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Ilkley preparing to host annual cycle races


The Ilkley Cycle Races will be attracting some of the country’s top talent to the town on Friday, 30 June, there will be a carnival-like atmosphere along The Grove, which serves as the Start/Finish straight.


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


Next up, at 6pm is the Carabao Sport Women’s Race. These are serious competitors who are working their way up cycling’s strict ladder of experience.


At 6:40, the Wheelbase Men’s 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.


The light should be softening by the time the Elite Women’s Grand Prix begins at 7:30. Leading the field will be the newly crowned national circuit race champion, Megan Barker, who won her title at Redcar on Friday night, along with Madelaine Leech who took the bronze medal.


The night’s final race is the Elite Men’s Lister Horsfall Grand Prix. It is 60 minutes in duration with the riders lapping the circuit every two minutes or so. Leading the charge will be Matt Fox of the Wheelbase CabTech Castelli team who recently took two stages of the Rás Tailteann, Tour of Ireland, where he also won the points classification. His teammate, Tim Shoreman, also racing at Ilkley, won the bronze medal at the national circuit race on Friday night and is clearly in superb form.


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 includes £2100 for the Elite Racers, both men and women – cycling being one of the few sports where equal rewards for woman are now the norm.


In addition to popular restaurants and pubs on The Grove, there are food and drink stands where spectators can catch all the action. Lishman’s will once again be serving their popular sausages and burgers. Ilkley Brewery will be out with their fan-favourite Mary Jane session ale. La Stazione’s Max & Enzo will be selling prosecco from their tuk-tuk by the bandstand. From 6pm until 7, BBC Radio Leeds Friday evening sports program will be live from their satellite van on The Grove.


Organiser Mike Firth will join Stuart Clarkson on the Rombalds Radio breakfast show after 6.30am on Thursday morning to preview the evening.


For further information such as road closures please visit the website: www.ilkleycycleraces.co.uk



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