Successful return of Warwick Town Races after nine year absence

The Warwick Town Cycling Races and community ride. Photos by Craig Heritage and Mark Tiff.
The Warwick Town Cycling Races and community ride. Photos by Craig Heritage and Mark Tiff.

Warwick Town Races returned last weekend turning Market Place and the town centre streets into a festival of cycling.

The races have been absent from the town for nine years and thanks to the efforts of Warwick Lanterne Rouge Cycling Club, Warwick Town Council and businesses they returned.

The Warwick Town Cycling Races and community ride. Photos by Craig Heritage and Mark Tiff.

The Warwick Town Cycling Races and community ride. Photos by Craig Heritage and Mark Tiff.

The Mayor of Warwick, Cllr Neale Murphy, started proceedings with the Warwick Racecourse community ride. There were 50 riders, mostly made up of families and children.

Cllr Murphy said: “It was so good after nine years to welcome British cycling back to Warwick and to see people from the youngest to the oldest all taking part and having fun. It was a wonderful day that I really enjoyed.”

Throughout the day BBC Coventry and Warwickshire presenter Phil Upton was the commentator. The event nine years ago was a real family affair for Phil as he himself raced and his son James, who won the under-10s event.

After the community ride it was onto the racing. There were seven competitive races in total including ones for children, teenagers and adults.

The Warwick Town Cycling Races and community ride. Photos by Craig Heritage and Mark Tiff.

The Warwick Town Cycling Races and community ride. Photos by Craig Heritage and Mark Tiff.

The last two races of the day were for the elite racers. Russell Downing, formerly of team Sky and previous British road race champion who won the event back in 2004 returned to the town for the races.

He said: “Great memories of riding Warwick in 2004, it was nice to get a really nice race in the bank at the end of the year.

“When I arrived before the race the place was buzzing, which was great and it’s what bike racing is about. I think I might come back next year.

“The circuit was great, wasn’t dangerous at all and it was technical, just how a Crit race should be.”

The Warwick Town Cycling Races and community ride. Photos by Craig Heritage and Mark Tiff.

The Warwick Town Cycling Races and community ride. Photos by Craig Heritage and Mark Tiff.

Warwick Lanterne Rouge Cycling Club (WLRCC) also had nine racers taking part on the day. The highest placing was Fiona Jolly taking first in her category in the Truly Independent women’s race.

Richard Poynter, chairman and founder of WLRCC, said: “We are delighted to bring town centre racing back to Warwick for the first time in 10 years, thanks to support from the town council, local business sponsors and club volunteers.

“The day worked out exactly as we hoped proving there is huge interest for cycling in Warwick.

“It was great to see so many family’s taking part in our community ride along with thirty children competing in our u6 races.

The Warwick Town Cycling Races and community ride. Photos by Craig Heritage and Mark Tiff.

The Warwick Town Cycling Races and community ride. Photos by Craig Heritage and Mark Tiff.

“We look forward to welcoming new members at our club and we will be back bigger and better in 2020.

There were seven races at the return of the town cycle races. The following races took place: Under-12s, Under-14s, Under- 16s, Mens Cat 4, Mes Cat 3/4, Womens Elite and Mens Elite.

The event and races were sponsored by a number of business including: Warwick Castle, Warwick Jockey Club, Dough and Brew, Unleashed Cycles, Thirteen Bakery, MJ Tiff Plumbing, Giant Leamington, Truly Independent, Peddlamaniacs, Warwick Printing and Charles Ward.

For the full race results go to: www.wlrcyclingclub.co.uk