The Yorkshire region looks set to have a big year with a range of top level Road promotions coming to the county.
Over the last 10 years the Region has focussed on bringing top quality events to Yorkshire and for 2012 the Region’s menu of road events starts with what regional chair Bob Howden describes as “the Golden Goal Week” in the important run up to the London Olympics.
Starting the action on the 20th June is the National Men’s Circuit Race Championship that crosses the county from its Beverley home of the last few years to the town of Otley, home of the always popular Town Centre Races. One of the most popular events on the calendar, the Circuit Race Championships should be played out in front of several thousand spectators. Organiser is Giles Pidcock and his team drawn from local clubs with judging assistance from British Cycling Yorkshire Events Group.
The action then shifts to North Yorkshire and National Elite and Under 23 Women and Men’s Road Race Championships on the 24th June. For the last seven years British Cycling Yorkshire Events Group working with local clubs has promoted the Ryedale Grand Prix, with the 2005 and 2008 editions doubling as the National Road Championships.
This year’s Championship edition sees a change of direction with a new venue and circuits. Moving from the Stately Home of Duncombe Park to the equally splendid Ampleforth Abbey (pictured above) enables the organisers to produce two distinct circuits to pass through the grounds. Bob Howden takes the organiser’s chair again, with sponsorship from his company Grass Concrete Limited together with Welcome to Yorkshire and Ryedale District Council.
Wrapping up a remarkable few days of action, it’s then back to West Yorkshire just two days later as Brighouse town centre hosts a round of the National Circuit Race Series. VS Cycles are back to organise the race after a break last year. This short circuit never fails to deliver the action and a large crowd can again be expected.
The action doesn’t stop there, though, with further rounds of the Elite Circuit Series coming to Sheffield and Beverley later in the season.
The focus at Regional level isn’t confined to competitive events, with the annual Ryedale Rumble Sportive being promoted once again by the Events Group. The date has been moved back to the 2nd September to allow some recovery time from the efforts of June.
The beneficiaries from the region’s promotions will once again be young riders: 2011 saw the Yorkshire Youth Team finishing in the top three of each of the Inter-Regional Championships. This included the Track Championships a significant achievement for a Region with no hard track of their own and testimony to the work done by the White Rose Youth League.
The challenge now is to maintain the momentum as the riders move into the Junior ranks. The New Year has seen the introduction of the Yorkshire Junior Development Group with the aim of helping riders with the transition from Youth, through Junior and into Senior ranks. The process has begun with the first of a series of group rides that will continue up to the start of the racing season. The structure will then continue with support to riders throughout the season.