MALTON is gearing up for the Tour de France with its own town centre race next month.
The inaugural Malton Festival of Cycling on Sunday, June 22 will include youth, women, semi-professional and professional events with the main race attracting some of the country's top cyclists.
Northern Ride, in Saville Street is organising the not-for-profit event, in association with Malton CIC, British Cycling, Fitzwilliam Estate, Welcome to Yorkshire, TMC Traffic Management Ltd and Malton Wheelers Road Club.
Ash Clark, from Northern Ride, said there would also be two hours of Go-Ride children's racing in the morning followed by four youth races and three adult races.
"We are expecting around 300 competitors and in excess of 4,000 spectators throughout the day," he added.
"Since announcing the event we are delighted that a number of sponsors have come forward to support us."
Sponsorship has been provided by North Yorkshire Superfast Broadband, Swinton Technology, The Talbot Hotel, Malton CIC, NECO, Crombie Wilkinson, Elvington Plant Hire, Switched Electrical and Paul Waddington Flooring.
Ash said the police, and especially Inspector Andy Everitt had also been very supportive.
"I am really pleased with the support the festival has received, it has been a long process but people are not getting on board," he added.
"I have also had a lot of help from Keith Davies, a surveyor with the Fitzwilliam Estate who is a keen cyclist and has encouraged me along the way."
As well as the cycle racing, The Talbot Hotel will be hosting an Open Grounds Day with various activities planned including a falconer, hog roast, local ale tasting, jam and preserve tables, smoke product stand and bouncy castle between 11am and 5pm
Ash said the festival has been described as the launch of cycling events in the run-up to the Tour de France Grand Depart in Yorkshire by British Cycling.
"It is two weeks before the main event and is the first in a series of races that are going on in the county," he added.
"There is going to be a real buzz about cycling and we hope everyone in the area will get behind the festival - this is a fantastic opportunity for Ryedale to capitalise on the Tour de France.
Anyone who would like more information or is interested in becoming involved with the event as a volunteer or has further ideas of the day should contact Ash Clark at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 01653 699070.