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Staffordshire Cycling Festival

STAFFORDSHIRE CYCLING FESTIVAL FOR SUMMER 2013

In an announcement today, Leadout Cycling Limited with Staffordshire County and Stafford Borough Councils revealed the launch of the new, Staffordshire Cycling Festival - a two-day event in August, building on the popularity of the annual Stafford GP.

Members of the Festival organising team and both councils, represented by Councillor Mike Smith, met today in the Market Square with elite cyclist Kieran Friend who rides for the Belgium based An Post team. School children from King Edwards and St Patricks schools were also on hand to mark the official countdown to the event, which will take place in central Stafford and Shugborough Hall and Estate over the weekend of 9th – 10th August.

The third annual Stafford GP will form an important part of the new Cycling Festival and will see the introduction of a programme of new events that will allow members of the Staffordshire community to participate in a wide range of cycling activities.

Festival Organiser, Paul Rowlands, said of the event: "We're delighted to have the backing of both the County Council and the Borough Council to enable us to take a three year old event and turn it into a weekend of sport that combines elite racing and events where everybody can take part. With the support of the councils, HMT and the local businesses who contribute to and support the event, we're hoping that our event can bring even more to the town and now to the wider county too."

Staffordshire County Councillor Mike Lawrence, Cabinet Member for Community, Culture and Localism, said:

"Staffordshire is a marvellous county with lots of interesting things to do and see, and this exciting event provides a great opportunity to showcase just what we have to offer.

"We’ve got some of the UK’s top cyclists taking part and we’ll have lots of visitors from across the county and hopefully many more from out of the county. Our amateur race from Shugborough will also give many of our budding cyclists a chance to compete alongside some of the country’s best riders. Young people will also get the chance to join in with a range of sporting activities over the weekend."

With full Festival details yet to be released, the programme so far includes:

Friday 9th August (from 5pm):

• Schools’ Racing
• Handcycling
• British Cycling National Women's Series Race
Stafford GP
Saturday 10th August (daytime):

• 35m Sportive
• 70m Sportive
Saturday 10th August (evening)

• Pro Cycle Race - Shugborough Kermesse
To find more information about the event, how you can get involved and to view route maps for the races visit www.staffordgp.co.uk. To join in the conversations you can also visit Facebook - www.facebook.com/staffordshirecyclingfestival or Twitter @staffordGP.