ALMOST 1,000 cyclists from around the country descended on Ilkley to take part in the White Rose Classic Cycle Sportive on Sunday.?

?Organised by volunteers from Ilkley Cycling Club, the event is a supported endurance event where cyclists complete one of three challenging routes around the Yorkshire Dales pitting themselves against some of Yorkshire's toughest road climbs.?

?The White Rose Classic is renowned as one of the most prestigious events of its kind in the UK.?

?Starting and finishing at Ilkley Rugby Club, the three routes took the riders through the heart of the stunning Yorkshire Dales, following some of Stage 1 of the Grand Depart.?

?At 110 miles the epic long route took riders as far a field as Wensleydale and over the much revered Coal Road from Garsdale Head before plummeting into Dentdale.?

?Riders tackling the 84 mile medium route headed up Littondale and over 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, was still a real test of fitness with riders taking on the gruelling pull up to Greenhow before returning home via Grassington.?

?All riders were give a taste of things to come with the initial climb up Norwood Edge, and weary legs were tested to the absolute limit with a final ‘sting in the tail’ up and over Langbar, where waiting supporters cheered the riders.

The weather was extremely kind, allowing some stunning long-distance views of the Dales. Riders were also able to enjoy the experience of cycling through towns and villages decorated for the Tour the following weekend.

A spokesperson for the club said: "It's been another great year for the White Rose Classic. We couldn't do it without support from our sponsors and volunteers, or the venues for the feed stations.

"We're grateful to the National Park, Bradford Council, North Yorkshire Council, the police and other authorities, for their support and engagement at a time when they're already busy with the Tour.

"We'd also like to say a big thank you to all the communities out on the route for encouraging riders during the event – and who have made the Dales look absolutely fantastic."