An action-packed year of cycling events starts this weekend as Eastbourne Cycling Festival races into the Western Lawns from June 2-4.
Cycling enthusiasts can take on the former Tour of Britain route and see if they have what it takes to be King of the Mountain in the Beachy Head Sportive, Eastbourne Triathlon or Beachy Head Classic which has attracted the likes of Team Wiggins.
Eastbourne Cycling Festival and Three Sixty Sports have joined forces with Velopace to bring a weekend of cycling events to Eastbourne’s famous seafront.
The three-day event has merged with the 32Gi Eastbourne Triathlon for the first time this year for a weekend of epic challenges across beautiful yet strenuous routes.
The Western Lawns will be transformed into Festival Village as it is decked out with vintage bike displays, a bike stunt show and skills challenges as well as delicious food and drink stalls to keep visitors refreshed in between the fast-paced action.
Eastbourne’s director of tourism and enterprise, Phil Evans, said. “It is great to see Eastbourne Cycling Festival welcoming the highly anticipated Triathlon to its event; the weekend is just as rewarding for those cheering on the cyclists as it is for those who work extremely hard in the challenges.
“With Beachy Head and the South Downs on our doorstep, Eastbourne makes for the perfect destination for the Cycling Festival offering a truly unique course across stunning yet challenging scenery.”
The event begins on Friday June 2 for an evening of races for all ages including an under 5s balance bike race, an under 12s scooter race and uphill challenges and long laps for the adults.
Saturday June 3 kicks off with the 32Gi Eastbourne Triathlon. The iconic challenge consists of a 600m sea swim, 25km cycle, stunning but tough Beachy Head circuit finishing with a 5km run up and down Bede’s Hill. Saturday will see more cycling challenges and circuits for children and adults alike as well as one of the only women’s only criterium races to be held in the south east.
Sunday June 4 takes off with the iconic Beachy Head Sportive, the former ‘King of the Mountain’ route where cyclists can ride in the tracks of Tour of Britain stars. The race features three routes this year with a shorter 23 mile ride in addition to the challenging 45 or 65 mile rides, all of which run through the stunning Sussex countryside.
Later in the day, spectators can watch elite riders in action as they take on the Beachy Head Classic! Audiences can cheer on first-class athletes, including Team Wiggins, as they follow a Harley Davidson lead out for five laps of circuit then race over nine laps of the famous Beachy Head Circuit.
Spectators can expect several competitive races on the closed road circuit on Sunday including the Youth Championships for the next generation of cycling superstars, 3rd and 4th category races which are sponsored by Shaw Harley-Davidson as well as the return of the quirky Penny Farthings race.
Taking place all weekend across the arena and festival village will be cycle speedway demos, family rides around the closed road circuit, toddlebikes and much more.
With iconic scenery on its doorstep, Eastbourne is the prime spot for cycling challenges and continues to attract cycling events all year round, from fast-paced uphill stints to lengthy challenges around Sussex.
For more information, see www.EastbourneCyclingFestival.com or telephone the Tourist Information Centre on 01323 415415.