeated next year – hopefully with better weather.”
Those spectators who came along after work were treated to some exceptional professional racing as The Tour reached its half-way point for the current series. In the women’s Matrix Fitness Grand Prix Series, after an initial starting-line pile-up, team Drops held their position at the top of the standings but it was Storey Racing who had their first win of 2017, in Croydon. Graham Briggs led JLT Condor to victory, taking the individual win and moving his team two-points clear of Madison Genesis. Rory Townsend and Elizabeth Jane Harris were the Brother Fastest Lap winners, while the Wiggle Points and Eisberg Sprints jerseys remain on the shoulders of Sebastian Mora (Team Raleigh GAC) and Ellie Dickinson (Team Breeze) respectively.
Action from racing will be screened on ITV4 at 7pm this evening (Friday 19 May) and available on demand via the ITV Hub.