THOUSANDS of families gathered to cheer on teams of elite cyclists taking part in the second Chorley Grand Prix.
Despite Saturday’s poor weather, the start and finish line in Park Road in the town centre was packed with people of all ages, with more lining the 116 mile route which took the professional cyclists on a challenging tour of some of Chorley’s countryside.
The race, organised by Chorley Council and British Cycling, and sponsored by Chorley Building Society, kicked off the 2016 British Elite Road Race Series and was won by Edmund Bradbury from team NFTO.
His team mate Dale Appleby came second, while Dexter Gardias from Pedal Heaven finished third.
Between laps, visitors to the event were able to enjoy different activities, including games, crafts, arts, and cycle challenges.
The council’s chief executive, Gary Hall, described the day as a ‘fantastic event’ and said he hopes the Grand Prix would return next year.
“Everyone seemed to really enjoy the occasion,” he said. “The atmosphere was brilliant with a real buzz about the place.
“This is the second time we have hosted the Chorley Grand Prix and the opening round of the British Elite Road Race Series and it was fantastic to see the country’s elite cyclists in Chorley.
“It was so much more than just a cycle race, there was something for everyone with so many different activities going on at the cycle village in Park Road for people to enjoy.
“We were delighted people got into the spirit of the occasion and that so many had decorated bikes and made bunting and banners.
“This event is putting Chorley on the map and it was so well received once again that we are hoping to possibly bring it back again next year.”
Chief executive of Chorley and District Building Society, Stephen Penlington, added: “It was fantastic to see so many people turn out to support these elite athletes and have such fun.”