AN annual cycle ride which has raised thousands of pounds for a local charity has attracted three new sponsors.

Organised by Ryedale Special Families, with help from York-based Scoot Cycling Holidays, the event has boosted the charity’s funds by £10,000 during the past two years.

This summer’s Yorkshire Wolds Cycle Challenge has new sponsorship from Big Bear Bikes, Escada Systems and Inntravel, alongside Wold Top Brewery which has supported the event from its inception in 2011 and who will brew a special ale to help refresh the cyclists at the halfway overnight stop.

Rob Davies, funding co-ordinator for Ryedale Special Families, said the 146-mile cycle challenge had already become a significant contributor towards their annual funding target.

“For the first two years, we were lucky enough to have the backing of Vion Foods and we can’t thank them enough for helping us get the event off the ground,” he said.

“This year, we’re hoping to build on the success of the event and we’re absolutely delighted that these well-known local companies have agreed to support the challenge, which has already become an important fixture within Ryedale’s sporting calendar. Following the amazing success of the Olympics, we know there’s been a huge increase in the number of people taking up cycling.”

David Beeley, of Big Bear Bikes, in Pickering, said: “Big Bear Bikes is very pleased to be supporting such a great local charity and a great cycling event as it goes from strength to strength. Good luck to all involved in the event, riders, supporters and organisers.”

Gavin Bushby, chairman of Escada Systems, added: “Escada Systems is happy to support Ryedale Special Families through the Yorkshire Wolds Cycle Challenge, a local charity helping to make a difference.”

This year’s cycle challenge will take place on Saturday, July 13 and Sunday, July 14.

Cyclists set off at their leisure around the circular route, which starts and finishes at Norton College and follows the blue signs of the Yorkshire Wolds Cycle Route.

Each day involves 73 miles of cycling around the Yorkshire Wolds, taking in Sledmere, Weaverthorpe, Bempton Cliffs, Bridlington and Driffield, before the overnight stop at Hutton Cranswick with barbecue, including bar and live music.

After a cooked breakfast, day two sees the route head towards Beverley, Market Weighton and Pocklington, before returning to Norton College, via Millington Woods, Thixendale and Westow.

Karl Watson, general manager of Inntravel, said: “Our holidays are planned specifically to support the independent hotels and restaurants and traditional enterprises that help to maintain the life of local communities in rural Europe.

“We’re therefore really pleased to support a local charity which does so much good in our own community.

“Mind you, the cycling is a lot more challenging than the gentle pootling on one of our holidays, but we aren’t short of staff who’ll want to give it a go.”

Entries are open to cyclists of all ages and abilities, although under 16s must be accompanies by an adult. Participants pay an initial entry fee of £30 with under 16s free and each rider is asked to raise a minimum amount of sponsorship of £50.

Full details, as well as a copy of the route, a training guide and an online entry form, can be found at