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Ilkley Cycle Races celebrate a decade on Friday

It’s now a matter of days until The Ilkley Cycle Races see hundreds of the best cyclists from the UK and beyond race through the streets of Ilkley on Friday 28th, 10 years after the first races were held in the town.

There will be a carnival-like atmosphere along The Grove, which serves as the Start/Finish straight. The evening will begin at 5:15pm when Isabel Ashman, Ilkley’s Town Crier, will address the town from the British Cycling Stage on The Grove.


The timetable for the evening is:

  • 5:30pm, the first race starts – the MAS Design Under 16s Race. This is for the youngest racers both girls and boys.

  • After the youth race the Ilkley Cycling Club’s ‘Pedal in the park’ participants will take to The Grove to show off their skills.

  • 6:40pm, the 93 Cycles Men’s Classic Race kicks off.  What follows is 35+ minutes of controlled chaos as Category two, three and four racers torture themselves around the tight one-mile circuit with the tough climb up Riddings Road each lap.

  • 7:30pm, the light should be softening by the time the Ilkley Car Audio Women’s Grand Prix. The woman to beat is Millie Couzens, she’ll be defending her title after being crowned as the race winner last year.

  • 8:30pm, the night’s final race is the Lister Horsfall Grand Prix. It is 60 minutes in duration with the riders reaching breathtaking speed as they lap the circuit every two minutes or so. This year’s race includes a wildcard entry, Cole Davis. Originally from Sacramento, California, Cole now rides for Ribble Rebellion and is the most successful elite cyclist in the US this season having taken several wins at Speedweek and the Sea Otter Classic.

Once the racing is done, attention turns to British Cycling’s podium on The Grove where the winners in each race will accept their trophies and winnings. The prize money on offer totals over £5,000 and is equal for both men and women – cycling being one of the few sports where equal rewards for woman are now the norm. Booths & Erica Berry Flowers have provided prizes for all the race winners and each race also includes a sprint lap with prizes for these provided by other local businesses.

In addition to popular restaurants and bars like Martinez on The Grove, there are plenty of options for food and drink throughout the evening. Lishman’s will once again be serving their popular sausages and burgers alongside Ilkley Brewery who will be out with their fan-favourite Mary Jane session ale with drinks on offer from Bini Brew too. La Stazione’s Max & Enzo will be back again selling prosecco from their tuk-tuk by the bandstand along with Yorkshire Dales Ice Cream who will be serving up a cool summer treat. Buzz Coffee will be providing hot drinks from the bottom of Parish Ghyll Road.


A spokesperson for the races said “Bringing high quality racing to Ilkley Town Centre wouldn’t be possible without the hard work of the organising committee, supported by Ilkley Cycling Club who provide the small army of volunteers needed for a successful evenings entertainment and British Cycling who provide the necessary infrastructure. Thank you to everyone who works so hard to make the evening a success.”

In preparation for the event The Grove will be closed at 3:45pm, with the rest of the circuit from 4:30pm. This should reopen at 9:40pm. followed by The Grove around 10:25pm.


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