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Victory for Couzens and Scott at 10th Ilkley Cycle Races

Millie Couzens secured victory in the Women’s Grand Prix

Record numbers of spectators lined the race route for the 10th anniversary edition of the Ilkley Cycle Races last Friday, 28th June.

After the racing in Otley on Wednesday the second round of the British Cycling National Circuit Series saw the countries best cyclists take to the streets of Ilkley town centre to race laps of a gruelling 1.5km circuit.

The first race of the evening was the MAS Design Youth Race which included categories for both male and female racers. After a tough race in a very competitive field Leon Atkins, racing for the 258 Protégé team, was crowned the boys winner with Pheobe Taylor of ESV Manchester declared as the girls champion with less than half a second between first place and Millie Salmon who took second place for the girls. After the MAS Design Youth Race the youngest members of Ilkley Cycling Club took to The Grove to showcase the skills they’d learnt in the club’s Pedal In The Park sessions.

The ‘93 Cycles Classic’ race saw more than 40 riders battle it out for a spot on the podium but in the end it was Matthew Leach of Addform - Vive le Velo that took the top spot with Max Lutz-Atkinson taking second place and Jack Lucas finishing third.

The Ilkley Car Audio Women’s Grand Prix saw the countries elite female riders take to the course including Ex-Ilkley Grammar School Sixth Form pupil Sophie Thackray. Sophie who rides for DAS-Hutchinson-Brother UK finished in the top 10 nationally for female cyclo-cross riders last year and so far this year has won every single round of the Yorkshire Cyclo-Cross Championships she’s entered. In the end Sophie’s teammate from DAS-Hutchinson-Brother UK, Robyn Clay came in second, Isabel Darvill of Doltcini - O'Shea came third and Millie Couzens delivered a masterclass performance, securing a decisive victory in round two of the National Circuit Series for the second year in a row.

The last race of the evening was the nationally renowned Lister Horsfall Grand Prix. This year’s race saw numerous attacks, culminating in a thrilling four-way sprint finish. Ultimately Rob Scott of Tekkerz CC emerged victorious with Elite US rider, Cole Davis, of Ribble Rebellion taking second place and Oliver Rees of the Portuguese team ‘Sabgal/Anicolor’ finishing third.

Tom Harris, a local resident and volunteer member of the events organising committee said “It’s now been 10 years since Ilkley first hosted a stage of the National Circuit Series and it’s clear that over the years the enthusiasm of the people of Ilkley has only increased. Every year we’re blown away by the number of people who line the race route to cheer on the riders. Putting on an event of this scale is no easy task and it wouldn’t be possible without the support of organisations like Ilkley Cycling Club, BMDC and British Cycling as well all the people of Ilkley who volunteer on the evening and the generous sponsors who provide the funds necessary to run the event.”

As well as a full evening of exhilarating racing, spectators were treated to food and drink thanks to a BBQ run by Lishman’s Butchers and pop-up bars run by Bini Brew, Ilkley Brewery and La Stazione. Local venues along the race route such as Martinez Wines, J Reserve and Thirty Nine also helped keep spectators fed and hydrated throughout the evening, adding to the brilliant atmosphere of the event.


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