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Member Article

New cycling event announced to mark 10th anniversary of the Tour de France Grand Depart

A major new cycling event is taking place in Yorkshire this summer to mark the 10th anniversary of the county’s unforgettable staging of the Tour de France Grand Depart.

The mass participation event, named Legacy Ride, will be held on Sunday 7th July, with amateur cyclists getting the chance to retrace the route followed by the sport’s professional stars back in 2014.

Setting out from Roundhay Park in Leeds, riders will make their way to the heart of the Yorkshire Dales via some of the county’s most scenic roads and locations.

The sporting celebration is being organised by leading cycling events company Struggle Events with support from Leeds City Council and sponsorship from Leeds-based advanced digital delivery consultancy Axiologik.

The event will raise money for the Motor Neurone Disease (MND) Association and a £6.8m Leeds Hospitals Charity appeal for a Rob Burrow Centre for MND. Leeds Rhinos legend Rob was diagnosed with MND in 2019 and since then – with support from his friend and former team-mate Kevin Sinfield – he has worked tirelessly to raise awareness of the condition and deliver improved care for those affected by it.

While avid cycling enthusiasts are invited to test their fitness over the full 230km ride, there are 120km and 70km route options designed to encourage cyclists of all levels to get involved. 

All routes start and finish in Roundhay Park and head out into Wharfedale. The 230km route takes riders into Wensleydale and Swaledale via Kidstones Pass, Buttertubs Pass and Grinton Moor.

The 120km route passes Bolton Abbey and then takes riders over a climb dubbed ‘Cote de Skyreholme’. The 70km route, meanwhile, heads past Otley and over Askwith Moor.

All three route options include a late climb up Weardley Bank, near Eccup Reservoir, before the finish back at Roundhay Park.

A report by Leeds City Council and UK Sport in December 2014 showed the Grand Depart boosted Yorkshire’s economy by more than £100m, with further longer-term benefits being predicted as a result of increased tourism, profile and trade deals. 

Councillor Jonathan Pryor, Leeds City Council’s deputy leader and executive member for economy, culture and education, said: “The Grand Depart was a fantastic occasion for Leeds and the rest of Yorkshire, showcasing the people and places of our city and county to a global audience of millions.

“I’m delighted, therefore, that the 10th anniversary of that very special weekend is being celebrated with an event that will encourage amateur riders to get on their bikes and emulate the big-name cyclists who thrilled us all a decade ago.

“As a city, we have a proud track record of staging high-profile sporting events such as England football internationals, the AJ Bell World Triathlon Championship Series and the Rob Burrow Leeds Marathon as well as, of course, the Grand Depart itself.”

Struggle Events Director and Co-Founder Matt Mannakee said: “The Tour de France changed the way Yorkshire used - and enjoyed - our fantastic countryside roads. Our aim for this Legacy Ride is to revive that cycling fever - for the good of our health, for pleasure and to protect our environment.

"We’ve followed the hard work of Kevin Sinfield ever since he rode one of our events in 2021 as part of his early fundraising activity for his dear friend Rob Burrow. We were so pleased to see the Rob Burrow Leeds Marathon launch last year to support Leeds Hospitals Charity’s MND centre appeal, and we hope the Legacy Ride will help contribute further to the £6.8 million target.”

Director and Co-founder of Axiologik Ben Davison commented: “As a Yorkshire-born business, we deeply cherish our region and its resilient community. Our roots are intertwined with the spirit of Yorkshire, which has played an integral role in shaping our journey as a business. This not only celebrates an iconic event for our region in 2014 but exemplifies our dedication to fostering high-performing teams and giving back to the community, reflecting a couple of Axiologik’s core values as a business.” 

The route will be run on open roads, with riders setting off early in the morning in staggered groups. There will be no road closures, with plans in place to minimise impact on local residents throughout the route. People are encouraged to show their support for the riders as they pass by.

Legacy Ride opens for entries on Friday 8th March 2024 at www.legacy-ride.com. Entry prices range from £39-£59 with an optional charity donation. Cyclists of all abilities are invited to participate on any bike, including e-bikes, in a team or individual capacity.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Louise Jaggar .

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