Archive images show cycling heyday in Blackpool

1989 final stage of the Lancashire Enterprises Tour of Lancashire in Fleetwood.  Chris Lillywhite, 36, riding for the Rayleigh-Banana team
1989 final stage of the Lancashire Enterprises Tour of Lancashire in Fleetwood. Chris Lillywhite, 36, riding for the Rayleigh-Banana team

While the Tour de France is still underway, we take a look back at some of Lancashire’s cycle races – popular in the 80s.

During the summer, in the latter part of the last century, thousands of cyclists would converge on Blackpool and the Fylde coast to join in events such as the Tour of Lancashire and the Milk Race.

Blackpool Cycling Weekend, May 1985

Blackpool Cycling Weekend, May 1985

Between 1958 and 1993, The Milk Race was the most prestigious cycling event in the sport’s British calendar, sponsored by the (now disbanded) Milk Marketing Board.

Our wonderful archive photos show the event over the years in the resort - including some of the winners crossing the finishing line.

Hundreds of spectators would gather along the Promenade and Middle Walk to watch the competitors zoom past and cheer them on to the end.

The 1,100-mile-plus multi-stage race was conducted over a number of day races – across a number of locations – and was contested by some of the most successful ever road cyclists.

Milk Race heat winner Sev Jarque blows a kiss to the crowd, as he approaches the winning line on Blackpool Promenade, in June 1978

Milk Race heat winner Sev Jarque blows a kiss to the crowd, as he approaches the winning line on Blackpool Promenade, in June 1978

During the 80s, the resort also played host to regular cycling weekends and festivals – the Blackpool Cycling Weekend is shown in our picture, from 1985.

And the Lancashire Enterprises Tour of Lancashire, is also shown in our archives, which had its final stage in Fleetwood, during the 1980s.

The Mayor and Mayoress of Blackpool are pictured, in May 1989, starting a stage of the Tour of Lancashire.

Crowds on Middle Walk watch the finish of the Round Britain Cycle Race, sponsored by the Milk Marketing Board. First over the line was Jo de Boer, followed by the overall winnter, Piet van Katwijk, in 1973

Crowds on Middle Walk watch the finish of the Round Britain Cycle Race, sponsored by the Milk Marketing Board. First over the line was Jo de Boer, followed by the overall winnter, Piet van Katwijk, in 1973

David Chauner makes Milk Race history by becoming the first American to win a stage, in June 1975.

David Chauner makes Milk Race history by becoming the first American to win a stage, in June 1975.

Winner Matt Eaton, crosses the finish line, in June 1983

Winner Matt Eaton, crosses the finish line, in June 1983

The Milk Race finish ' Poland's Josef Gawliczek (third from right) comes over the finish line in June 1966

The Milk Race finish ' Poland's Josef Gawliczek (third from right) comes over the finish line in June 1966

The crowds were out on Blackpool's Promenade for the climax of the seventh stage of the Milk Race, on June 1989.

The crowds were out on Blackpool's Promenade for the climax of the seventh stage of the Milk Race, on June 1989.

The Mayor and Mayoress of Blackpool are pictured starting a stage of the Tour of Lancashire, in May 1989

The Mayor and Mayoress of Blackpool are pictured starting a stage of the Tour of Lancashire, in May 1989

Competitors dig in during the Blackpool Cycling weekend on Middle Walk, in May 1984

Competitors dig in during the Blackpool Cycling weekend on Middle Walk, in May 1984

Bill Nickson, of the Great Britain A team, raises his arm in triumpth after winning the 1976 Milk Race

Bill Nickson, of the Great Britain A team, raises his arm in triumpth after winning the 1976 Milk Race