Top cyclists get in saddle as elite road race returns

Prestons Ian Bibby winning last years Chorley Grand Prix. Pic: Dave Povall

Prestons Ian Bibby winning last years Chorley Grand Prix. Pic: Dave Povall

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Excitement is building as the country’s top cyclists prepare to take part in a race on the roads of Lancashire.

The second annual Chorley Grand Prix will take place tomorrow, with crowds expected to line the streets to support more than 140 elite cyclists.

The race, which starts the 2016 British Elite Road Race Series, follows a five-lap 116-mile route through Chorley and surrounding areas, including Rivington, Withnell, Brinscall and Buckshaw Village.

Last year’s winner Ian Bibby, from Preston, will be defending his title and multi-Olympic gold medal winner Ed Clancy returns to Chorley.

The race starts at 11am on Park Road in Chorley town centre and is organised by Chorley Council and British Cycling, with support from Chorley Building Society.

Decorated bicycles have already appeared along the route as cycling fans show their support and people are being encouraged to take flags and banners as they watch the race.

There will be a cycle village on Park Road with activities and people can have their bicycles checked by “bike doctors”.

Bike rides are also being held and people must register in advance at goskyride.com/chorley.

Coun Peter Wilson, deputy leader of Chorley Council, said: “Last year’s Chorley Grand Prix was an amazing event with great support all along the route and we are hoping even more people will come out to cheer on the cyclists and get involved this year.”

There will be rolling road closures as cyclists go past, with Park Road and part of Queens Road closed all day. Southport Road will be closed for the last lap and one side of Sheep House Lane and Rivington Road will be closed to west-bound traffic for the day.