Crit racing back at Bath's Victoria Park in May
We very much enjoyed last year's return of Bath Cycle Races, every Wednesday night on the road round the perimeter of Victoria Park. It was the first time since the early '90s that the park had hosted cycle races, and our man Liam Glen was in the thick of the action, cleaning up in the 3s and 4s for the first two rounds before stepping up to the E/1/2 race for a fourth place in the final race in Bath Uni/road.cc colours.
So it's great news that the races are back for 2012, and they'll be bigger and better.There's five Wednesdays in May this year, so that's one each for the four clubs – Bath CC, VC Walcot, Somer Valley and Avonlea-Treasure RT – that ran an event in 2011, and one spare for... Bath Uni/road.cc! Yup, we get to run one with the Uni chaps this year, so expect lots of socks as spot prizes and we'll aim to make it a night to remember.
The short circuit features a decent climb round the back of the park and a tight turn round the obelisk before the finishing straight, and makes for exciting racing. Last year nearly 100 riders made it to the final round, and the organisers are expecting bigger numbers (and bigger crowds!) this coming May. There's racing for youths through to Elites. As well as the five May races there'll be another one in June, as part of the Bike Bath weekend that's running from 22-24 June. That race will be on the Saturday evening, and complements a busy schedule of sportives, talks and, erm, eating. see www.bikebath.co.uk for more.
"This year's 5 race series promises to be even more exciting than last year,", said British Cycling's Brian Johnston. "Local riders have been eager to hear details and an additional race will add even greater interest. This is a great example of how clubs can work together to create something special and credit must go to them for their positive approach."
British Cycling have been instrumental in expanding the appeal of the Wednesday races, with this year's evening events preceded by Go Ride sessions in the park in the afternoon on the closed road. Go Ride provides a great introduction to the world of cycle sport, teaching participants how to improve their bike handling skills in a fun and safe environment. There'll be two sessions on each Wednsday, starting at 3.45pm and 4.45pm respectively. You'll need to bring a bike (in good condition) and a helmet, but there's no need to book. there's more info at www.britishcycling.org.uk/go-ride/article/goridest-Info-for-Parents
For more info on entering and watching the races, head over to www.bathcycleraces.co.uk