WITH THE Grand Depart a distance memory, Ryedale is gearing up for its own cycle challenge this weekend.

The 144-mile Yorkshire Wolds Cycle Challenge takes place on Saturday, July 12 and Sunday, July 13, in aid of Ryedale Special Families.

Held for the fourth year running, 170 riders are due to set off from Norton College for the circular challenge - which for the first time will include a tandem ridden by Ian Newall from Harrogate and Angela Rickards from Wetherby.

The event covers 73 miles each day and is open to cyclists of all ages and abilities, travelling at their own pace around the bi-ways of the Yorkshire Wolds. Full medical and mechanical support is provided and there are also a number of Guardian Angels cycling among the pack.

Rob Davies, fundraising coordinator for Ryedale Special Families said he could not believe this was the fourth running of the amazing event.

“We started with 63 riders in the first year and this year have almost three times that amount taking part, which is incredible,“ he added.

“This year we decided to reverse the route and run it in an anti-clockwise direction, which has meant a lot of work in terms of starting afresh with the risk assessment”

Rob said that in addition they had to work to more stringent guidelines laid down by British Cycling, now that they were recognised as one of their Sportives and he would like to thank Ann Lester and Rupert Douglas for their assistance with this.

“On behalf of Ryedale Special Families I’d like to thank everyone involved including the 170 cyclists who have entered, the Guardian Angel support cyclists, the volunteer marshals for giving up their time on Saturday and Sunday, and of course our “sponsors” without whom this event couldn’t happen,” he added.

“ These include Big Bear Bikes who will provide mechanical support over the two days, Karro Foods for helping with the supply of meats for the halfway BBQ and breakfast, as well as Wold Top Brewery, Inntravel & Escada Systems.”

Rob said: “All we need now is a nice dry weekend, and not too hot please.”

For full details go to yorkshirewoldscyclechallenge.org.uk