Cyclists heading to Park Hill in Sheffield as urban rides step up a gear

Trying out the Park Hill route. Picture by Antony Oxley
Trying out the Park Hill route. Picture by Antony Oxley
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Park Hill is about to be reimagined again as the arena for the latest event in a series of urban bike races.

As the old council estate's transformation into new homes, business space and an arts centre continues, Sheffield Urban Cyclo Cross will use the development's austere Brutalist architecture as the backdrop for a fast-paced route, incorporating the flats' famous 'streets in the sky'.

The race, on September 16, follows the series' launch at Kelham Island earlier this year, which introduced the idea of using familiar places with an industrial feel in a novel way.

Riders will weave through the different phases of Park Hill, the largest listed building in Europe, beginning outside the estate's redeveloped flank before climbing into Phase 2, the next area scheduled for conversion.

Cyclists are then set to head down South Street and under the celebrated bridge scrawled with neon-lit graffiti reading 'I Love You Will You Marry Me' as they return to the starting point.

Organiser Adam Simmonite said he was 'really excited' permission had been granted to use Park Hill.

"The redevelopment has brought new life to this amazing site, reigniting the community, and is also home to exciting businesses such as Warp Films," said Adam.

"It’s going to be a great course, a bit more stretched-out than Kelham and we are still going to incorporate built features to add even more excitement."

Women's and junior races are also happening, and Adam said he was 'looking forward to seeing some future stars' in action.

"The series is all about grassroots racing and it’s a great way to get riders of all ages inspired."

Adam said the team wanted participants to 'become a part of the races' evolution', and that feedback was closely monitored after the Kelham debut.

"The amount of positive and constructive comments was fantastic and we have built these into the planning, delivery and running of Park Hill."

Spectators will be well catered for. Artisan pizzas are being served by The Sunshine Pizza Oven, and mobile bar Wet Thi Whistle is providing refreshments.

Racing lasts from 10.30am until 7pm. Visit http://sheffieldurbancx.co.uk to enter or volunteer as a marshal - the amateur men's category is sold out, but a waiting list is being kept.