Ilkley Cycling Club looks to build on legacy of Tour de France as it plans for future

Wharfedale Observer: Lizzie Armitstead rode in the first Ilkley town centre cycle races Lizzie Armitstead rode in the first Ilkley town centre cycle races

Ilkley Cycling Club will be hoping to build on the legacy of the magnificent Grand Depart to promote cycling.

Their inaugural Town Centre races last week were a big hit and are expected to become an annual event to provide more opportunities for the people of the town to come out and watch racing around the streets.

The club will also continue to host the hugely-popular White Rose Classic which has brought around 1,000 riders to Ilkley since being revived in 2012.

The two-day stage race held in May this year will be repeated and there are hopes for a women's competition too, while there will be an Autumn cyclo cross event too.

But the club isn’t just putting its focus on competitive cycling. Club official Jonathan Riley said: “There are many things we would like to look at, including the possibility of closed roads cycling for adults and youngsters if we can get local authority support.

“It is also important we look at cycling for leisure and don’t lose our focus on participation for everyone. We will continue to coach riders of all ages and abilities and we are looking to secure a permanent off-road facility for that purpose.

“We would also like to develop a safe cycle route between Ilkley and Ben Rhydding's sports facilities, to make it easier for both children and adults to ride rather than drive.

“It is also important that local business benefits from a rise in leisure and utility cycling and perhaps we might be able to develop a “cyclists welcome” scheme.”

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