A host of community activities is being organised to promote cycling and encourage well-being to coincide with the Pearl Izumi Tour Series which is coming to Croydon on Tuesday 7 June.
These will include a race along part of the course for local schools, opportunities for disabled riders to try out specialist bikes and a charity race around the whole track.
Thousands of people are then expected to line the streets during the evening as some of Britain’s leading professional cyclists do battle for the penultimate round of the nation’s leading team series.
And this year’s 1.3km route – which starts and finishes in High Street and goes past some of the town’s most familiar landmarks, including the Town Hall, Clocktower, Surrey Street Market and The Queen’s Gardens – will be put to good use throughout the day.
The Croydon Commitment charity race at 4pm will see teams from local businesses and cycle clubs do battle in what promises to be a thrilling relay for riders of all abilities, with each team member doing three circuits.
The charity cycle race is raising funds for the Mayor of Croydon, Wayne Trakas-Lawlor’s, chosen charities – British Home, Stanley People’s Initiative and Croydon Commitment.
More information on signing up for the charity race can be found at www.croydoncommitment.org.uk/news.
To prove cycling is for everyone, regardless of age, health condition or impairment, the inclusive cycling charity, Wheels for Wellbeing, will be giving people the chance to use a range of two-, three- and four-wheeled cycles from 3-4pm on the day.
Schoolchildren will also be heavily involved, with teams from Croydon primary schools taking part in their own series of races during the afternoon prior to the main event.
Ten young mascots have been recruited from Croydon schools to represent each of the men’s teams. As well as getting an amazing insight into the race they will also get the chance to join their teams on the podium.
Meanwhile, schoolchildren across the borough have been invited to enter a ‘Why I Love Cycling’ banner competition. Watch out for winning entries which will be displayed along the track.
“It will be hugely exciting to see some of the UK’s top cyclists racing around the streets of Croydon and once again showcasing the town as an ideal venue for sports, arts and cultural events.
“At the same time it’s great to have Wheels for Wellbing taking part and using the event as a means of reminding people that cycling is an activity that almost anybody can take part in, regardless of age, ability or disability.”
Councillor Timothy Godfrey, cabinet member for culture, leisure and sport
The event attracts worldwide TV coverage, helping Croydon reinforce its status as a venue for major sporting events and supporting the council’s ambition to highlight the town as a first-choice destination for businesses, shoppers and people looking for a great place to live.
Highlights this year will once again be screened on ITV4 and via ITV Hub.