Nottingham will this summer host a three-day cycling festival, E.ON Cycle Live Nottingham, that will begin with a series of circuit races on the evening of Friday 13 July, concluding the following Sunday with the E.ON Great Notts Bike Ride. In between organisers promise “a whole range of cycling based activities with something that will appeal to everyone.” The event was formally launched on Thursday by top trials rider, Danny Butler.
The city’s Victoria Embankment will be the base for the event, which gets under way with the E.ON Cycle Live Nottingham Grand Prix on the Friday evening, with participants in the closed circuit races spanning schoolchildren to elite riders.
On Saturday, the East Midlands city will host the E.ON Cycle Live Nottingham Festival of Cycling, which includes a series of cycling themed events as well as live music and entertainment.
The final event of the weekend will be the E.ON Great Notts Bike Ride on Sunday 15 July, which starts and finishes at Victoria Embankment and includes three route options – Sportive, which is around 100 miles, Challenge, of approximately 48 miles, and the 19-mile Community ride. Loan bikes will be available for participants who need them.
The same day will also see a three-mile E.ON Nottingham City Ride take place on closed roads in the south of the city, supported by Decade of Better Health, a joint initiative of NHS Nottingham City and Nottingham City Council. The event is free, with the aim of encouraging participation from people living in deprived parts of the city.
Chris Simon of Perfect Motion Sports Marketing, which is organising the weekend, said: "We want to get the people of Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, the East Midlands and even further afield excited by this brand new event, which puts the county on the map as a cycling hot spot.
"The weekend will have something for everyone, from the excitement of circuit races on the Friday through a whole host of weird and wonderful cycling displays and activities on the Saturday.
“We then finish with the new routes at the E.ON Great Notts Bike Ride on the Sunday. From the novice cyclist and families looking for a great day out, right through to elite riders, we hope that everyone will join us in July to celebrate all things cycling".
Councillor Dave Trimble, Nottingham City Council's Portfolio holder for Leisure, Culture and Tourism, commented: "We are proud and delighted that E.ON have chosen Nottingham to launch what will be a great weekend of cycling, putting top quality races alongside events for novice cyclists so that there is something for everyone.
"Expanding the ever-popular Great Notts Bike Ride in this way gives a variety of options for people of all abilities to get on a bike, get involved, have some fun and get in some healthy exercise. It could be the catalyst that persuades the weekend's cyclists to adopt cycling as their transport of choice."
Germany-based energy supplier E.ON is one of Nottingham’s largest employers, with around 6,000 employees in and around the city, where it is currently building a new office complex. Its backing of the cycling festival is the first fruits of a wider sponsorship programme aimed at reinforcing links with the local community.
Jeremy Davies, E.ON’s Marketing Director , said: "We want to do more than simply supply people with the power they need to run their lives and I'm delighted we're able to do that here in Nottingham with E.ON Cycle Live Nottingham, offering a greater experience to our customers in a way that's relevant and convenient to them.
"We're all about helping people to become energy fit - reducing their energy use, their bills and their effect on the planet - and E.ON Cycle Live Nottingham is a great way for people to get fit themselves and also hopefully learn something about energy efficiency along the way.
"Over the coming months we'll be offering free entry, discount tickets and priority areas for our customers, along with the opportunity to learn more about our sustainable projects in Nottingham and how we're helping their customers to get energy fit."
Further information on E.ON Cycle Live Nottingham can be found on the event’s website.
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.