Entries invited for what looks set to be some thrilling evenings of racing next month

Perhaps in tune with the nostalgic zeitgeist brought about by factors such as the recession and the impending royal wedding, elite-level bike racing is set to return to Bath’s Victoria Park, where it was a regular attraction up to 20 or so years ago*.

An attempt was made to reintroduce the races a few years ago, but this May will see some top action take place on each Wednesday evening throughout the month.

As well as the Elite Cat 1 and 2 men’s race, there will be a full supporting programme of Youth A/B, Cat 3 and 4 and Women’s races, with series leader and points leader jerseys given out at the end of each round.

Each race will last between 15 and 30 minutes, with the action kicking off at 6.45pm, and the series has been made possible with the support of Bath & North East Somerset Council and British Cycling. It is organised by four local cycling clubs - Somer Valley CC, Avonlea-Treasure RT, Velo Club Walcot and Bath CC – and if you’re interested in taking part, full details are available on the Bath Cycle Races website.

* No-one we’ve spoken to yet seems too sure about when the races were discontinued, so if you do have any information, stories or even pictures, we’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

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.


jezzzer [329 posts] 6 years ago

That sounds really good. Will have to go and watch some of that.

Vin Cox [50 posts] 6 years ago

Oh trust me to finish 5 months of working in Bath just before this.... Sounds great - just gutted not to be there.

roadracedave [72 posts] 6 years ago

looking forward to it, looks set to be a great series  1

Daddylonglegs [18 posts] 6 years ago

This is great news! I did the last one in 1993 before Bath CC stopped organizing them regularly. A guy I know tried getting it back together again in the late 90's. Can't remember whether he managed it, but I know the effort and aggro involved put him off for good!

Assuming it's the same, the course is one short, tight circuit around the botanical gardens. It's probably less than a quarter of a mile with one brief sharp climb. Inevitably it's done very fast, so plenty of severe anaerobic pain. Riders will need to be able to handle their bikes at 25mph+, in a bunch, on tight bends while being unable to breathe. All the usual criterium stuff.

Just one thing. It's a public park and as we know, the Great British Public still mostly don't really get bike racing. I reckon they'll need to fence the circuit to prevent folk wandering about on it as they are inclined to do, occasionally deliberately, when they see 'their' parks being used for this sort of thing. It's never great when you see a belligerent old man and his dog purposefully striding across your path when you and twenty others are bearing down on him at nearly 30mph.  13