Steve, who is visually impaired, won two gold medals in this year’s Rio Paralympics, and will be competing on a tandem with renowned cycling journalist and mountain bike tester Guy Kesteven in the January 1st race to raise funds for sight-loss charity Henshaws in Harrogate.
The duo will be competing in the novice Go-Cross race which is being introduced for the first time in the 2017 event by the organisers, the Harrogate Nova Cycling Club, as a way of encouraging complete beginners to try cyclocross.
Steve’s participation is particularly fitting as the club has partnered with Henshaws in Harrogate for the event, to help raise £1,000 for a new bike rack and shelter for students at the charity’s Specialist College
The Go-Cross race gets underway at 10am with laps of a two and a half kilometre course through the grounds of Conynham Hall before the children’s races at 11am and then the headline cyclocross races from midday onwards.
Since the first event in 2014, the New Year’s Day cyclocross race has virtually doubled the number of entrants to become one of the largest fixtures in the UK, attracting a strong field of nearly 700 competitors and over a thousand spectators.
Steve Smales, race director comments: Having Steve competing in our event is a real coup as he is an absolute legend in British cycling and an inspiration to anybody who is facing a challenge in sport or life in general. Steve has just an eight % field of vision, and I think we can all take inspiration from his participation in NovaCross.
One of our key aims is to encourage newcomers into the sport. This is why we’ve introduced the race for novices so they can find out just how much fun and excitement there is in cyclocross racing which is one of the fastest growing cycling disciplines in the UK.
Hosting an event that sits on the sport’s international calendar is a real coup for Knaresborough and we hope to see the race’s stature grow in years to come. Hopefully the race will support tourism in Knaresborough and bring many visitors to the town.
For more information on the event and spectator details please look on www.novacross.org.uk