Tour of Cambridgeshire Closed Road Cycling Festival – Peterborough 2nd, 3rd and 4th June 2017
20km Time Trial – UCI Gran Fondo World Series
20km Team Time Trial
112.6km Gran Fondo – UCI Gran Fondo World Series
75.5km Medio Fondo
75.5km Tour Classic
Folding Bike Racing
Fixie Bike Racing
Electric Bike Trial
Gravel Bike Relay
Summer Cyclo X
Peterborough – Friday 3rd March 2017 – The Tour of Cambridgeshire (ToC) has its third outing on 2nd, 3rd and 4th June 2017 in an expanded format. This year, in addition to the UCI Gram Fondo Word Series qualifiers for the Chrono and Gran Fondo ToC is staging a Team Chrono for teams of 4 riders on the roads closed for the individual Chrono. Over 80 teams have already entered and a few places remain. ToC will witness its first Tour Classic, a closed road race (or ride) for pre-1987 style road bikes. Additionally, the organiser, Golazo Cycling Limited, are staging a scheduled packed with closed circuit events utilising the resources on the East of England Showground.
Tom Caldwell, the CEO of Golazo Cycling views the Tour of Cambridgeshire as a cycling festival and that the expanded cycling schedule makes the festival more inclusive which in turn will create more atmosphere and give everyone involved an ehanced experience. Our purpose is all about inspiring people to ride their bikes in whatever form that takes from children and beginners to elite athletes and special interest communities such as the classic road bike guys.
UCI Gran Fondo World Series
The UGFWS is a worldwide series of mass participation cycling events from which riders can qualify for the UCI Gran Fondo World Championships. In the Chrono and the Gran Fondo the top 25% of all starters by age / gender classification will receive an invitation to compete in the Time Trial at the 2017 UCI Gran Fondo World Championships which are being held in Albi, France, in August this year. The UCI favours the Gran Fondo format of event as it pays to its mass participation agenda for amateurs and masters. Genuine UCI rainbow jerseys are up for grabs in Albi.
‘A Gran Fondo is different to a sportive’, says Tom Caldwell, ‘this is an important message for the market to understand. It has taken us a few years for the Tour of Cambridgeshire to be appreciated as being a different beast. The Gran Fondo format is like a big city marathon with faster elite riders towards the front, these guys are in a full-on race, and then club, sportive and charity riders towards the back. A Gran Fondo is wholly inclusive.’
The start structure of the Gran Fondo comprise two gates, a Race Gate and a Sport Gate. The Race Gate is sub-divided into age / gender pens based upon the UCI Masters Age Classification. The Sport Gate is sub-dived into estimated speed classifications. These are self-selected by the entrants and range from 21mph + to 12mph.
In the UK, a Gran Fondo really has to be held in a closed roads environment and the Gran Fondo title is a hallmark of production quality. ‘We leave no stone unturned to give the riders their best experience on a bike’ observes Caldwell.
The Medio Fondo is a shorter event aimed at riders whose appetite is conditioned by their aspiration to enjoy the opportunity to be involved in a major event on closed roads. Malcolm Smith, the Managing Director of Golazo Cycling suggests that the Medio Fondo is proving particularly appealing to riders who have charitable causes in mind. The Tour of Cambridgeshire does not have a specific charity partner but a general proposition to charities to enable them to drive high value fundraising at low risk. ‘We think differently than other events in this regard’ says Caldwell.
A race (or ride) for enthusiasts of pre-1987 bikes. The Tour Classic is run over the Medio Fondo route and is expected have approx. 500 participants. The Tour Classic will have a podium for both male and female classification.
World Record in the Chrono
The ToC Chrono is the largest individual time trial in the world with 850 entrants for the 2017 edition. The ToC Chrono is held on fully closed roads and is a highly-produced affair with an indoor start off a ramp, countdown clocks, DJs, lights and pumping music. A substantial warm up zone is set out for the riders to utilise for warm up or staying warm whilst waiting to start. Over 60 turbos are set out and serviced by the retail partner Rutland Cycling to make the ToC Chrono a real spectacular and worthy of its status.
A Team Chrono is the new boy on the block on the closed roads for 2017. Over 80 teams of 4 riders have already entered this event which will be run after the individual Chrono. There are team classifications for Men, Women, Mixed and Corporate Teams. In its inaugural year the Race Director, Rowland Summerlin, has insisted on it being non-aero while we take a look at how it goes. Summerlin hopes that going forward we can run an aero classification within the event. The Team Chrono is not a UGFWS event.
Circuit Racing at ToC
A circuit has been specifically designed on site at the East of England Showground to accommodate a range of closed circuit cycling events. The circuit will be varied slightly depending upon the discipline. The circuit has some mixed surfaces and includes use of the speedway track. We may have to take a view on the inclusion of the speedway track observes Summerlin depending upon the weather.
The circuit racing will kick off on the Friday evening with a race for Folding Bikes which will require the riders to stop on each lap and collapse and re-build their bikes. This will be followed by a Fixie race. This will not be offering the same perfect smooth surfaces that the Nocturn does but will provide a fun tare-up around a highly-produced circuit with music, DJs and the smells of the fair. An electric bike trial will be held at the end of the evening. This is an opportunity for people who have electric bikes to see how fast they can ride a circuit on their electric bikes.
On the Saturday morning, a Family Fondo is being held on the circuit with distance of 4, 6 and 12 miles available. All children finishing will receive a ToC medal. The organisers have planned for families of 4 but, as Caldwell states ‘the festival is inclusive so will be accommodating when it comes to family size within reason.’
The Saturday afternoon sees a relay on the circuit. It is branded as a Gravel Bike Enduro Relay. It will go on for a few hours and is aimed at companies, clubs, societies, charities and cycling groups. The idea of gravel bikes is not because the circuit is particularly gravelly (although a deviation through some gravel to justify the title is planned) but to make this event open to anyone with a bike suitable for some off road use. This might appeal to the Cyclo X community or the MTB community or anyone with a suitably robust bike.
The Sunday is offering a programme of Cyclo X races of a more traditional nature. The organisers will be establishing a few obstacles to force riders to dismount.
Highly Produced Podium
The Tour of Cambridgeshire offers the first 3 in each age / gender classification the opportunity to be presented with medals and jerseys on a highly-produced podium with a fanfare and procession.
UCI Gran Fondo World Championships
In 2017 the UCI Gran Fondo World Championships will be held in Albi in France in late August. The opportunity to ride in the ‘worlds’ is highly attractive to the British market. In 2014 there were only a handful of British riders comprising in Ljubljana including Tom Caldwell and Malcolm Smith who couldn’t understand why there were so few Brits riding and why there was no qualification event in the UK. This ultimately led to the Tour of Cambridgeshire and over 700 travelling to the worlds in Denmark. In 2016 there were nearly 300 British rides competing in Perth, Australia. The Chrono and Race Gate in the Gran Fondo at the Tour of Cambridgeshire both sold out in a matter of days. It is expected that with the Tour of Ayrshire and the Tor of Cambridgeshire generating qualifying riders then there could be as many as 1500 riders representing Britain in France.
For more details on the Tour of Cambridgeshire please visit www.tourofcambridgeshire.com