“Fast, exciting and flowing but with a technical edge”, that is the way the Circuit has been described by British Cycling.
Utilising the long flat sea front promenade as the iconic start and finish line with twists and turns through the town centre, local Rider and circuit designer Joe White from Acre Racing Team has come up with a real cracker that will not only test the Riders’ skills and levels of fitness to the limits but also makes great viewing for the spectators.
From the standing start at the ancient monument of Ross Castle on Central Promenade, the Riders accelerate for a 350m sprint to gain track position for the important left turn up onto Sea Street.
The road rises gradually, taking more effort up to the ‘roundabout’ where the Riders need to maintain momentum on the exit as it kicks up again using more precious energy before the sweeping left turn onto High Street.
High Street offers the Racers either a chance to recover for about 150m or the opportunity to put in a break over this flat part of the circuit before they turn sharp left into the narrow Cross Street where the slight descent will see their speed increase to about 30 mph where they are then plunged into the natural amphitheatre and smooth fast racing line onto the old Market Place which will be packed with spectators outside the many Pubs, Bars and Cafes.
After negotiating their way through the slight kink back onto Market Street, the Riders again accelerate down back towards the Roundabout with the very fast right sweep needing maximum concentration and discipline of line to maintain the highest momentum to help them along the long fast Alexandra Road.
Alexandra Road could be where the Race is won or lost, not only will you see the strong Riders pushing for a break as it rises up to punish their adversaries’ tired legs and bursting lungs, but just before the top of the accent the Riders need to make a choice – left or right.
This is unique to Cleethorpes and offers a technical conundrum that they need to re-visit on each flying high speed lap.
Keeping left is the most direct route but the riders need to be aware of the tight line past the roundabout, whereas going right means a slightly longer route but a better speed and perfect positioning on the exit for the next intricacy that the circuit will throw at them.
The fast down hill run on Long Cliff Road to the hairpin will not offer any respite as road position and this opportunity to out brake the other Riders is crucial in getting onto the finish straight ahead of the competition. They will also need to use all their skills so as not to end up out of the Race on the tight, off camber 180 degree bend.
From here on its just straight and flat to the start and finish, but as there is still over 200m to go, the last lap may see the Riders weigh each other up and jostle for position in preparation for the final 100 metres of sinew straining and oxygen starving sprint which will see them putting everything ‘on the road’, with the ‘Elites’ reaching over 45 mph to take the spoils and become the worthy winner of the inaugural, prestigious Cleethorpes Super Prix !