SINCE the Ilkley Cycling club adopted the White Rose Classic back in 2012, the entirely volunteer-run cycling sportive has gone from strength to strength, growing in size and popularity with each consecutive year. Now in its eighth year, this event – whose organisers pride themselves on providing something for everyone, from leisurely Sunday riders to professional level racers – shows no sign of losing momentum.

The 2019 edition will be held on Sunday, June 23, setting off from rider HQ, Nell Bank Centre, Ilkley. Returning riders will notice this as the first of a series of changes to this years sportive, all of which are intended to further improve participants’ enjoyment. The change in HQ to Nell Bank not only provides the volunteer team an accessible, central location, but the centre’s facilities are perfect for the after-ride party.

Whether riding the 49 mile Grassington route, the 86 mile Settle route or the epic 122 mile Hawes route - riders will be on the road for slightly longer this year, taking in new sights. The Settle Medium route riders will cross the historic old bridge at Stainforth Force, making for a very picturesque ride down from Stainforth to Settle. Whilst Hawes Long Route riders climb from Dent up Deepdale into secluded Kingsdale, a route that even many local riders do not know.

All riders will have the opportunity to refuel at one of the three feed stations, featuring home made and home baked goods. In addition and a new feature for 2019, sports nutrition company ‘PowerBar’ are providing drinks bottles, energy drinks, bars and gels.

After you’ve pedalled your way round miles of breath-taking scenery, you’ll make your way back to rider HQ, where you’ll be met with a tasty hot meal, something sweet from Yorkshire Dales Ice Cream and beer on tap from the Ilkley Brewery.

“We’ve had fantastic take-up on registrations this year,” said Scott Blau, volunteer event organiser and Ilkley Cycling Club member.

“We’re really excited for riders new and old to experience the route improvements we’ve made, along with the feed station additions too. The Yorkshire cycling community is growing quickly, fuelled by interest in the Tour de Yorkshire earlier this season and the UCI World Championships this September. We are focused on delivering a sportive that attracts riders from around to country to the wonderful roads and lanes we enjoy year around.”

If you’re interested in riding, there’s still time to register before the June 21 deadline. If you’d like to know more about the event then head over to White Rose Classic website: where you can sign up for the route which suits you best.