THE POPULAR East Cleveland Klondike Grand Prix cycle race will be making its return on Sunday 29 April along with a new-for-2018 junior race in Guisborough.
Thousands of spectators packed the start and finish of the race in Guisborough last year and even more lined the route through the East Cleveland villages as competitors fought tooth and nail to claim top honours in British Cycling’s Spring Cup.
This year, the race will once again be the opening round of the HSBC Business Elite Spring Cup – the fourth road race of the UK Elite spring cycling season and is the final opportunity for some of the top Pro-Continental teams to battle for their places in the Tour De Yorkshire and the Tour of Britain.
The race has been organised by East Cleveland Villages Big Local for a second year with part sponsorship from Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council.
In 2017 teams including Bradley Wiggins’ Team Wiggins, One Pro Cycling and JLT Condor came to Guisborough and with the 2018 Klondike taking place just a week before the Tour De Yorkshire begins, it is hoped that more Pro-UK and Pro-continental teams will come and take on the Klondike route.
The route for 2018 will build on the hugely popular, spectator friendly, figure of 8 loop used last year, taking in challenging climbs such as Saltburn Bank– which will again be the site of the King of the Mountains competition – as well as Mill Bank and Loftus Bank. Combined with sweeping technical descents and cross winds, riders and teams will be put through their paces.
There’s only one change to the route, with the roll-out at the start of the race leaving Guisborough and heading through Dunsdale then cutting down through New Marske before joining the main circuit at 4-lane ends, Skelton Ellers, where it then heads to Skelton and joins the familiar figure of eight route.
The route has been described as challenging and technical with an expectation of only 20 riders finishing.
As an opening race in the Spring Cup Series, the Klondike is an opportunity for many riders to have the potential of claiming an early season win as the peloton stays relatively bunched together for most of race.
As well as the Klondike itself, this year spectators will have the opportunity to see some of Britain’s best young riders tackle a sprint round Guisborough which promises to bring plenty of action and excitement for spectators after the senior riders start their race.
The junior race is one of the many attractions Guisborough will have to offer on Saturday 29 April other activities in and around Westgate and a number of fun games and activities taking place in Gisborough Priory.
Cllr Carl Quartermain, Cabinet Member for Culture, Tourism and Communications, said: “The East Cleveland Klondike Grand Prix was one of the stand out events of the year in 2017, with thousands of spectators coming out to watch a brand new race make its mark in East Cleveland.
“This year, the organisers will be building on the great work of the first Klondike to make it even bigger, with even more attractions in Guisborough – and villages throughout East Cleveland. It will be a great day out for all the family.”
Cllr Mary Lanigan, chair of the East Cleveland Villages Big Local, said: “East Cleveland Villages Big Local is a lottery funded project that was awarded money in which to change perception, build pride and leave legacy for the people of East Cleveland. Part of our ambitious plan was to bring the an prestigious elite bike race to East Cleveland which all ages would be able to enjoy through activity and positive participation and bring tourists to the East Cleveland area.”
To ensure the complete safety of cyclists there will be a number of rolling road closures on the day and some bus services maybe slightly delayed so the organisers are asking people to plan their journeys in advance.
To find out more, go to www.eastclevelandklondikegp.co.uk.