Fears that this year’s Guildford Town Centre Race would have to be cancelled on safety grounds due to the condition of the road surface have receded after Surrey County Council pledged to make repairs ahead of the event on 9 July.
The race, organised by Charlotteville Cycling Club, has been held in the county town since 1984, but a raised kerb due to resurfacing works on Market Street, the fastest part of the circuit, put the event at risk due to concerns over riders’ safety.
Earlier this month, organiser Jon Lewis urged the council to take steps to remedy the problem and even threatened to "go down to B&Q and buy some cement and do it myself", reports Get Surrey.
He now says that after discussions with council staff and a regional competitions administrator, the event is set to go ahead with Surrey County Council due to lay a temporary surface to make the slope on Market Street longer and less hazardous for competitors.
A spokesman for the council told Get Surrey:“New tarmac will be laid at the edge of new kerbs onto the road, at the junction of Market Street and North Street, enabling cyclists to turn into Market Street from North Street during the race without any issues.”
Mr Lewis told the website: “This is great news because this is a very popular event and it would be awful if it couldn’t go ahead for any reason.
“One of the important things is that once you get momentum up with an event you can keep it going.
“But when something like this, which takes a lot of manpower and hours to organise, falls through, it is very difficult to get it going again.
“There is an economy of infrastructure and it is important to maintain that and ensure that people keep coming to this great event.
“I am just delighted that the council has taken decisive action on this and acted so quickly.
“Ordinarily things like this take a long time, but the council has reacted very well and we are really grateful.”
He added that organisers would continue to liaise with the council regarding the future of the event due to the impact of the redevelopment of the town’s North Street.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.