Pedal power will grip town centre

PART of Ipswich will come to a standstill tomorrow as cyclists from all over the country descend on the town for one of the biggest events in the British cyclo-cross calendar.

By Nick Richards

PART of Ipswich will come to a standstill tomorrow as cyclists from all over the country descend on the town for one of the biggest events in the British cyclo-cross calendar.

It's round three of the National Trophy this weekend and in it cyclists will take to the streets around Suffolk College and race around Alexandra Park in order to scoop first place in this

important stage.


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This is the third of five stages – previous events have taken place in Matlock and Cheltenham, with two more in Leicestershire and Kent.

Cyclo-cross is an exciting event in which competitors cycle at the speed of elite road racers while cornering and bunny hopping like in BMX.

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Mud, steep banks, and low hurdles force the riders to become runners, at which stage they sling the bikes over their shoulders.

Firm ground and tarmac sections let the riders reach speeds over 50kph. Riders lap the courses many times in the hour-long races, so spectators have many chances to see the race as it develops.

This event normally takes place at Foxhall Stadium but this year it is hoped that more people will be able to get

closer to the action with the racing taking place in the heart of Ipswich.

Ipswich Bicycle Club are running the event in association with Ipswich Borough Council, Suffolk County Council, and Suffolk College.

Support from the local authorities and many other sponsors has enabled the event to be upgraded to a UCI category 2 international. This means enhanced world ranking points for the leading senior/elite riders and an increased prize fund.

Top prize in the senior/elite section is £520 for the first rider, with £260 for second and £190 for third.

Gates open at 9am this Sunday and the first race is a youth race at 10.30am, The women's race starts at 1.16pm, with the elite race starting at 2.15pm.

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