Cyclists put pedal power to the test

AVID cyclists are being encouraged to test their pedal power on a series of road races and time trials at Eastbourne’s brand new Cycling Festival taking place on May 21 and 22.

Eastbourne Cycling Festival will stage The Eastbourne Criterium and Eastbourne Grand Prix Road Race on May 22 offering third and fourth category riders the chance to test their speed.

The Criterium, aimed at fourth category riders, will take place over the closed road circuit centred on King Edward’s Parade and South Cliff, starting and finishing in front of The Grand Hotel offering great viewing points for spectators.

The Grand Prix will offer an even bigger challenge to third category riders of all ages featuring 10 fast laps of the closed road circuit before the riders depart over the downs, including a climb up Dukes Drive, fast descent into East Dean and twisty climb back up to the summit of Beachy Head. Eastbourne Rovers Cycling Club will be holding a Come and Try It Time Trial event for all riders on May 22 with a target time to try and beat on the closed road circuit, while the Wattbike Challenge will offer a team contest across the weekend.

Located in the Festival Village on the Western Lawns, teams of three will ride a 250m sprint on the static Wattbike in an attempt to beat the times set by Sir Chris Hoy and local professional cyclist Tom Copeland.

A special Rollapaluza evening will take place at the Afton Hotel on May 21 offering a contemporary take on an old sport as two cyclists battle it out on a pair of custom made Rollapaluza rollers connected to a huge dial over a simulated 500m distance at speeds of more than 50mph.

East Sussex County Council will be available on both days of the event from their Cycling Information Unit in the Festival Village to offer handy information on new Eastbourne cycle routes, including the National Cycle Route 21, with visitors able to collect maps and find out about the benefits of cycling.