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Organisers look to light up Otley cycle races
Organisers of the Otley Grand Prix cycle race have plans to make it bigger and better after a record-breaking crowd watched last week’s event.
It is estimated that 14,000 people crammed the streets around the town centre circuit to see Burley-in-Wharfedale’s Scott Thwaites triumph for the second-successive year and become the National Circuit Race champion.
Buoyed by the success of the event, race officials are now considering moving the date of the race back a week in a bid to attract an even stronger field as well as investigating the possibility of installing floodlighting and a giant TV screen.
Race director Giles Piddock said: “We feel that if we move the race back a week it will come after the National Road Race Championships and we believe that will bring in more top riders.
“At the moment it is four days before the nationals and that means some teams are wary about their top men tackling a street race and risking injury before the championships.”
He added: “We want to continue to improve the race and we are looking at the feasibility and cost of installing floodlighting as well as having a big screen so that spectators can see more of the action.
“Obviously there are big financial consider- ations but we will be talking to officials of Welcome to Yorkshire, Otley Town Council and Otley Chamber of Trade because the race is big business for both the town and the region.”
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