Cycle race starts build-up to Tour de France fever in Ilkley

Ilkley Gazette: Fuelled for success – Stephanie Millward and Ben Hallworth of Ilkley Cycling Club and Dan Eadson from AvantiGas Fuelled for success – Stephanie Millward and Ben Hallworth of Ilkley Cycling Club and Dan Eadson from AvantiGas

A cycling club is bringing the excitement of the Tour de France build up to Yorkshire this weekend.

Ilkley Cycling Club will be hosting its first ever two-day race over the May Bank Holiday with support from local LPG supplier, AvantiGas.

As part of the club’s Tour de France celebrations, they have created the challenging stage race, called the ICC – AvantiGas 2 Day, to support the increasing number of participants in road racing.

The race is aimed at second, third and fourth category riders from across the UK. With a maximum field of 25 three man teams the event has been inundated with entries. Participants from Yorkshire, the Midlands, North East and North West will be competing in a 55-mile road race on Saturday morning.

Saturday afternoon will see the second stage, consisting of a 4.5-mile team time trial. The final 45-mile road race stage will be held on Sunday morning. The two road race stages will be held on different circuits, with multiple laps providing opportunities for spectators.

As one of the key events on Ilkley Cycling Club’s calendar this year, the club enlisted the support of local LPG supplier AvantiGas to be the main sponsor for the event.

Stephanie Millward, chairman of Ilkley Cycling Club said: “As the largest cycling club in the UK we wanted to create an event that would encourage cyclists to come to Yorkshire ahead of the Grand Depart and help build local excitement in the run up to the Tour de France.

“A race of this scale needs a huge amount of planning and support to ensure we create a well-organised event for those competing - sponsors are a key factor to achieve this. The generous support from AvantiGas has been an enormous help and allowed us to host such a prominent event for cyclists across the UK.

“We anticipate the race being a huge success and hope it will become an annual event that cyclists see as a challenging and competitive race to start the summer season each year.”

Dan Eadson, from AvantiGas said: “We are delighted to be supporting Ilkley Cycling Club with their inaugural stage race to help celebrate the Tour de France coming to Yorkshire.

“As a national supplier of LPG, we strive to support local communities and understand more about their energy needs. Sponsoring the ICC – AvantiGas 2 Day is an opportunity for us to support a local initiative and raise awareness around our company to the community.”

AvantiGas has also sponsored six of Ilkley Cycling Club’s banners throughout the town of Ilkley ahead of the Tour de France.

Stage one of the ICC – AvantiGas 2 Day will begin at 10am on Saturday,May 3 in Beckwithshaw, Harrogate. Any money raised from the weekend’s refreshment sales at the race headquarters, Beckwithshaw Village Hall, will be donated to Yorkshire Air Ambulance. For more details about the event, visit ilkleycyclingclub.org.uk.

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