ILKLEY Cycling Club is gearing up for its first ever women’s cycle race in Ilkley next week, four days ahead of the Tour de France.

As part of a combined event, the women’s race will be hosted by Ilkley Cycling Club with support from local LPG supplier, AvantiGas.

Ilkley Cycle Races is a new four race event held on Tuesday, July 1, to welcome riders to Ilkley in the days leading up to Stage 1 of the Grand Départ.

Riders will compete in either the under 14s race, under 16s race, AvantiGas women’s or the Lister Horsfall’s men’s race to complete a challenging 1.5km circuit around Riddings Road hill, with a high-speed finish along The Grove.

Following the successful sponsorship of the ICC AvantiGas 2 Day race in May, AvantiGas is continuing its support for Ilkley Cycling Club by sponsoring the women’s race in the inaugural event.

Mike Firth, organiser of the Ilkley Cycle Races said: “We are thrilled to launch the first Ilkley Cycle Races event in Ilkley and the support from the sponsors has been instrumental in allowing the event to take place.

“AvantiGas has helped raise the stakes in the women’s race by offering a £600 cash prize for the winner. It will give women the opportunity to experience the thrill of racing in the unique environment of a town centre event, as well as inspiring more women to make the transition from recreation to racing.

He added: “Ilkley Cycle Races has attracted some top local riders and stars of the future. It is sure to be a competitive and exciting event that we plan to repeat in years to come.”

The women’s race is aimed at 2nd, 3rd and 4th category riders and has attracted cyclists from around the UK and beyond, including Helen Dutrieux from France. Owing to her calibre, Olympic silver medallist Lizzie Armitstead will also be competing in the men’s race, as she has done on previous occasions at Otley’s annual town centre cycle races.

Dan Eadson, domestic sales representative from AvantiGas added: “We are proud to be supporting the first ever women’s race in Ilkley and to be part of such a worthy community event. As a local energy supplier we’re delighted to put our weight behind this fantastic event and after the success of the ICC AvantiGas 2 Day race in May, we were keen to continue our support for Ilkley Cycling Club.

“As a national supplier of LPG, we strive to support local communities and understand more about their energy needs. Sponsoring the AvantiGas women’s race is an opportunity for us to interact with consumers and raise awareness in the community.”

Ilkley Cycle Races will be held on Tuesday, July 1 and starts at 5.45pm on The Grove with the Cub Scout’s Soapbox Derby and will continue through the evening with the prize presentation closing the event at 9.40pm. Food and drink will be available from Ilkley Brewery’s pop-up bar and Lishman’s barbecue.

For more details about the event visit