An event to launch the return of the Milk Race for a third successive year will take place on Friday 27 March in the Old Market Square. Elite cyclist Katie Archibald will join Robin Hood Tim Pollard, along with representatives from Nottingham City Council and Milk Race sponsors The Dairy Council and Dairy Co on an 8-person Pedibus.

The Milk Race will return on Sunday 24 May in Nottingham city centre. The country’s biggest single-day race will once again see the sport’s most elite cyclists racing around the city in front of massive crowds of cheering spectators.

The Milk Race this year joins the Milk Schools Cycling Challenge, Cycle Live, and the Tour of Britain in a summer ‘Festival of Cycling’ across the city. This summer will also see work start on the  development of an ambitious cycle path network and route maps,  new paths  built alongside tram routes and, plus the opening of the new outdoor cycle track at the newly built Harvey Hadden leisure centre.

Nottingham’s commitment to its status as a premier ‘cycling city’ is also shown by the recent allocation of £6.1m of funding from the Local Enterprise Partnership, specifically to develop a safe, modern cycling infrastructure around the city to enable more people to commute to work and school. Nottingham has already seen a 33% increase in cycling since 2010 as a result of route improvements and cycling training programmes delivered as part of the Local Sustainable Transport Fund and the Cycling Ambition plan.

Last year’s female Milk Race winner, Scot Katie Archibald – also a recent world champion – will be at the launch event ready to provide some elite cycling power.

She said: “The Milk Race was an unbelievable experience. Having heard so much about the heritage of the event as I was growing up and progressing through the cycling ranks, it was fantastic to finally get to the start line in 2014. Then, to win in front of such a large crowd was amazing. I’d love to repeat that feat this year.”

Councillor Dave Trimble, Portfolio Holder for Sport and Leisure at Nottingham City Council, said: “The city is really looking forward to the return of the Milk Race to Nottingham for a third year this May. It’s an important reflection of Nottingham as a leading cycling city with a packed calendar of free events for residents and visitors to enjoy.”

Sandy Wilkie, Chairman of The Dairy Council – the organisation responsible for the event’s rebirth after a 20-year absence – said: “The Milk Race is once again a cornerstone of the British cycling calendar. The event’s current format might not last as long as its predecessor but the atmosphere that surrounds it is certainly on a par. Having over 60,000 spectators in both 2013 and 2014 is testament to that.”

Gwyn Jones, DairyCo Chairman, said: “We’re delighted to be involved in The Milk Race this year. Just like the British dairy farming sector, this legendary event has many years’ heritage attached to it. Elite sport requires resilience, enthusiasm and energy – and those are certainly traits that dairy farmers know a thing or two about.

This year, The Dairy Council is joined by DairyCo, the not-for-profit organisation working on behalf of Britain’s dairy farmers, as co-funders of the event. This means that all corners of the dairy industry are now working together to promote the benefits of milk and dairy, and to put on Britain’s leading city centre one-day cycling event.

Sponsorship opportunities are available around these major cycling events – for more information, contact Glenn Formoy on 0115 8763360