London’s biggest racecourse is planning to change its name to Woolworths Racecourse Road, after the racecourse’s founder said it could be used as a training ground for British cyclists.
The racecourse has been at the heart of the city’s ongoing kerfuffle with the race’s organisers, as the city tried to keep it open and its residents happy, but the kerfuffles have resulted in a host of incidents, including the deaths of two cyclists last month.
In February, a group of men, including a man wearing a cycling mask, attempted to force their way through a security checkpoint and attacked the race organisers, forcing the race to cancel its next races.
Police were called to the scene, but were told the men had been drinking alcohol and were not under arrest.
When they were later arrested, they claimed they were part of an international cycling tour.
Racecourse founder and former London mayor Boris Johnson is currently the frontrunner for the race.
On Sunday, he said the name change was about keeping people in the loop about Woolworth’s new racecourse.
“It’s a fantastic thing that we have a racecourse in London.
It’s a great thing for the city.
It’ll be good for Londoners,” he said.
A spokesperson for Woolworth told The Independent that the name of the new race course had been changed because it is part of the brand.
Woolsells race course, located at the centre of London’s borough of Ealing, was one of the first racecourse to be opened in the UK.
It opened in 1995 and has been widely praised as one of Londons best cycling facilities, with a number of major race organisers including British Cycling, UKCycle, and UK Cycling Europe among its sponsors.
Johnson, who is also a member of the British Cycling Board, has repeatedly expressed his admiration for Woolsworths and its racetrack, and said the race course was “one of the most prestigious and successful racecourse courses in the world”.
In October, Johnson was among a group who staged a walkout from a Woolworth supermarket protest in protest at the lack of transparency surrounding the construction of the raceground.
Last week, the London Assembly passed a motion calling for Woolies Racecourse to return to being a private facility and open to the public, and for Johnson to step down as mayor of the borough of Tower Hamlets, which he has held since 2010.
Earlier this month, Woolworth reported a net loss of £1.3 million in the three months to March.