Paralympic cyclist Dame Sarah Storey stopped off in Tadcaster ahead of the UCI Road World Championships and Yorkshire 2019 Para-Cycling International which are taking place in the county this September.
Both events visit a number of villages and towns in the district, with Tadcaster chosen as one of the three start locations for the Yorkshire 2019 Para-Cycling International on Saturday September 21, which runs before the Championships themselves take place between 22-29 September.
Britain’s most successful female Paralympian, Dame Sarah Storey, DBE, was in the region to recce the longest para-cycling route from Beverley to Harrogate.
During her flying visit she met local schoolchildren from Riverside and St Joseph’s Primary Schools and community groups organising the start event in the town.
She took part in a question and answer session with the children and handed over a huge flag that will fly over the town when the races take place.
Last week’s visit coincided with the announcement of a special UCI roadshow to help local residents and businesses find out more about the race.
The Yorkshire 2019 event will take place on Monday July 15 at Tadcaster Leisure Centre at 7.30pm. Coun Richard Musgrave, deputy leader of Selby District Council, said: “We’re delighted that Dame Sarah stopped off to see how the work is progressing to get the town ready for these major cycle races.
“We’ll see visitors to the district from far and wide.”
David Gluck, from Tadcaster TEMPT, added, “We are working hard to make these cycling races are enjoyed by the whole community.
“We were extremely proud to be able to show off some of the preparations that are already in place for the event.
“There’ll be a community festival with plenty of opportunities to watch the races, try out some of the cycles used with fun and games for the whole family.
“The whole town will be decorated with the rainbow race colours.”
Mr Gluck added: “We know how fantastic Tadcaster looked for the Tour de Yorkshire – and these races will be just as special.”
Volunteers involved in staging the race event also went along to meet Dame Sarah Storey and students from Tadcaster Grammar School served tea and cakes, which they’d baked and decorated, on the lawn in front of Manor Farm for the guests.
Tadcaster is one of four start points for the Para-Cycling International road races to be held on the first day of the championships, Saturday 21 September.
In the Selby district, the races will visit North Duffield, Riccall, Kelfield, Cawood, Ryther, Ossendyke, Ulleskelf and Tadcaster itself before heading out towards Wetherby.
The para-cycling races are followed by the week-long UCI Road World Championships - the biggest event in the cycling calendar. Riders compete for their countries rather than for individual race teams. It’s the only time this happens outside of the Olympics.
On Friday 27 September, the district will see riders involved in the women’s junior and men’s under-23 road races, as they make their way from Doncaster to Harrogate.
These races will come into the district at Little Heck, then take in Eggborough, Kellington, Beal, Birkin, Hillam, Monk Fryston, South Milford, Sherburn-in-Elmet, Barkston Ash, Towton and then through Tadcaster and out towards Wetherby.
Organised by Welcome to Yorkshire and Yorkshire 2019, representatives from Selby District Council, the police and North Yorkshire County Council’s Highways department will also be in attendance.
The roadshows are the perfect way to learn about the races and how to get involved.
The sessions will include a short presentation which includes route information, advice on how to make the most of this global event and is also the chance to ask questions.
For more info about the races visit www.selby.gov.uk/cycling-2019-uci-road-world-championships-and-para-cycling-international
Book for the roadshow at: www.eventbrite.co.uk and search UCI roadshow Tadcaster.