On Sunday 16th June, after less than 2 months of planning and organisation, the Andy Cook Cycling team pulled off an extraordinary feat with help from a huge team of volunteers and cycling enthusiasts from Bristol and the South West. The cancelled Bristol Grand Prix was resurrected thanks to the tenacity of Bristol City Council and British Cycling, and the hard work of Andy Cook Cycling and so many helpers.
The very wet Father’s Day was kicked off with two Youth supporting races: Boys and Girls Under 14’s and Under 16’s. The talented youngsters took to the city-centre circuit which was later to be used for Round 1 of the Women’s Crit Series to test themselves on a wet and challenging course. Two great races ended with victory for Millie Couzes (Under 16), Niamh Murphy (Under 14) and James Ashcroft (Under 16) and Thomas Taylor (Under 14).
Next up, some of the top male riders and teams in the country joined us for Round 4 of the HSBC UK National Men’s Road Race. Competing for the win were the likes of Team Wiggins, Madison Genesis and Canyon dhb pb Bloor Homes, and 140 riders took to the tough 95-mile Circuit of the Mendips course, with its steep climbs, technical descents and finish line in the heart of historical Bristol City Centre.
Rory Townsend (Canyon dhb pb Bloor Homes) was victorious on the day, outpacing Scott Thwaites (Vitus Pro Cycling p/b Brother UK) and Ian Bibby (Madison Genesis) into second and third respectively.
At 3pm, as the rain came down in earnest, it was time for the Round 1 of the first ever stand-alone HSBC UK Women’s National Circuit Series. There was some serious talent in the field – from teams such as Team Jadan Weldtite-Vive le Velo, Bianchi Dama, Liv Awol and Storey Racing. The mile long course was lined with spectators cheering the women on for an hour of racing. The field split early on, with a break of six riders forming as conditions brightened. It was a sprint finish in the end, between Sophie Lankford (Team Jadan Weldtite – Vive le Velo), Elizabeth Bennett and Jo Tindley (both Campinense -Velo Performance) with Lankford managing to get across the line first.
The winners of both the men’s and women’s races were thrilled to receive a stunning Bremont watch each from the race sponsors, as well as the traditional bubbly and flowers! Thanks to Bremont for the support.
Although the weather wasn’t as great as it could’ve been, everyone who took part in the day agreed that the whole event – four National-standard races, as well as a mass participation cycle for families around the closed roads of the city centre – was a great success.
You can read more about the Men’s and Women’s races online here. The amazing photographs below of the racing are courtesy of Terry Hogan and John Pierce PhotoSport International.