Olympic gold medalist enters Shrewsbury Grand Prix, organisers revealed today.

Olympic gold medalist and World Champion cyclist Joanna Rowsell MBE will be taking part in the Shrewsbury Grand Prix this month, it was revealed today.

The 25-year-old British team pursuit champion, whose parents live in the area, will take part in the ladies-only race on May 25.

Ms Rowsell, who was part of the women’s team pursuit gold-winning team on the track at London 2012, said: “I am really looking forward to racing in Shrewsbury during what should be a fun, action packed afternoon of events.

“It is always great to race in front of a crowd and the course looks like it should produce some exciting racing.”

Ms Rowsell also commended race organisers for supporting women’s cycling, praising the fact that the same prizes are up for grabs as for the men’s race.

“Women’s cycling has grown massively over the last few years and especially since the Olympics, I have noticed a huge increase in the number of women competing as well as cycling for leisure.

“It is great that race organisers are recognising this and promoting the sport and ensuring equality with the men. I hope this will help continue the trend of more women being encouraged to cycle.” she said.

Organised by the Paramount Cycling Racing Team, the Shrewsbury Grand Prix is expected to attract thousands of spectators lining the streets to watch the tight circuit based cycle races.

“This is a great chance for people to come out and watch an Olympic Gold medallist in action,” said race organiser Ben Lawrence, managing director of Beaumont Lawrence, which is sponsoring the event, along with Shrewsbury’s Stan’s Cycles, Cooper Green Pooks and Pure Telecom.

Mr Lawrence said: “It was a fantastic honour to see Joanna’s name come in as an applicant for our race. We are all, at Paramount, massive fans of Joanna and her achievements so the fact she wanted to take part in our race was a real boost to everyone involved.

“We are run entirely by volunteers so it was very heartening to know we must be doing something right.”

Mr Lawrence said the club wanted to support the growth of women’s racing as much as possible.

He said: “The fact that Joanna is racing in Shrewsbury will inspire many county women. We have a decent field for the women’s race and we are offering the same prizes as for the men’s race.

“We can’t wait to watch Joanna race and we’re sure people from across Shropshire and beyond will feel the same.”

The event has the full backing of British Cycling and will be a nationally ranked race.

It will involve tight circuit based cycle racing, with the top cyclists expected to reach speeds of 40 miles per hour. There is a packed programme of events with a 45-minute ladies only race, an amateur race of around 50 minutes and an hour long pro-race.

The course will run around part of the town centre with The Square being the hub of the event.

The route will take riders from The Square along High Street, Shoplatch, St Johns Hill, Cross Hill, Swan Hill, College Hill, Princess Street, Milk Street and then back on to the High Street.

There is also a host of family-centered events for people to enjoy, set up in conjunction with Cycle Shrewsbury.

Section:

Pete White Pete White

Love Shrewsbury editor and chief developer at The Web Orchard, find out more on petejwhite.com

Read More from Pete White