A NEW cycling challenge through the heart of a Hampshire city has been officially launched.

The Winchester Criterium is returning for the second year running, with seven closed-circuit races featuring up to 300 competitive riders.

Two new categories have been added – Cyclefest, a family ride, and a challenge for corporate teams.

Crowds of 10,000 are expected to line the circuit through Winchester’s streets on Sunday, August 17.

The event was launched by event director Mark Sandamas, leader of Winchester City Council, Cllr Rob Humby, and Steve Brine MP, who is also vice-chair of the All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group.

Cyclefest will be in the Broadway from 10am to 2pm on August 17, with stunt displays, vintage bikes and a mountain bike track.