Ex-pro and Paris-Roubaix winner Magnus Backstedt is the latest star confirmed for BikeRadar Live. The Swede will post a time for the Procycling Hot Laps and is also planning to take part in the Cycling Plus Sportive in association with the Geoff Thomas Foundation.
"It's a cool concept to have the hot laps set up so the general public can come along and have a goal to aim for," Backstedt told BikeRadar. "Donington Park is also made for road circuit racing, almost like Belgian-style kermis racing. The track is quite undulating and it just makes it that extra bit harder than a flat track. We've got a lot of grand prix circuits in this country. Why not make use of them?"
Backstedt, who lives in Wales with his wife and two daughters, announced his retirement from professional cycling on 6 February. He had spent 13 years as a pro, with the highpoint being his win at Paris-Roubaix in 2004, but had been beset by injuries in recent years.
The 34-year-old is set to launch a new development squad, Cyclesport.se-MagnusMaximusCoffee.com, on Thursday. He will also stay on as a consultant for Garmin-Slipstream's young riders.
"I think BikeRadar Live is a brilliant idea, as there are so many cyclists in the UK now," he said. "To gather as many as possible at the same place at the same time is awesome. It's only going to help bring the sport along."
About BikeRadar Live
BikeRadar Live is the biggest ever mass-participation cycling event to hit the UK, and will take place on the weekend of 30–31 May 2009 at Donington Park in Leicestershire.
The weekend will be packed full of races and challenges, with something for everyone, whether you want to compete, watch your friends and family or just check out some of the world’s best riders.
Entry into any of the events gives you full access to the festival’s many attractions including spectacular all-weather stunt displays, invitational dirt jump and dual slalom comps, a cycling film festival, live big top entertainment and the Scott Sunset DJ Sessions. Test yourself against pro and celebrity riders in the Procycling Hot Laps, post a time in the Wattbike comp or take the kids along to the Islabikes Children's Skills School. A purpose-built bikes and accessories expo will give festival-goers the chance to ride the latest bikes from leading brands and grab show-only deals on bikes and accessories.
Events include the Cycling Plus Sportive in association with the Geoff Thomas Foundation (100km and 100 mile), Whyte Night night-time enduros (12hr and 4hr), MBUK Eliminator dual-slalom and the Devil Takes the Hindmost circuit race. Click here to sign up.
BikeRadar Live’s world-class facilities include on-site camping with a kids and family area, secure bike lock-up, showers, bike wash, workshop, picnic area, medical centre, viewing stands and food and drink market.
BikeRadar Live is brought to you by Future, the makers of Mountain Biking UK, Cycling Plus, BikeRadar.com, What Mountain Bike, Cyclingnews.com and Procycling. For more details, go to the BikeRadar Live website.