Cycling stars to line up for Colne Grand Prix

Graham Briggs sprints to victory in Colne Grand Prix in 2014

Graham Briggs sprints to victory in Colne Grand Prix in 2014

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Some of Britain’s biggest cycling names are lined up to start Tuesday’s cottages.com Colne Grand Prix.

The 2014 winner Graham Briggs will be back, cycling for Rapha Condor JLT – the team known as “The Men in Black”.

Russell Downing (1st) (centre), Robert Hayles (2nd) (left) and Dean Downing (3rd) (right) made up the Colne Grand Prix podium in 2009

Russell Downing (1st) (centre), Robert Hayles (2nd) (left) and Dean Downing (3rd) (right) made up the Colne Grand Prix podium in 2009

Russell Downing, who won the race in 2009, will also be competing with the aim of being back on the winners’ podium.

Coun. Sarah Cockburn-Price, Chairman of Colne Town Council, said: “We’re thrilled to be hosting the race and to be picked by British Cycling to host the final of the Men’s UK Elite Series for the first time.

“We’ll be welcoming other world class teams to compete for the podium, including Raleigh GAC in their 80s retro red and yellow strip.

“Raleigh GAC and Rapha Condor JLT have dominated the podium in Colne for the past five years.”

Colne’s town centre circuit is the fastest in the elite series, reaching speeds of around 40mph, with exciting, swooping curves which the cyclists take at high speed.

Raleigh GAC is bringing an eight man international team to the Colne Grand Prix, including Morgan Kneisky from France, and former world champions, Albert Torres and Sebastian Moro from Spain.

Raleigh GAC manager, Cherie Pridham, said: “We won last year with Andrew Hawdon and hope to repeat our success!

“It’s a fast attacking race in Colne and there’s always an exciting finish.”

At 6-15pm, there will be a parade lap with Cycle Sport Pendle young riders and then a youth race sponsored by Colne Town Council.

At 7pm, Fort Vale’s Sprint for Success Race for talented up-and-coming riders will take place and then at 8pm, the main event, Colne Grand Prix sponsored by cottages.com, with presentations afterwards at 9pm.