Colne Grand Prix

Colne is usually a twenty minute drive from Burnley, heading North (I think) on the M65.  As we approach the off ramp to Colne at 3.55pm we already notice that the traffic is backing up on the main road to Colne.

Colne Grand Prix
Colne Grand Prix
Colne Grand Prix
Colne Grand Prix
Colne Grand Prix

Wednesday afternoon, it's hot, very hot and it's Burnley! It is also the summer holidays and Levi, Timmy our dog and I set off for Colne to watch the Colne Grand Prix cycling.  This is considered to be "the fastest, toughest circuit in the UK series, here in the Capital of the Pennine Lancashire”.

Colne is usually a twenty minute drive from Burnley, heading North (I think) on the M65.  As we approach the off ramp to Colne at 3.55pm we already notice that the traffic is backing up on the main road to Colne.  We are early, very early in fact, for a race that starts at 6.30pm.   Factoring in the possibilities of there being traffic delays due to road closures in the town, not knowing where we were actually having to go and where we were going to find suitable parking, we were happy we left early and prepared ourselves to sit it out and edge our way in the endless traffic queue before us. Time waits for no man, this I know, but when you get the wise ass that decides they’ll use the inside lane to speed past you, like their agenda and reason for being is just superior to every other person sitting it out in the queue, and indicates at the critical moment to re-enter the queue to jump ahead twenty cars… man, you wait like the rest of us! Now the patient acceptance of my situation is gone! It’s now 4.15pm. It is very hot and we have moved the distance of four lamp posts out of the nine we have counted to the first traffic lights. We have the sordid satisfaction of not letting a queue jumper in front of us and finally park outside Aldi, at 5.10pm.  

We are glad to be out the car and make our way up the steep roads to Market Street.  Once we find the start of the race we discover the car park. We walk back to the car and drive to the car park and relax.  We are still early!  Not something our family finds easy to do!

. “The race is part of the British Cycling Elite National Circuit Series and takes place on a closed-road 800m circuit around Colne’s one-way system, making for a fast, exciting spectacle. As a round of the National Elite Series, the top riders in the country will be taking part”.

We have a great position right next to the Start. People with dogs stopping to say hello to Timmy.  Cyclists stopping to pat him too. The youth race commences, it is 6.30pm, being young aspiring riders aged between 14 and 17.  The organisation of this event is apparent.  The entire circuit is accessible to spectators of the event.  Allowing you to walk around to different parts of the race and get close up views of all riders. The youth race is impressive and I am hoping this might just be something my son aspires to. The Men’s Elite Final scheduled at 8pm is about to commence.  It’s a great atmosphere, people cheering and slapping the advertising boards as the 60 competitors line up.  The race is underway and the speed of these cyclists is evident.  They are professional and manage the corners on the circuit bunched close together, with what appears to be effortless ease.  The cheering and slapping of advertising boards is heard every time a circuit it completed and as time passes the race settles into two groups with a few trailing further behind.  The front pack compete continuously at impressive speed.  The sure clunk of gear changes and the whooshing sound of the narrow tyres on the tar so close to you is exhilarating!  The race has a climatic finish in the final lap sprint and the race has its winner!

Brilliant cycling and we turned away having felt we had shared a special moment together at this wonderful event.

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