ARCHER Grand Prix organiser Stuart Benstead says the Archer Spring and Junior races will continue this year despite the cancellation of the GP due to lack of sponsorship.
Benstead, one of the main organizers of the 52-year-old event, cancelled in 2008 due to the costs of policing, and this year because of the difficulty of securing £20,000 sponsorship in a recession, says the Spring and Junior events will be run with the full Premier calendar support team scheduled to put on the Archer GP.
The Spring and Junior road races, which will take place on April 19, each have their own distinguished history having run for 50 and 47 years respectively. They will be run on the main part of the Archer GP route in Hughende Valley. Benstead says it’s important these roads are retained for open road cycle racing as they are the closest to central London on which this type of racing is possible.
Benstead, who has been an organiser of the race for more than 50 years, says: “As before, Central Region clubs in general and the Twickenham CC in particular have rallied to support the Archer club to ensure that these races are run at the top level of organization.
“So we are delighted to have the direct support of our old friend Doug Collins as race organiser and many others from his club and Central Region to supplement our own efforts which we can now transfer from the aborted main race.”
The 15-mile circuit will be open to everyone except elite riders and although there are no sponsors, the promoters are guaranteeing decent prize lists as well as providing full safety back up such as NEG mobile marshals, static marshals, full safety signage and advance warning to local residents. It is hoped to have at least one neutral service car.
Past winners of the Archer Spring and Junior races have included Olympic champion Bradley Wiggins, David Millar, Roger Hammond, Matt Stephens, Steve Heffernan and world champion Graham Webb, so this will be an important training ground for champions of the future.
Entries are flowing in and it’s already looking like there will be two good fields with many more expected to enter by the closing date of March 31.
Early entry is advised, at £14, to Doug Collins, 9 Sandringham Mews, Hampton, Middlesex, TW12 2LF. In the unlikely event of either event not getting a full field, entries on the day will cost £20.