Dudley traders are getting into the racing spirit as the town gears up for the Dudley Grand Prix cycling event this week.

A bumper crowd is expected to watch the Grand Prix tomorrow (Friday July 12), which will feature the top talent from British Cycling’s National Circuit Series.

The event is also part of this year’s Black Country Festival, which celebrates the region’s unique culture and heritage.

Race day will begin at 4pm with a social community ride running for an hour to give families the chance to cycle through the circuit.

People can sign up for the community ride on the Dudley Grand Prix website.

From 5pm until around 5.50pm there will be under 12s, under 14s and under 16s racing, with the regional amateur race starting at 6pm.

The women's national circuit series race is due to get under way at 7pm, before the event concludes with the open national circuit series race which starts at 8pm.

Christopher Bradnick and Wendy Farmer, who sell flowers and children's clothes from their stalls at Dudley Market, were joined by Dave Brownhill and Gemma Evans, organisers of the Black Country Festival, to put up bunting ahead of race day.

Christopher Bradnick, trader at Dudley Market, said: "The Grand Prix will be a great occasion for Dudley.

"Me and my fellow traders will be open for business as normal on the day of the race and we’re looking forward to welcoming both our usual customers and visitors to the town."

Gemma Evans, co-organiser of the Black Country Festival, said: "Like most of our festival events, the Grand Prix is free to watch and we hope as many people as possible will come along and cheer on the racers."

Councillor Paul Bradley, deputy leader of Dudley Council, said: "We’re keen to remind residents that their favourite town centre traders are fully open for business on Friday as the Dudley Grand Prix returns to our streets.

"Big sporting events like this are a great source of extra footfall for the borough.

"For visitors to Dudley, race day will be the perfect opportunity to explore the capital of the Black Country and see what’s on offer from our hard-working local traders."

The event will be opened by the Mayor of Dudley, Councillor Hilary Bills, at 3.45pm ahead of a community social ride around the course.

Spectators are encouraged to line the barriers and cheer on the competitors, who will be chasing glory in a variety of exciting races including junior, amateur, men’s and women’s categories.

Council-run car parks on Stafford Street, Tower Street, Wolverhampton Street and Pitfield Street in Dudley town centre will be free of charge from 7pm on Thursday 11 July to 8am on Saturday 13 July.

For more information on the Dudley Grand Prix visit the Dudley Council website.