An exciting new event is riding into town over the May Day Bank Holiday weekend – and it could be the next big thing since Spalding Flower Parade.
Spalding Velo Prix will see Spalding Cycling Club organise a British Cycling Go-Ride Racing event on the Saturday morning, which will be open to all u-16 children from across South Holland competing on the Monks House Lane playing field.
In the afternoon, families are invited to ride about 20 miles around Spalding and district in a guided tour, visiting some local churches taking part in their annual flower festival. These rides will be ideal for less experienced riders and members of Spalding Cycling Club will be available to provide support.
On Sunday morning, the action moves to Spalding Market Place for a British Cycling organised Italian Pursuit race, an exciting spectator sport in which a team drops a rider at the completion of every lap until only one rider per team is left to battle it out in the final lap.
The event will be open to teams of riders from primary schools in South Holland with a separate competition being held in the afternoon open to teams of riders from nearby cycling clubs.
This event marks the return of town centre cycle racing, formerly held on the Sunday following Spalding Flower Parade. There will also be a cycle jumble and stalls.
Also on Sunday morning, there will be another guided ride of about 35 miles for more hard-core cyclists setting off from Spalding town centre. The Fenland Road Club have agreed to organise and lead this ride.
As lead organisers, Spalding Cycling Club will be able to draw on the experience of its members in event organisation after establishing themselves on the British Cycling regional event calendar for many years by hosting a range of races and time trials in South Lincolnshire.
Since the Free Press presented members with the idea towards the end of last year, the club has succeeded in uniting Springfields and the town centre to once again give hundreds of families a reason to visit Spalding over the former flower parade weekend.
Broadgate Homes and Spalding Water Taxi have come on board as main sponsors, with Springfields Horticultural Society, organisers of Tulipmania and Classic Car Show taking place the same weekend, providing barriers for the races, and the Free Press keeping the public informed of developments on the run-up to the event.
Existing club sponsor Gibbons Cycles and Sports have also confirmed their support of the weekend’s activities.
Simon Wright, chairman of Spalding Cycling Club, said: “I have been overwhelmed by the level of support from sponsors, stakeholders and club members, all determined to make the weekend a success and not only create a great event for visitors to Spalding to enjoy but also encouraging people to get out and ride their bikes.”
Ian Canhan, director of Broadgate Homes, said: “I am delighted to support an event that involves children and promotes cycling in the area and what a lovely place it is to live.”