Mildenhall Cycling Festival This Weekend

Suffolk and the surrounding areas are gearing up for the visit of thousands of cyclists over the Bank-Holiday weekend (Saturday 25th – Monday 27th August) when the Mildenhall Cycling Festival takes place.

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Mildenhall Cycling Festival This Weekend

Suffolk and the surrounding areas are gearing up for the visit of thousands of cyclists over the Bank-Holiday weekend (Saturday 25th – Monday 27th August) when the Mildenhall Cycling Festival takes place.

The Festival is now well established in West Row at the purpose-built Village Hall & licensed bar and an adjacent camping field with views looking out over the Fens! It is just over two miles from its former site in Mildenhall which can be reached very safely using the tarmacked Wamil Way bridleway.

For one of the last major grass-track meetings of the year, the Festival is expecting riders from across the UK, as it includes the penultimate round of the National Endurance League with the 8km Mini-Milk Race. With the event’s history and pedigree, it has once again attracted all but one of the current top riders on the grass. While Andrew Leveton (SES Racing) may be missing, Elite riders Martin Smith (Chesterfield Couriers), Ben Elliott (VC St Raphael), David Mitchinson (Contour Cycles Racing Team) and Laurence Lisher (Green Arrow CRT) who between them boast numerous National Grass-Track tittles are expected to be contesting the top places.
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The grass-track forms the centrepiece of the Festival, with racing taking place from 2pm on Saturday and Sunday. The Saturday will be dedicated to the under16’s, while Sunday’s programme will be for the Ladies, Juniors and Senior riders.

This Festival will be blazing a trail with their new On & Off-Road Time-Trial. It is the first event of its kind and has been sanctioned by time-trialling’s governing body in the UK, Cycling Time-Trials (CTT), as a Taster Event.

It will offer competitors the chance to pit their wits against the clock over a mixed 23km course of byways, tarmac and Fenland Droves. This is a unique type of course that only the Fens can offer! The organisers of the Festival, Mildenhall Cycling Club will be working with CTT to develop the idea.

The staging of the On & Off-Road Time-Trial is part of the Club’s efforts to offer something different so that the three-day celebration of cycling will appeal to a wider audience. Having previously been known as the Mildenhall Cycling Rally based in the Suffolk market town, the Club’s Chairman, Mark Burchett explained “The Rally was always known throughout the UK’s cycling community as one of the best all-round cycling weekends that appealed to cyclists of all ages and especially families. But is not just for cyclists and offers fun for all the family!

The move to this picturesque venue that surrounds the West Row Village Hall complex the Festival was very well received by families staying at last year’s event and we hope will appeal to the next generation of cyclists too. “explained.

Elsewhere on the competitive front there will be the Children’s Duathlon on the Sunday and Mildenhall’s traditional ‘Mad Madison’ Cyclo-Cross on the final day of the Festival. Both will take advantage of the rural setting and will provide an interesting and testing course on the bike.

Some of the favourites retained include the Cycle Jumble, which will take place Saturday evening in the Trade Marquee and the Quiz Night, supported by Sainsbury’s in Mildenhall on the Sunday evening in the Village Hall, with its licensed bar that will be open every evening of the Festival.

Providing a backdrop to the grass-track arena will be the two-day Trade Show on the Sunday & Monday. This offers a unique opportunity for the cyclists attending the event who already know the advantages, as well as local people, to see a variety of companies selling a range of cycles, clothing and accessories often at bargain prices, all on their doorstep!

Throughout the weekend, there will be events and attractions for the children. Everyday at 1pm there will be the Children’s Sports for one hour and on the Sunday & Monday at 12 noon there will be Balanceability Bike Sessions for 4-7 year olds, provided by Abbeycroft Leisure. (They will be using balance bikes which are lightweight, pedal-less child’s bike, enabling young children to cycle without ever needing stabilisers)

Especially for local children is the West Row Youth 1-Lap Race on Monday, which they can use their own bikes on the grass-track! On Sunday & Monday afternoons there will be Thrill Seekers mega bouncy castle and Expressions face painting, and music to parent’s ears, all of these for the children are free of charge!

For young and old alike on the Sunday there be Special Guest visiting the Festival. Local working-horse lover, Barry Atkin will be bringing either his prized six-year old Percheron stallion (who stands at over 19 hands) or a Suffolk Punch horse for visitors to see. It depends on which one is less temperamental and Mr Atkin can get into the trailer!
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On the touring front, C.T.C. (Cyclists Touring Club) Suffolk will be offering 57, 100, 160, 200 & 300km timed-touring rides on the Saturday, under the auspices of the Audax organisation. For those that want something more relaxing, Mildenhall Cycling Club will have their range of touring leaflets available, offering a variety of scenery over varying distances.

Over the years the event can boast among its many thousands of competitors such impressive stars as Nicole Cooke MBE, Ben Swift, Jason Kenny OBE, Steve Burke MBE, Emma Trott and Laura Kenny (nee Trott) CBE and of course Victoria Pendleton CBE, who was a member of the Mildenhall club when she was growing up. It is at grass-tracks like this where these young riders cut their teeth and the skills they learnt have then stood them in good stead on the top international velodromes around the world. So, whether staying on site or a day-visitor you could just be watching a future Olympian or World Champion!

Day entry to the Festival will be by donation, with a recommended £3 for Adults and £1 for children, but will include free day parking and is an ideal cheap day-out for families, whether you are from a cycling background or not.

Complimenting the Cycling Festival is the Mildenhall Tri – the Abbeycroft Leisure Triathlon Festival 2018, based at Mildenhall Swimming Pool on the Sunday.

All the details of everything happening at the Mildenhall Cycling Festival can be found at


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