Wheels in motion for cycling event
AS TOP cyclists gear up for the famous Tour de France and the Olympics, the wheels are in motion for Beverley's annual cycling weekend.
Some 800 riders will be making tracks for the East Yorkshire Classic Cycling Weekend on July 20 and 21.
The event is taking place on the final weekend of the Tour de France and just days before the Olympic road race.
Organisers believe the high profile of British riders in the Tour de France, in the run-up to the Olympics, will increase interest in cycling as Beverley's event gets under way.
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Paul Kilvington, president of organisers Hull Thursday Road Club, said: "Hopefully, Bradley Wiggins is in with a very good chance of becoming Britain's first winner of the Tour de France and the knock-on effect of that would be to bring cycling to the forefront of everything that's going on.
"Obviously, that will benefit our event as more people will be interested in seeing top riders cycling through the streets of Beverley."
Beverley's annual cycling weekend attracts about 6,000 spectators to the town centre for an elite circuit race, which traditionally takes place on a Friday night.
Mr Kilvington said: "You have effectively two miles of people watching the event in the town centre.
"It is a very exciting thing to watch.
"People are amazed at the speed of the riders.
"You get the noise of the carbon fibre wheels, which makes a tremendous noise as they go over the cobbles, then there is the rush of wind as the riders come past – they create a draft that is like a train coming through."
As well as the circuit race, the weekend will attract 700 riders for an annual Big G Cyclosportive, featuring a choice of four routes across the Yorkshire Wolds on Saturday, July 21.
Cyclists will be flocking to the town from as far afield as Aviemore in Scotland to ride over the Yorkshire Wolds across distances of 30km, 60km, 100km or 160km.
Mr Kilvington said: "Entries were full in record time within two or three weeks of opening, without any advertising.
"I'm sure we could get 1,000 riders if were able to increase the limit on numbers.
"Cycling is much more high- profile than it used to be, that is reflected in the number of people out on bikes."
There are still places available on a new 30km Cyclosportive ride for novices.
This has been added to the programme of events to give more people the chance to experience the thrill of the popular Cyclosportive event.
Mr Kilvington said the cycling weekend brings a welcome spin-off for the local economy, bringing more business for Beverley's hotels, B&Bs, pubs, restaurants and shops.
Andy Cawley, race organiser, said: "We are very pleased once again with the terrific support we have received from the East Riding Council, EY Events team, Beverley Town Council, the police and Hull Thursday Road Club, as well as numerous local sponsors, in working together to deliver this free sporting spectacular."
The East Yorkshire Classic road race, which normally takes place on the Sunday, has been cancelled this year due to the close proximity of the Olympic Games.
Visit www.eastyorkshire classic.co.uk for full details of race routes, timing and riders.