ANDOVER’S festival of cycling returns next month — and organisers say it will be bigger than before.

Andover Cycling Festival is back for a second year on July 7, with more opportunities for participants to take part.

There will be a host of activities for both spectators and cyclists across the day, with a schools and family fun ride, three sportive cycles, a BMX skills display and an interactive cycle village, all in and around the town centre.

The three sportive rides start and finish in the town centre, next to the Guildhall, taking in scenery en-route. The routes are 25, 50 or 80 miles and will be fully signed with refreshment stops along the way.

And for the first time in more than 40 years, there will be a fast-moving, town centre criterium cycle racing. The programme consists of five different races throughout the day, for juniors, women and men.

The schools ride will feature pupils from schools in Andover and the surrounding area, and the family ride will give families and friends the chance to cycle together, and then receive a medal at the finish line.

Organiser Harry Lodge, managing director of Halo Sports and former Olympic Games and professional cyclist, said: “We hope to increase the popularity of cycling in Andover, encourage families into activity through cycling and attract more visitors to Andover town centre through fantastic cycle racing and the schools and family ride.”

The event village will have information stands about all cycling activities in and around Andover, including local cycling clubs and cycle businesses, along with Andover cycle network information and maps.

For more information on the event, go to