• Mar 20, 2017


    Now, A History Lesson …..

    In the beginning…

    Horwich Cycling Club first became involved with the Horwich Carnival back in 1946. This was not in the racing mode however, but a ‘Cavalcade of Cycling’ as it was known, as part of the traditional carnival procession.

    A collection of old cycles, including a Tandem & Sidecar, Bone Shaker and several tricycles were ridden through the streets by members of the club. An afternoon of sports was planned, but was cancelled due to poor weather conditions on the day.

  • Mar 20, 2017


    In 1951 a similar activity formed part of the neighbouring Adlington Carnival.

  • Mar 24, 2017


    The glory days

    The first Carnival ‘race’ was held on Friday 6th June 1977, as part of the Silver Jubilee celebrations. The race covered 20 laps of a 1.6 miles circuit, which was an extension of the current circuit used today, taking in Ramsbottom Road, Victoria Road and Church Street. The finish was, and still is, on Lee Lane outside the Council Chambers.

    Winner on the night was the now famous Merseyside frame builder Terry Dolan. Horwich riders Alan ‘Swimbo’ Swimby, Andy Greenhalgh, Andy McNab, Mike Wright & former Peace Race international rider Vinny Smith were in the thick of the action throughout the 32 mile race.

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  • Mar 24, 2017


    In 1978 the race attracted considerable sponsorship, which helped attract many top professionals, with Commonwealth Games gold medallist Willie Moore taking the victory for his Merseyside Wheelers club, after being part of a two man breakaway which gained 50 seconds on the bunch.

  • Mar 24, 2017


    By 1979 the race was longer, now 22 laps, with over £200 in prizes on offer to the 40 rider field. Winner of the race, sponsored by Smith Insurance Brokers of Horwich, was Robert Williams (Liverpool Mercury).

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    The 1980 race was over 25 laps, with former British Cycling National Coach John Herety taking many of the primes on offer in the race won by track sprinter Terry Tinsley.

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    In 1981, Smiths of Horwich extended their support to include a generous buffet for the riders at their premises in Lee Lane.

  • Mar 24, 2017


    Sponsorship of the 1982 race came primarily from Smith Insurance’s new owners, Swinton Insurance, with Horwich rider Vinny Smith returning from international duty in Italy out for the win. The current British Cycling President Brian Cookson was also representing Horwich CC, which now had sponsorship from Bolton cycle dealer Partingtons Cycles.

  • Mar 24, 2017


    The 1983 race featured professionals Steve Joughin, Phil Thomas, Gordon Smith and Dave Cockram (father-in-law to Olympic Champion Bradley Wiggins). Winner was Joughin from Thomas. The two nearly came to blows afterwards as Thomas claimed Joughin had edged him into the crash barriers in the sprint.

  • Mar 24, 2017


    Lythgoe Motors came in as main sponsor in 1984, with the race being won by F Kelly, who outsprinted Phil Thomas.

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    Partingtons Cycles sponsored the 1985 race, along with Neil Stewart Kitchens. No race report is filed.

  • Mar 24, 2017


    From 1986, the problems of racing on non-closed roads were become very apparent with several near misses causing the local police to seriously question the safety of such an event.

  • Mar 24, 2017


    The last pre-millennium cycle races were held in 1989, before the police withdrew their support.

  • May 15, 2017

    A new chapter

    With Commonwealth Games fever gripping the region in 2002, Horwich Cycling Club decided now was the time to resurrect the carnival races, just days before the Games road and mountain bike races were held at nearby Rivington.

  • May 15, 2017

    The future?

    With the races becoming bigger every year, who knows what is in store. One thing is for sure, all the hard work that goes into the event pays off with a tremendous feast of sporting activity and entertainment.