OLYMPIC champion Ed Clancy helped Stockton Cycling Festival get on the right track when he competed in a race through the cobbles in its town centre.

Families as well as elite sports stars will be taking to the streets on two wheels this weekend.

It launched this evening with the Velo29-Altura Town Centre race, the 1.1km course combined cobbles, a 180C hairpin turn and fast open corners.

Riders, including Team GB Olympic gold medallist and World Champion, Ed Clancy, sped past crowds every two minutes during the one hour spectacle.

Following the event was a showing of a film at the Arc cinema about Graeme Obree, known as the Flying Scotsman, who rose from an amateur racer to setting the world record for distance cycled in an hour.

Saturday morning sees the third year of Velo29-Altura Endeavour Sportive, when hundreds of riders of all abilities will be escorted out of Stockton, Tour de Force –style onto one of four scenic routes.

The longest taking in the infamous 33 per cent infamous Rosedale Chimney in North Yorkshire.

On Sunday it is hosting the Stockton Velo29-Altura Grand Prix, Round 4 of the Premier Calendar Elite Road Series when professionals racing out of town and through the surrounding countryside.

The family-friendly Sky Ride, from noon to 3pm on Sunday, finishes the festival by taking in a 6km route around the town centre which will be closed to traffic.

Olympic Champion Jason Kenny, OBE said: "Cycling is a fantastic way to stay fit and healthy, plus its lots of fun too. I’d encourage everyone, of all ages and abilities to get out on their bikes and take part in Sky Ride in Stockton this summer.”