The iconic Milk Race is back after a 20-year absence, thanks to the organisers of the Make Mine Milk campaign.
The cycling event will be staged on 26 May in Nottingham – the first time it has been held since 1993. The first professional cyclist to have signed up to this year’s race is London 2012 Team Pursuit champion Steven Burke (below).
The Milk Race was sponsored by the now-defunct Milk Marketing Board for 35 years. With interest in the sport high after the success of Team GB’s cycling team at last year’s Olympic Games, the dairy industry wants to re-establish the link between milk and cycling.
“The Milk Race is undoubtedly the most well-remembered and most well-regarded cycling event that there has ever been in this country,” said Sandy Wilkie, chairman of the Dairy Council and the Milk Marketing Forum, which run the Make Mine Milk generic marketing campaign.
“Much like British cycling, the ‘white stuff’ has gone through something of a renaissance in recent years through the establishment of the celebrity Make Mine Milk campaign, which has included Olympic champion cyclists Ed Clancy and Laura Trott,” he added.
Burke said his cycling team was managed by former Milk Race winner Malcolm Elliott. “Everyone has such high regard for the Milk Race, and I can’t wait to compete this year,” he added.
In addition to the professional cycling race – which is being organised with the help of former cycling world champion and Tour of Britain founder Tony Doyle – the Milk Race will be accompanied by a full-day festival of cycling activities for families.
Nottingham City Council leader Jon Collins said Nottingham had a strong commitment to cycling. “We are proud to be chosen as the first city to host the Milk Race after such a long absence.”