As the season comes to a close, Cycling Weekly speaks to some of the Premier Calendar race organisers about how their races went and what they?re hoping for in the future.

Click here to read what the riders thought of the 2008 Premier Calendar series


Girvan Stage race organiser, Ian Sinclair
This year?s winner: Russell Downing
How do you feel that your event went this year?
Very well, entries are up, the sponsor?s pleased with the event and the crowd size ? we even managed a seamless route change because of a last minute fall of snow over the hill primes.

What?s the biggest drain on your resources?
Accommodation costs for all the marshals and officials. Police costs are at present quite low compared to some other events and I think this is due to good communications between the race and the police forces involved.

Would you like more support from British Cycling?
Not really, we?re very happy with what they do for the event at present apart from other events on at the same time that allow Elite and 1st cats. I think if a Premier Calendar event is being held then there should not be any other event on that accepts Elite and 1st cat riders. This would help to maximise the field for Premier events.

How would you like to see your event evolving?
I would like the event to expand by also having a participation event during the same weekend over some of the stages used by the Elite riders.

What?s the most difficult thing in organising your event?
Our event is always held over Easter and the winter has only just finished leaving the roads in a state. Getting the local roads department to fill in some of the potholes can be very time consuming especially as most of their budgets have been cut.

Any plans up your sleeve?
Scottish Power Renewables have just indicated that they will be sponsoring the event again with an increased budget and this will enable us to expand the prize list and event the way we have been wanting to for years. It?s the 40th Anniversary of The Girvan in 2009 and plans are well on their way to making it a very special event for all concerned but I am keeping my powder dry for a little longer on what we will be doing.


Lincoln Grand Prix organiser, Ian Emmerson
This year?s winner: Russell Downing
How do you feel that your event went this year?
The race was very successful on a beautiful sunny day, large crowds and a popular winner in Russell Downing.

What’s the biggest drain on your resources?
Police costs of around £11,000 plus security, and other safety items of around £8000 make up over half the race budget.

Would you like more support from British Cycling?
More support from wherever is always welcome.

What?s the most difficult thing in organising your event?
Obtaining sponsorship, made even more difficult now with the financial situation. Police negotiations rank second but we?ve now handed that over to a commercial safety operator which has eased this area.

Any plans up your sleeve?
Only to try to make it the 54th Lincoln Grand Prix.


Beaumont Trophy organiser, Peter Harrison
This year?s winner: Rob Hayles
How do you feel that your event went this year?
Very well. It had one of the largest crowds of any Premier Calendar race and possibly the biggest prize fund at £6700.

What?s the biggest drain on your resources?
There are no problems as it is a well-funded event with backing from the RDA [Regional Development Agency].

Would you like more support from British Cycling?
Yes, in some areas. For example by entering GB Development teams and attracting some of our continental based riders.

How would you like to see your event evolving?
The whole event is evolving into a full festival of cycling with participation for all types of rider. Ultimately the aim is to attract overseas riders and have both the Criteriums and the Premier Calendar event as UCI International events. Along with this the Cyclone challenge, which is already a UCI event, become the biggest event of its type and be the equivalent of the Great North Run in cycling terms.

What?s the most difficult thing in organising your event?
Getting UK riders to enter early enough in order to get them and their teams maximum publicity. The whole weekend ids huge with over 2000 participants so it does take a year to plan.

Any plans up your sleeve?
Yes lots and they will be released in the coming months. However the whole weekend will again be the richest event for the Elite riders in the UK next year. The prize fund will exceed this year?s, which was £12,000.


East Yorkshire Classic organiser, Andy Cawley
This year?s winner: Russell Downing
How do you feel your event went this year?
I feel the event went very well this year after we had to cancel through flooding in 2007.

What?s the biggest drain on your resources?
The biggest drain on our resources is payments for police and national escort group.

Would you like more support from British Cycling?
More support from BC would be good although we do get a great deal of help from the West Yorkshire team – I like to know why the photo finish equipment doesn’t come as part of the finish kit with the new truck etc? Also it would be good to get an overall series sponsor to help with funding. It?s been said before but an awful lot of cash has gone into track cycling, isn’t it time some of the so-called lottery money was directed at road cycling too?

How do you see your event evolving?
I think the event is where we want it to be, one of the most well organised road races on open roads in the UK.

What?s the most difficult thing in organising the race?
The most difficult thing is getting enough sponsorship to cover the costs of the race, also the riders themselves need to be mindful of the amount of time and effort it takes to put on a top quality event these days, with five days to go until the closing date, I had 30 entries for the road race and eight entries for the National Crit champs, almost came to having to cancel the events- late entries then put a great deal of pressure on in getting the programme printed and distributed.

Any plans up your sleeve?
There are no plans to alter format at present; a town centre crit on the Friday night followed by a three distance sportive on the Saturday and the Premier Calendar race on the Sunday. I would like to have enough sponsorship to give £1000 first prize though.


PREMIER CALENDAR 2008: CYCLING WEEKLY’S COVERAGE

Click on the links to find our more about each race.

RICHMOND GP
Report: Downing takes his seventh Premier Calendar of the year
Preview

TOUR OF PENDLE
Report: Hayles takes Tour of Pendle
Preview

EAST YORKSHIRE CLASSIC
Report: Russell Downing yet again
Preview

TOUR OF BLACKPOOL
Report: Russell Downing wins again
Preview

NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP ROAD RACE
Report: Hayles is the national champion
News: Gossip from the National Champs
Preview: Who’s going to win?
Preview: Ask the textperts
Preview: The riders’ verdicts
Cycling Weekly Classic: From the Archives, Robert Millar’s Island Magic 1995
The Big Preview
British National Championships roll of honour

GP OF WALES
Report: Russell Downing wins in Wales
Preview

BEAUMONT TROPHY
Report: Hayles wins his first of the season
Preview

LINCOLN GP
Analysis: Battle of the Brothers
Analysis: Should they rename Michaelgate Downing Street?
Report: Russell Downing wins
Preview

CHAS MESSENGER
Analysis: Battle of the Brothers
Report day two: Russell Downing wins
Report day one
Preview

EAST MIDLANDS CICLE CLASSIC
How the Irish pulled off a coup
Reaction and analysis
Report: Ciaran Power wins
Preview

TOUR OF THE RESERVOIR
Analysis: Battle of the Brothers
Report: Russell Downing wins Tour of the Reservoir
Preview

GIRVAN
Analysis: Battle of the Brothers
Report: Russell Downing wins the Girvan overall
Report: Partridge wins stage three
Report: Downing makes it two in a row
Report: Russell Downing wins stage one
Preview: Can Oliphant end 21 years of hurt?

BIKELINE
Analysis
Report: Dean Downing wins overall
Report: Oliphant takes stage two
Report: Wilkinson wins stage one time trial
Preview

PREMIER CALENDAR 2008
2008 Premier Calendar index

PREMIER CALENDAR HISTORY 1993-2008
History of the Premier Calendar 1993-2008

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