As Yorkshire gears up for Le Grand Depart, Ilkley Literature Festival has announced it will be staging a weekend of exciting cycling-themed events ‘Cycling Words’ will take place on Saturday and Sunday, June 28 and 29. The Festival will be marking one week till the Tour with a full day of events on Saturday, June 28.

There will be something for everyone, from the confused to the expert, with some of cycling’s best writers including Max Leonard and Tim Moore on the trials and tribulations of cycling competitions – from inspirational and occasionally absurd stories of the last-placed rider in the Tour de France to a 3,000km journey following the route of the first Giro d’Italia on a home-built, 100-year-old bike.

Tim Lewis will be discussing the incredible story of the rise of the Rwandan cycling team. In a light-hearted event, Oli Broom explains how his love of cricket and cycling led him to cycle 16,000 miles to the ashes and Ilkley-based journalist Peter Cossins will introduce his new book about the Monuments – the toughest, longest and dirtiest of cycling’s one-day tests and explaining why, for him, they are the best races of the year .

The Festival will also be hosting a unique performance of Bike Story, a spectacular outdoor theatre show created by leading playwright Mike Kenny. Inspired by real bike stories collected from ordinary people, the performance will take place at a very special location in Ilkley.

Bringing the weekend to a close, former racing cyclist, writer and British Sports Book Awards winner Richard Moore and broadcaster and cycling writer Ned Boulting will be in Ilkley on Sunday, June 29 June to discuss all things Tour de France.

Festival director Rachel Feldberg said: “Ilkley Literature Festival is really pleased to be able to share the excitement of the Grand Depart and contribute to Ilkley’s celebrations with this exciting weekend of ‘Cycling Words’.”

Tickets will be available from 10am on Monday, April 28 from: The 2014 Ilkley Literature Festival runs from Friday, October 3, to Sunday, October 19. The Festival programme will be available in the third week in August and the box office opens on Tuesday, August 26 at 9am.

To put your name on the mailing list and get a free copy of the programme in August, visit or e-mail info@ilkleyliterature