The 2017 HSBC UK | Spring Cup Series heads to Lancashire on Saturday 15 April for the third round of this year’s competition the Chorley Grand Prix.
The third running of the race is the penultimate round of this year’s Spring Cup Series - and could prove to be a thrilling and crucial race in the bid for the 2017 title.
About the series
The Spring Cup Series is a four-round British road race series which runs throughout April and May and sees riders compete across a variety of courses.
The series opened on Sunday 2 April as Team Wiggins’ Chris Latham picked up the win at the East Cleveland Klondike Grand Prix before JLT Condor’s Brenton Jones came out on top at the Tour of the Wolds.
The series concludes with two popular events on the road calendar, starting with this weekend’s Chorley Grand Prix before the Lincoln Grand Prix on 14 May.
As well as individual honours for riders, teams also aim to come out on top in the team standings.
Riders will take to the Lancashire roads for five laps of a course that features a brutal climb and technical descents.
Over 187km, the peloton will set off from Chorley at 11am, heading towards the fearsome Rivington Pike, before descending into Belmont and passing the Belmont Reservoir.
The route then heads north towards Abbey Villages, passing through Wheelton and Euxton before finishing in Chorley town centre.
What happened last year
Edmund Bradbury became the second-ever winner of the Chorley Grand Prix in 2016 - picking up the win for his then team NFTO in treacherous conditions.
The time trial specialist timed his attack to perfection, jumping away from his rivals on the crest of the final climb of Rivington Pike, beating not only the rest of the field by more than 40 seconds, but also overcoming strong winds and driving rain.
Ones to watch
Aside from Edmund Bradbury - who misses this weekend through injury - only one other man has won the Chorley Grand Prix.
Local rider Ian Bibby will be in JLT Condor colours - the team in fine form after leading Brenton Jones to victory in Louth at the Tour of the Wolds.
The overall series leader perhaps poses one of the biggest threats. Raleigh GAC’s Enrique Sanz followed up a second place finish in East Cleveland with 10th in Louth - a result that puts him 10 points clear of his nearest rival in the standings at the halfway stage.
George Harper is one of three ONE Pro Cycling riders in the overall top 10 and looks well placed to improve on his position in Lancashire - as does Liam Holohan of Metaltek Kuota Racing Team who was eighth at the Tour of the Wolds.
Keep an eye out for Brother NRG Driverplan’s Dan Bigham - the three-time British track champion was 11th in Louth and will be a strong contender if there is an opportunity for a late break.
In the team standings, ONE Pro Cycling currently top the pile with 99 points, ten clear of JLT Condor on 89, with BIKE Channel Canyon three points further back on 86.
How to follow
- Follow the action from the Spring Cup Series on our live blog from 10.45am on Sunday for race updates, images and social media.
- Follow @BritishCycling on Twitter for updates from both events throughout the racing.
- Video highlights, reports, results, images and reaction will appear on the British Cycling website.