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Cycling: Nottingham shows bottle for the Milk Race comeback


The Milk Race, once a familiar summer staple of Britain’s sporting calendar, is to make a return after 20 years.

Nottingham will host its comeback on 26 May with 2012 Olympic team pursuit gold medallist Steven Burke among those who will take part on a 2km circuit around the city centre.

In its original guise the race was the Tour of Britain sponsored by the Milk Marketing Board for 35 years until the board was disbanded to comply with European regulation. But the dairy  industry retained its hold on the title and is supporting what will be an  annual men’s and women’s elite single-day road race rather than a multi-day stage event. The aim is to move the race from city to city each year.

Burke, whose Node 4-Giordana team is managed by Malcolm Elliott, a former Milk Race winner, is the first name to agree to take part but the organisers are hopeful that most British teams will have a presence. Laura Trott will be one likely recruit for the women’s race.

Former president of British Cycling Tony Doyle, one of the men behind the successful revival of the Tour of Britain, is recruiting riders.

“I was only five when the last Milk Race happened so I don’t remember it but, being trained by Malcolm, I’ve got to know a lot about it and the huge meaning that the name has in the world of cycling,” said Burke.

Among the riders who won the original Milk Race was Shane Sutton, now one of the masterminds in Britain’s phenomenal run of success on track and road over the last few years. The last race, in 1993, was won by Chris Lillywhite.