Ilkley Cycling Club has classic event to open Tour de France celebrations

Ilkley Gazette: Riders tackling Langbar in the 2012 White Rose Classic Riders tackling Langbar in the 2012 White Rose Classic

Ilkley Cycling Club has stepped up a gear in its preparations for next year’s Yorkshire Grand Depart of the Tour de France by opening entries for the popular White Rose Classic Cyclo Sportive.

It forms the major focus of a week-long celebration in the town ahead of the arrival of the world-famous race.

The White Rose Classic is being staged on Sunday, June 29 and is expected to reach its entry limit of 1,000.

It is a supported endurance event where cyclists opt to complete one of three challenging routes around the Yorkshire Dales of 115, 84 and 50 miles.

Riders will be pitting themselves against some of the toughest road climbs the region has to offer.

Club press officer Jonathan Riley aid: “We are thrilled to be given permission by British Cycling to stage the White Rose Classic just days before the Tour de France comes to town.

“It is a huge honour and it gives riders from Britain and abroad who are coming to see the Tour de France, to ride over part of the race route.”

The White Rose Classic is acclaimed as one of the region’s most prestigious Sportive events.

Starting and finishing at Ilkley Rugby Club, the riders will head out through the heart of the stunning Yorkshire Dales.

The epic long route will take riders as far a field as Wensleydale and over the much revered – and feared – Coal Road from Garsdale Head into Dentdale.

Riders taking on the 84-mile medium route will head up Littondale tackling the testing climb from Halton Gill before dropping down into Settle only to be faced with a lung-busting climb past the imposing Attermire Craggs.

The short route, at 50 miles, is still a real test of fitness with a long pull up to Greenhow before returning home via Grassington. Weary legs will be tested to the absolute limit with a final sting in the tail as all routes head up and over Langbar before descending to the finish in Ilkley.

Ilkley Rugby club will provide changing facilities and serve as the event headquarters. There will be camping facilities available for visitors in East Holmes Field.

In addition to the White Rose Classic, Ilkley Cycling Club’s week-long celebration will include a series of daily club rides where everyone is welcome to join in. Wednesday, July 2 will see the famous Otley Town Centre races take place, while the following day sees the presentation of the Tour de France teams in Leeds.

Riders have to be 16 or over to compete in the White Rose Classic and the entry fee is £30.

Full details of how to enter the event are available now on the club’s websiteilkleycyclingclub.org.uk

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