Preview: 2013 Premier Calendar - Stockton Grand Prix

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Event: 7 July 2013
Location: Durham University, Stockton On Tees, Cleveland

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Sunday’s Stockton Velo29-Altura Grand Prix takes the Premier Calendar Series over the halfway mark with Team Raleigh occupying the top two positions after three races.

Dean Downing (Madison Genesis) took the sprint win at last weekend’s Beaumont Trophy in Northumberland but fourth for Tom Stewart was enough to displace teammate and Tour of the Reservoir victor Evan Oliphant from top spot.

But of the two, only Oliphant is listed to start and the five-time Scottish national road champion can regain the lead having picked up points in all three rounds so far.

Third place Chris Opie (Team UK Youth) makes a return to Premier Calendar competition after absences from the University of Lincoln Grand Prix and Beaumont Trophy having ridden to stage one success at the Tour of the Reservoir.

Peter Hawkins (IG Sigma Sport) and Marcin Bialoblocki (Team UK Youth) round off the top five in the standings and are separated by only 74 points with 100 available for the weekend’s victor. 

Downing is not set to race though Madison include 2011 Premier Calendar winner Ian Bibby, Alex Peters and Andy Tennant in search of successive victories for the team. 

Last year’s winner Graham Briggs is looking for his first points of the competition while track sprinter turned endurance rider Ross Edgar makes his Premier Calendar debut for IG Sigma Sport.

Sam Harrison, Simon Yates, Sam Lowe and Ali Slater were named in Great Britain’s Under 23 European Road Championships team and will race for 100% ME as they continue preparations for the event from 18-21 July.

The 111-mile course in the north east comprises of two circuits. The main eight-mile circuit is circumnavigated 10 times passing Whitton and Carlton before entering the Riverside circuit for six laps to the finish.  

Racing begins at 12 noon with riders expected back in Stockton between 3-3.30pm.

Beyond racing...

Stockton Borough Council in partnership with British Cycling, the Stockton Cycling Festival will be offering an amazing weekend of cycling that features elite racing, a challenging sportive and a Sky Ride. Whether you want to soak up the atmosphere watching the Elite Town Centre Criterium Race on the Friday evening, join the Sportive on the Saturday or return back to Stockton on Sunday to enjoy a jam packed festival featuring an elite Premier Calendar Road Race, Sky Ride, entertainment and displays, the Stockton Cycling Festival has something for you from Friday 5 to Sunday 7 July.

Sky Ride Stockton-on-Tees will be a great opportunity to ride with family and friends on a traffic free route the very special atmosphere created by the unique combination of elite racing and recreational cycling. There will be loads of free things for the whole family to do on the day from Rollapalooza and unicycling to taking a rickshaw ride along the route, so get your bikes ready!

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