A NEW closed-road cycling event is coming to Essex.

Vélo Essex is a new closed-road cycling sportive which hopes to see more than 15,000 riders gear up and ride on traffic-free roads.

The event is scheduled for September 20 and pre-registration is now open for riders of all ages and abilities.

With the anticipated number of riders, Vélo Essex would become one of the UK’s biggest cycling events and the biggest participation event in Essex’s history.

With 100 and 50 mile routes available, the stages start in Chelmsford but will see riders tour around north Essex to towns and villages including Wethersfield and Finchingfield.

Entry costs for the route are £79 for the 100 mile stage, £49 for the 50 mile stage and the family ride is free.

Southend Standard:

Professional UCI World Tour rider Alex Dowsett, from Essex, is an ambassador for the event.

He said: “I’m proud to be part of Vélo Essex - a new closed-road sportive in the lanes I grew up training in.

“Whilst other pros move to warmer shores to train over the off-season, I’ve always believed Essex is one of the most beautiful places to ride in the world and opted to stay here.

“I can’t wait for everyone else to see all that Essex has to offer.”

With the 100 mile route based on the 2014 Tour de France’s third stage, there is also a family ride were thousands of cyclists of all ages can ride a three mile loop on completely closed roads.

There will also be a cycling festival at Hylands Park over the weekend which will feature cycling-themed activities, food and drink, live Q&As, live music and family fun.

The event is expected to give an economic boost to county businesses as more than half the riders are expected to travel from outside of Essex.

Hoping to raise millions, Vélo Essex has also teamed with charities like Prostate Cancer UK and Active Essex,

As roads will be closed systematically during the event, residents are advised to plan in advance .

More information can be found on www.veloessex.com.