Former national champion is among those set to contest Ixworth races
Former national champion Russell Hampton is one of the talents set to show off his speed in the saddle in next weekend’s Ixworth Cycle Races.
The West Suffolk Wheelers’ biggest annual event sees the best cyclists from across the region and beyond do battle on the picturesque roads in and out of the village near Bury St Edmunds on May’s first bank holiday Monday.
With a rich array of youth talent involved, it is an event where spectators could get a chance to see a future Olympic champion, with gold medallist Laura Kenny (formerly Trott) having previously taken part in the Under-14 category.
One of the county’s top cycling events will help to build up nicely to the Women’s Tour of Britain returning to the area this summer.
Ixworth is set to close to traffic throughout the day a week on Monday (May 6).
The event will see cyclists of all ages and genders take to the road from midday onwards, with the Senior and Junior Men 4th Category (sponsored by the Bury Free Press), expected to last approximately 40 minutes, getting the action under way at noon.
Five more races will follow: Youth C Under-12 Boys & Girls at 12:55pm (sponsored by Dykes Family Charitable Trust); Senior & Junior Women and Masters 50+ Men (sponsored by The Cycle Clinic) both at 1.30pm; Youth B Under-14 Boys & Girls (sponsored by Dykes Family Charitable Trust) at 2.25pm; Youth A Under-16 Boys & Girls (sponsored by Orbital Food Machinery) at 3.05pm and the Senior & Junior Men 2nd & 3rd Category (sponsored by Maglia Rosso Cycle Centre & Destination Cafè) at 3.50pm.
The last race on the programme is set to be the longest of the day at 50 minutes and worth waiting for as it will feature some of the best riders including talented youngster Sam Asker, a national road cyclist who is a member of the Lee Valley Youth Cycling Club.
Organiser Barry Denny said there has been a strong entry list for the Women’s event taking place at 1.30pm and it will be one for the upcoming cyclists in the region to stake their claim.
He said the event, run under the rules of British Cycling, prides itself on being ‘a fun filled day for all to enjoy’ as the local community all get involved.
“The race programme, like last year, has been reduced to six races from eight with no Elite Race but a very strong Senior and Junior Men’s race for second and third category riders,” Denny said.
“The Ixworth Cycle Races always provides close and exciting races throughout the day.”
The Women’s Institute will be providing refreshments while the area’s Scouts group are also involved on helping run the event.
The course comprises closed roads in the village, including part of High Street, the old Thetford Road and Commister Lane.