Cycling fever returns to Sheffield

Sheffield Grand Prix cycling 2013.
Sheffield Grand Prix cycling 2013.
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City centre cycle racing returns to Sheffield tomorrow evening with warm weather and lingering excitement stirred by the Tour de France expected to produce bumper crowds.

The third Claremont Sheffield Grand Prix is the penultimate round of the British Cycling Elite Circuit Race Series and will see all the top domestic professional teams in competition.

The action starts at 7pm on Pinstone Street with riders on a circuit taking in Furnival Gate, Arundel Gate, Norfolk Street and Surrey Street.

Racing will take in the cobbled section of Norfolk Street, which is likely to prove particularly challenging.

The free event is expected to run until around 9.30pm, when final presentations to the riders will be made close to the Town Hall.

Top rider Russell Downing said last year’s event was one of the best he had taken part in for years.

“The atmosphere was fantastic and everyone enjoyed watching us ripping it up around the streets of Sheffield,” he added.

Road closures will start to come into operation from 5.15pm, although part of Arundel Gate will be restricted to one lane from 11am until 2pm.

Pinstone Street, Furnival Gate, Arundel Gate, Norfolk Street, Surrey Street and Leopold Street will be shut from 5.45pm until 10.30pm, while dozens of bus services will be diverted.

One of the sponsors Langsett Cycles is dedicating the race to keen cyclist John Parkin, who was killed in May last year after being hit a teenage driver.

The business is raffling off a bike at the event in John’s memory, in aid of the Derbyshire Air Ambulance which took him to hospital after the collision.