Town to welcome cyclists

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FOLLOWING a summer of cycling success, the organisers of Mildenhall Cycling Rally are hoping the local community will come and see what it’s all about first hand.

Mildenhall Cycling Club, who launched the career of Olympic gold medallist Victoria Pendleton, will hold their annual rally over the bank holiday weekend.

For those who were awed by the accomplishments of the GB cycling team during the Olympics the rally is a chance to see where cyclists Nicole Cook, Ben Swift and Victoria Pendleton started their careers.

At the grass track events, which will include the men’s national 800m championships, visitors may also see a future Olympic star in action.

Mildenhall Cycle Club chairman Mark Burchett said: “I’m not a racing cyclist and I can spend every afternoon watching it, it’s like watching cyclists in the velodrome at the Olympics.

“A lot of the racers who excel at grass track racing will go on to compete at high levels because their bike handling skills are second to none – they will be going 20mph around the track with no brakes and fixed gears.”

The rally is a major event in the national cycling calendar and this year the turnout is expected to be higher than ever following the sport’s summer of successes, but Mr Burchett insists there’s something on offer for everyone.

He said: “This is a free day out for a family. As well as the track racing to watch we will have a circus skills workshop on Sunday, we have a magician on Monday and every day we run a children’s sports session.”

For those inspired to get on their bikes and hit the road the club will be offering a range of touring leaflets showcasing a variety of scenery and various distances.

Forest Heath District Council’s portfolio holder for health, leisure and culture, Warwick Hirst said: “I can’t think of a more appropriate time to have a three-day cycle rally.

“You have a lot of spectators who especially with the Olympics are encouraged to go and cycle.

“People will come spend some money and hopefully form a good view of the area and come back for other reasons.”

The Mildenhall Cycle Rally will be held at Riverside Middle School, Mildenhall.

Events will start at 4am on Saturday August 25 and finish at 5pm on bank holiday Monday.