The extremely popular Fort Vale Colne Grand Prix will return to Pendle this summer, taking place on Tuesday 25th July in Colne Town Centre.
Colne Town Council and CDPP (Cycling Development Pendle Partnership) are once again organising the prestigious event, which is part of the British Cycling Elite National Circuit Series, including a closed-road 800m circuit around Colne’s one-way system, making for a fast and exciting spectacle.
The event, sponsored by Fort Vale Engineering Ltd, Riggs Autopack, Coalition Facilities Management and Hope Technology, is a key date in the cycling calendar and will see the top riders in the country heading to Colne, Lancashire.
Getting underway at 6:30pm with the Coalition Facilities Management Youth Race, followed by the Riggs Autopack Sprint for Success at 7:15pm, ending with The Fort Vale Elite Race at 8:15pm. Each race will be followed by a presentation.
As well as the racing, there will be a number of opportunities for people to #ShopLocal on the night, with many of the local businesses based around the circuit confirming they will remain open for the event. These include: Duke of Lancaster, Bees Knees, About Coffee, Sweet Craze, Pendle Kitchen, Red Lion, Live Like The Boy, Greggs, The Local and The Commercial.
Peter Hakin, apprentice trainer manager at headline sponsors Fort Vale Engineering Ltd, said: “The company is very excited to sponsor the event yet again. It is great to be involved in the community and to see the hundreds of people supporting the event.
“What we also love about the event is it showcases what we do outside the factory walls as a business, and the extra curricular activities which we get involved in every single year.”
Mark Howlett, technical sales engineer at Riggs Autopack, said: “This will be our third year as a race sponsor of the Colne Grand Prix. It’s a fantastic event for the local community to get involved with. To anyone thinking of coming along, it’s a great night with an amazing atmosphere; have something to eat, have something to drink, and cheer the participants on.”
Chris Lord, director of Coalition Facilities Management, added: “We are really excited for the event, we were involved last year, we saw how much it meant to Colne, it was a massive atmosphere and turnout, and we are proud to sponsor the Youth Race, seeing lots of children involved and bringing on the next generation.”
Len Woffindin, event organiser, said: “It is a fantastic event for Colne. We get lots of people watching both here live and on social media, it’s a good environment, a good atmosphere, there’s lots going on in the town on the night, and there’s some cracking bike racing which is fast and frenetic.
“In the Elite Race many of the National teams turn up and we expect the main teams to be here. They may well race as teams, leading each other out as you see on TV on the major tour races, or you might see somebody going off the front, having a really good go and trying to win it on their own.”
Coun Dorothy Lord, vice-chair of the events committee at Colne Town Council, said: “The whole town looks forward to the Grand Prix. I actually started the first race when I was Mayor, and it has just gone from strength-to-strength since then with thousands of people lining the streets and they just absolutely love it.
“This event wouldn’t happen without the sponsors and we have got the sponsors that we need, even in these troubled times, they still come on board and we can’t thank them enough.”
Coun Mary Thomas, chair of Colne Town Council, commented: “It is a wonderful event, especially for families and it is amazing to see so many children coming to watch with their parents. Because this course is particularly fast, furious, with lots of action, it is really a good spectator sport.
“We also have local businesses who stay open on the night, so people can grab a coffee or bite to eat whilst watching an incredible race where there is always something to see.”