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Ilkley's Box Tree to serve up cycle race catering
A Michelin-starred Ilkley restaurant will provide the corporate hospitality catering for this year’s Otley Cycle Races.
The husband-and-wife team who run The Box Tree, Simon and Rena Gueller, have attended the event for several years but never before in a professional capacity.
Race director Giles Pidcock said he was delighted with the arrangement, and hopes it can help attract more corporate sponsors for years to come.
He said: “This is very exciting news and, coming off the back of Skoda sponsoring the race – DM Keith Ltd Skoda has agreed to sponsor the event for the next three years – it gives us the opportunity to shift the event up to another level.
“Having the Box Tree doing the catering just underpins the quality offering we’re trying to deliver.
“We’ve had lots of interest from corporate sponsors who see bike racing as something a bit different and new, and are interested in coming on board as partners for the cycle races in Otley.
“So we need to up our game. This year’s sponsors are all sorted out, and I have had to turn some away, but it’s all about having things in place for next year, when the Tour de France comes, and years beyond that.”
Mrs Gueller said the Box Tree was also excited by the deal, especially as her husband is a keen cyclist himself, and a member of the Chevin Cycles team.
She said: “This is a great opportunity and Simon’s a big cycling fan, so it’s a double-whammy for us. We were at the races last year and had been invited to the hospitality, and we thought it would be nice to be involved and to create something a bit different and a bit special. It’s a very exciting and well-established event, with a fun street party, and we just want to add to that and create something a little special that will hopefully attract good sponsors.”
The 2013 races will be held on Wednesday, July 3, and are expected to attract, as usual, some of the UK’s top cyclists as they once again host the opening round of the British Cycling Elite Circuit Race Series.
The 2014 event will take place on July 2, just a few days before the Tour de France riders set off in Leeds for the start of the world’s most famous race.