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Cyclists conquer Yorkshire’s toughest charity challenge

More than 100 people tackled one of Yorkshire’s toughest cycling challenges on Sunday to raise money for Yorkshire Cancer Research.
Participants in The Dales Rider were able to choose from ‘The Gear Grinder’, a 65 mile circular route which weaved its way through hills and valleys of the Dales to the historic market town of Masham and back, or ‘The Challenger’, a 31 mile circular route which took riders past Thruscross Reservoir and along the River Wharfe past Bolton Abbey.

Both challenges included several tough hills and showcased some of Yorkshire’s most stunning countryside, including the Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Backed by Commonwealth bronze medallist Scott Thwaites, a professional cyclist from Burley-in-Wharfedale, the event is set to raise thousands of pounds for the Harrogate-based charity’s world-class research, with the highest fundraiser winning a cycling holiday for two donated by Jet2holidays.

Lunch was provided by The White Bear, Masham, and the event was sponsored by Ilkley Cycles, who provided financial support and on-the-day assistance.

Andy Pierce, Events Manager at the charity, said: Last year’s event took place on an extremely windy day, so we were especially pleased that the sun came out for this year’s Dales Rider challenge. We’re enormously grateful to everyone who took part in our two routes.

Conquering The Challenger or The Gear Grinder is no mean feat. With steep climbs and testing descents the event is not for the faint-hearted, but its breath taking views and picturesque towns and villages make it all worth it, along with the knowledge that the money raised will make a huge difference in our aim to help cancer patients right here in Yorkshire.

For more information on Yorkshire Cancer Research, visit

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