MALTON is gearing up for a spectacular new event.

Ahead of the Tour de France Grand Depart leaving Yorkshire in two weeks time, the Malton Festival of Cycling, hits the streets of the town on Sunday.

The team behind this exiting festival comprises Ashley Clark, of Northern Ride bike shop in Malton, and Keith Davies, of Fitzwilliam Malton Estate, with the help of Malton Wheelers road club.

The event, which is hoped will become an annual fixture, has children’s, youth, women’s and men’s races at all levels and a healthy number of riders have already signed up.

The biggest spectacle is expected to be the Northern Ride 3/4 cat race at 2.30pm which already has more than 50 riders signed up.

With the interest in cycling reaching a peak, with the Tour de France Grand Depart taking place in Yorkshire in two weeks, it is expected that thousands of visitors will travel to Malton to watch the closed circuit criterium racing around the town centre.

However, the day is not just about the racing, there will be so much more happening in the town, with a wide range of fun events for all ages: Northern Ride’s – Malton Town Centre Races - The day will feature fun riding for children from 9am until 11am which can be entered on the day and is suitable for all abilities; A series of competitive races have also been organised in association with British Cycling.

This will see young people, women and elite cyclists take to the streets to race at speeds in excess of 40mph. A spectacle that will see the streets of Malton bustling with energy between 11am and 6pm.

Race times:

11am: Switched Electrical/Smartflow – under-10/under-eights.

11am: Malton CIC – under-12.

11.45am: Crombie Wilkinson LLp – under-16/under-14 girls.

12.30pm: Talbot Hotel – under-16/under-14 boys.

2.30pm: Northern Ride – 3/4 Regional B.

3.30pm: Swinton Technology – Women.

4.30pm: Superfast North Yorkshire – E/1/2/3 National B.

Around the festival:

Talbot Open Grounds Day: In addition to the racing there will be lots of other things happening. The Talbot Hotel will be hosting an open grounds day with various activities already planned including a falconer, hog roast, stalls and local ale tasting.

Malton Food Lovers Festival: Six of the best food lovers stalls have been invited to attend the Festival of Cycling to provide spectators and competitors with a variety of refreshments and entertainment.

Roller Racing: Swinton Technology are holding reuest roller races where the public race on a fixed bike over a 500m distance. This will be an in intense battle of the wits and the lungs where dad and son can prove who really is the fittest!

More events are to be confirmed, including a beer festival. Visitors can keep up to date by visiting the website.

Speaking about the event which he has helped to mastermind,  Ashley Clark said: “The festival has been organised as a not-for-profit community event to promote cycling at all levels during this prestigious cycling year. Our thanks go to the sponsors of the races listed above, as well as Elvington Plant Hire for providing us with the barriers.  Another mention must go to Richard Houghton who has organised the traffic management and TM Traffic Management Ltd.

“I would also like you to pay a special thank you to Harry Francis of Newcastle University (who lives locally) for building the website voluntarily .”

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