Lincoln’s annual cycle race will return to the city on May 12-13, with a longer route and a new main sponsor.
The Lincoln Grand Prix 2012, which is this year being sponsored by the University of Lincoln, will return to doing 13 laps of the eight-mile course.
The original course of the cycle race was shortened five years ago in order to reduce surrounding traffic diversions, but the improved system means the missing two laps can be added back to the race.
The race, now in its 56th year, will pass through uphill Lincoln and Burton village, with each lap being eight miles long.
As well as the main race on the Sunday, other events include the 25 mile family ride and second Lincoln Grand Prix Sportive — a shorter take on the original race.
The race begins at Yarborough Leisure Centre and finishes at Castle Square, where onlookers can browse the Farmers’ Market and bike stalls, or get a refreshment.
The Grand Prix is sponsored by the likes of the City of Lincoln Council, British Cycling, Jackson Building Centres, Pygott and Crone Estate Agents, Impsport, Lindum Construction Group, Lincolnshire Co-operative and NatWest, with cars from Audi and Marshall Land Rover.
However, the University of Lincoln will be continuing its support for the event by becoming the main sponsor.
Elly Sample, Director of Communications, Development and Marketing at the University said: “We’re very proud to be able to support such a prestigious sporting event which has been bringing world-class athletes to our city for many years.
“The Lincoln Grand Prix is a much-loved annual fixture in the cycling calendar and, in such an exciting year for British sport with the London 2012 Olympic Games on the horizon, we hope people across the city will be out in force to cheer on the competitors.”
Race Organiser, Ian Emmerson, said: “I hope that this partnership will see the race continue to develop as it heads toward its own Diamond Jubilee.
“The Grand Prix attracts a huge crowd to the city’s tourist areas each year.
“It’s the city’s most important international sporting event and was again voted the Cycling Weekly favourite Premier Calendar event in 2011.”