Ripley cycling event to start Tour de France countdown

Testing the route at Ripley Castle (s)

Testing the route at Ripley Castle (s)

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A Cyclocross event at Ripley Castle will kick-start the region’s Tour de France year.

This event, organised by Harrogate Nova Cycling Club, will feature off-road cross-country races for all ages.

All are welcome, and urged to turn up with a bike, suitable for off-roading, and helmet.

Cyclocross is ridden off-road and consists of riding on different surfaces including grass and through woods, and at Ripley Castle the route will also include the castle terrace and courtyard.

Race director Steve Smales said: “We are thrilled to be promoting the first cycling event of this special year with Ripley Castle.

“We have got an exciting course with some unique features in a great location.

This means we have got some of Britain’s top Cyclocross riders taking part which will give a fantastic spectator experience.

“We are also keen to offer children and young people the chance to experience cyclocross which is increasing in popularity all the time.”

Castle owner Sir Thomas Ingilby said: “Ripley Castle is delighted to be working with Harrogate Nova Cycling Club to deliver the event.

“This is especially important to us, as seven months later Le Tour will be passing Ripley and we are always keen to welcome cyclists and their families who share our village’s enthusiasm for the sport.”

The Castle grounds will be free to enter on the day for spectators and both Ripley Castle. Dogs are welcome but must be kept on a lead.

The village car park will be open at 9am and entrance to the race and Ripley Castle grounds is free for spectators.

For further details see www.ripleycastlecx.org.uk

Timetable of races: Youth race for 12-16-year-olds lasts 30 minutes from 10.30am,entry £5; Haggis Dash for Mums, Dads and novice riders lasts 30 minutes from 10.35am, entry £10; Under 10’s and under 12’s lasts 15 minutes from 11.30am, entry £1; Over 40s and Women’s race lasts 45 minutes from 12.30p, entry £15; Under 40s and Juniors (17-23) race lasts one hour from 2pm, entry £15 (£12 Juniors).