Ripley Castle Cyclocross gets Harrogate’s Le Tour Year off to a racing start!

29 December 2013

Ripley Castle Cyclocross is the first cycling event of Yorkshire’s Grand Depart year, and offers the opportunity for cyclists and non-cyclists alike to have an exciting day out – whatever their age!

This brand new event, being organised by Harrogate Nova Cycling Club, will take place on 1 January 2014 and features off-road cross-country races for all ages – starting at 10.30am with racing for 12 to 16 year olds and also for any adults who wants to give it a go for the first time, followed by under 12s and under 10s at 11.30am before getting into the serious stuff at 12.30pm. If you want to give it a go then just turn up with your helmet and bike, as long as it is suitable for off-roading.

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 Tour de France 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 beginner’s races for children and adults to provide the chance to experience cyclocross which is the fastest growing branch of cycle sport in the UK.

The races have attracted over 200 riders already and more are expected to enter on the day. Many of the country’s top riders will be appearing including: Paul Oldham, the number 1 ranked senior male cyclocross rider in the UK, Billy Harding, the current under 23 National Champion and Ian Bibby the 2010 National Cyclocross Champion and stage winner of the Tour of Britain, they will be racing alongside several of the top ten Yorkshire riders.

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


Steve added: What better way of blowing away the cobwebs on New Years Day than to come to Ripley Castle Cyclocross with spectators being able to access the whole course, listen to the commentary over the PA system and shout for their riders.

The Castle grounds will be free to enter on the day for spectators and both Ripley Castle Tearooms and the Castle Bar will be open, serving hot food and drink – including the traditional cyclocross beer and frites with chefs also serving food on the castle terrace. Dogs are welcome but must be kept on a lead.

The village car park will be open at 9.00am and entrance to watch the race and Ripley Castle grounds is free. If you would like to have a go at cyclocross please ensure that you register in the Castle Courtyard at least 30 minutes before the race you wish to enter.

For further details please see

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