Top British racers heading to Otley

Big crowds expected for feast of road racing

The cream of Britain’s racing cyclists will join a strong line-up of local riders in Otley town centre for the 23rd annual edition of Otley Cycle Races on Thursday, June 26. Crowds of over 4,000 are expected to line the Bondgate circuit for a free evening of top-quality cycle sport.

Featuring a British Cycling Elite Series circuit race the event hopes to attract Team GB Olympic riders in the run-up to the summer games in Beijing. In addition, all the top UK professional squads will race. There are supporting races for local amateur riders and a youth race with categories for under-16, under-14 and under-12.

As well as British Cycling, the event is supported by popular Otley bike shop Chevin Cycles, and by WGC Landscapes who sponsor the youth races. Chevin Cycles will also be looking to repeat their success of last year, when Team Chevin took the prize for the first local rider to finish.

Racing starts at 7pm and will once again be introduced by the familiar voice of Mike Smith, cycling commentator from British Eurosport TV, thanks to sponsorship from Leeds City Council’s Travelwise team. As well as his expert opinions on the racing, Mike will have up-to-the-minute information about the circuit race series and about the big-name riders and their form.

Big crowds traditionally gather on the start/finish straight on Bondgate, where there is also plenty of opportunity to get refreshments from The Junction, the Rose and Crown and Bondgate Bakery. This year, organisers have also arranged for coffee and ice-cream to be available while Pizza Base and Bondgate Fisheries will be open throughout the evening to feed hungry spectators.

In previous years many local residents have come out of their houses onto the circuit - complete with picnics and barbecues – to add to the festive atmosphere. With a total prize fund over £1500, the evening finishes with presentations to all the winners on the British Cycling podium at the top of Kirkgate at around 9.30pm.

This article was published by BikeRadar, the world's leading source of bike reviews, gear reviews, riding advice and route information
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