One of the world’s all-time cycling great will be playing a key part in this year’s DM Keith Otley Cycle Races.

Bernard Hinault, who won the Tour de France five times, will be the official starter for the Property development Grand Prix and present the prizes for the other four races on July 2.

Hinault is visiting Otley as part of the Tour de France organising committee along with race director Christian Prudhomme.

Representatives of Welcome to Yorkshire, who have been responsible for bringing the Tour de France, will also be in Otley for an event which forms part of the build up to the Grand Depart.

With many visitors arriving in the area for Le Tour, organisers are expecting a record crowd to watch the street racing.

Otley race director Giles Pidcock said: “Last year the crowd was estimated at 16,000, our biggest yet, and we expect to top that this time.

“The event grows in popularity each year and in some ways it is a huge street carnival with a cycle race going on.”

Skoda will be bringing the world’s biggest ice cream van to the event, but one of last year’s new innovations has been dispensed with.

The floodlighting on the finishing straight has been dispensed with because it interfered with the photo finish equipment.

The resurfacing of Birdcage Walk and the repairing of drain covers on the final turn into Bondgate shoulkd make the conditions better for the riders.


1730: Roads close

18:10 Pinsent Mason Otley Women’s GP

18:55 MAS Design Super Prestige Youth Race for U16s.

18:55WGC Lanscapes Lads & Lasses race

1930 Chevin Cycles Classic Race

20:30 Property Development GP