Showground to host festival

The focalpoint for L’Eroica Britannica is Bakewell Showground where a festival will be held throughout the weekend and where 2,500 visitors will be camping.

Most riders will be in their finery for the official launch tomorrow (Friday) at 5pm by the Duke of Devonshire.

The Sheffield organisers will be joined on stage by the event’s founder, Claudio Marinangeli, Transport Minister Patrick McLoughlin and Sheffield-born former cycling champion Malcolm Elliott, who will tackle the 100-mile ‘Man of Steel’ trail on one of his original team bikes on Sunday.

Saturday at 2pm sees a ‘Best in Show’ with parades of best dressed riders, best bikes and even the best beard/moustache. Music will be provided by the Gregory S Davies Band, the Payroll Union and the Daydream Club.

Sunday is Ride Day, with cyclists setting off from Water Lane in Bakewell from 6am, taking routes that often go off road, such as across the Chatsworth estate.

There will be plenty of spectacle. Riders - ages up to 82 - will emerge from Millers Dale tunnel on the Monsal Trail to a choir.

Villages along the way are getting ‘dressed up’ for the occasion.

A Spitfire flypast at 3pm marks the start of the ‘welcome home party’ at the showground, with the festival running until 10pm.