A Wirral cycling star has welcomed the return of top-class professional cycling to Birkenhead Park this month.
Steve Cummings, a former Olympic and Commonwealth Games medallist, grew up taking part in races in the park.
Steve said: “I remember there being many races in Birkenhead Park when I was growing up. There was always a good presence of riders and spectators who enjoyed the racing and the social aspect.
“Birkenhead Park was part of my racing education and I’m very grateful to all of the people who have supported the races over the years.
“It is important for our local cycling community. Birkenhead Park has a fantastic cycling history. I wish all the riders taking part in the Leverhulme Grand Prix the best of luck and hope that they have a great day.”
Steve won gold in the team pursuit at the 2006 Commonwealth Games, following silver two years earlier at the Olympic Games in Athens.
Other major honours include the Tour of Britain in 2016 and stage wins in the Tour de France and Vuelta (Tour of Spain).
The 37-year-old developed his cycling ability while a member of Birkenhead North End Cycling Club, one of the organisers of the Leverhulme Grand Prix.
Almost 100 cyclists have now signed up for the event on Sunday, July 22. In addition to the elite men, there will be a number of other races including The Bike Factory Criterium, the FUEL10K Women’s Open, the Bikeline Youth Series and British Cycling national series paracycling.
Food and drink on the day will be provided by Willow Catering with other stands including British Cycling, Cycling UK, Birkenhead North End Cycling Club, Merseyside Police, Visit Wirral and The Hive.
The event is the brainchild of Pedalare, a Wirral organisation that promotes cycling as a healthy leisure pursuit. Leverhulme Estates agreed to come on board as Principal Sponsor.
Race headquarters will be Birkenhead Park Rugby Club and the races will start and finish in the Upper Park from 9.30-4.30.There is a total prize fund of over £2,500.
Andy Mills, a Director of Pedalare, said: “It is great to have the endorsement of one of the region’s best current cyclists. He has a particularly close bond with the park having ridden as a junior for Birkenhead North End Cycling Club.
“We continue to receive terrific support for the July 22 event, but there is still time for more cyclists and stall-holders to get involved.”
For more details, visit www.pedalare.co.uk