Location: Riverside Middle School, Mildenhall
Event: 27-29 August 2011
Mildenhall Cycling Club will be celebrating their 25th Mildenhall Cycling Rally over the August bank holiday weekend with what looks like being a record attendance.
The rally continues to attract the countries very best riders for a three-day programme of racing. There is already a record-breaking entry, of over 125 riders with more expected to enter on the day, who be competing for a prize list of over £2,000. As well as the British Cycling National 8km Championship, there will be another commemorative event, the Mildenhall 25 Lap GP, for the top 25 riders with a first prize of £250!
Organiser of the track racing, Max Pendleton said: "We've already got entries from all the current reigning grass-track champions Dave Heald from VC St Raphael (400m & 800m). Evan Oliphant of Endura Racing (8km), Joanna Smith from Border City Wheelers (Ladies 800m) as well ex-champions."
Other riders to look out for include Andrew Leverton (CC Ashwell) who has already won the National Short Distance League, even before the final round at the rally on Monday. Other competitive events include Children's Go-Ride Skill Tests (Saturday) Children's Duathlon (Sunday) and Madison & Cyclo-Cross events (Monday).
"The campsite at the rally venue, based in the grounds of Riverside Middle School in Mildenhall, is completely full with all of the 385 pitches occupied by a multitude of motor-homes, campervans, caravans and tents, some of which are those true to their roots and will be cycling to the rally," explained one of the organisers, Mark Burchett.
The festival of cycling quickly became very popular in the late 1980's with cyclists from across the UK, having grown from its previous incarnation, the ‘Dairytime Gala' an event aimed at local people. Now it is an integral part of the national cycling calendar.
"It is very much a family orientated event with as much to do off the saddle as on it. We have stayed very true to our original aims of providing a weekend with the whole family in mind in a relaxed atmosphere," added Mark Burchett
Seasoned continental professional Dean Downing, who began attending the ‘gala' and then rally as a toddler with his family when father Kenny Downing was a renowned grass-track rider, will be there again but now does so with his family taking a break from his ‘day' job. Dean who rides for Rapha Condor Sharp and his brother Russell (Team Sky) were no pushovers on the grass either as they were growing up!