Harrogate Nova cycling club forced to cancel New Year's Day race

Competitors taking on the course at last year's Novacross. Picture: Adrian Murray
Competitors taking on the course at last year's Novacross. Picture: Adrian Murray

The Director of a Harrogate cycling club's New Year's Day race has expressed 'disappointment' at having to cancel the annual event through a lack of early entries.

For the last five years, non-profit cycling club, Harrogate Nova, has organised the Novacross, a competitive cycling race held on New Year's Day.

But this year, organisers have cancelled the race as they explained not enough entries had been received to cover the cost of the event.

Novacross Race Director, Steve Smales, said: "The event was conceived with the intention of it being a landmark event where people who compete in cycling wouldn't have to look at a calendar, they would just know that it was on New Year's Day.

"Because of the difficult trading conditions in the cycling industry, that has meant that sponsorship within the industry hasn't been as forthcoming as it has in previous years.

"Unfortunately entries have also been a little slower and what that has done is put us in a position where we have been committed to the event cost and we have had to make the very difficult decision to cancel the event at a late point."

The event which has been held at Conyngham Hall in Knaresborough, and Ripley Castle, costs around £7,000 to put on with entry for an adult competitor priced at £23.

In the past, commercial sponsorship has meant that the club can even afford to provide prizes for winners of the race, but Mr Smales said that in the current climate the race had to be able to stand "on its own two feet".

He said: "This is no fault of our sponsors but they have commercial pressures and we have been put in a position where the event has to stand on its own two feet with competitor entries.

"We are disappointed because the work to put the event on was 90 per cent complete but we just can't afford to take the risk."