Severn Bridge Road Race returns to Thornbury area villages
NATIONAL level cycle racing returns to the Thornbury area when the 48th Severn Bridge Road Race is staged next month.
The race is set to take place on March 1, on an 11km (around 6 3/4 mile) circuit.
Starting from the race HQ at Marlwood School, the race passes through Alveston, Elberton, Olveston, Tockington and Old Down on each of its 11 laps.
The circuit includes Vattingstone Lane, Redhill Lane, Aust Road, Upper Tockington Road, Old Down Hill and Alveston Road, and on the final lap the finish line will be at Old Down.
People are being invited to come along and see the race, with the climb up Old Down Hill and the finishing line at The Crescent, Old Down the spots recommended for the best view by organisers Bristol Road Club.
The race, which has 80 elite competitors, is likely to take about three hours and, while the roads on the circuit will remain open to traffic while it is going on, motorists are being advised that junctions will be shut down by police-authorised race marshals with stop signs for a few minutes each lap, as the riders pass through.
The race convoy will include several lead vehicles and officials’ vehicles with signs and yellow flashing lights, supported by motorcycle outriders warning traffic of the approaching race.
Organisers say competitors have to obey the rules of the road during the race and can be removed by race commissaires if they don't. The race is regulated by British Cycling and authorised by Avon and Somerset police.
The Severn Bridge Road Race dates back to the 1960s and was held on this year's circuit, above, for 20 years up until 2013. Since then it has been held on a circuit starting and finishing in Henbury and including Hallen and Chittening.
Organiser Brian O'Kelly said: "Thousands of road races take place on public roads each year, although only a small proportion can boast the quality of field that is achieved for this National level race, which includes many professional and international riders.
"This prestigious event is an opportunity for local villages to watch and be involved with. The organisers, Bristol Road Club, would like to extend an invitation to residents to help on the day as stewards and we also hope to get the local Scouts group involved."
The race starts at 11am, with warning signs in place from 8am and marshals at junctions from 10.30am.
It is expected to finish at around 1.45pm, with presentations to winners at Marlwood at 3pm.
Anyone who wants to watch the race at Old Down Hill is advised to park at the Queen Alexander Memorial Pavilion at the top of the hill.
Picture of 2019 race courtesy of Brian O'Kelly, Bristol Road Club.