Saturday 21st September is a momentous day. Beverley plays host to the Yorkshire 2019 Para-Cycling International races, which this year mark the beginnings of the UCI Road World Championships 2019. This is a historic moment for Beverley as our market town faces public attention from around the world.
Three race categories were due to set off from Saturday Market, and at 12.00 on the dot the Mens Tandem race began, shortly followed by riders in the Bicycle category (with competitors riding an adapted bicycle), and just after 12.05 the Female Tandem race got underway. There was an enthusiastic crowd in a buoyant mood - spectators counted down and cheered as the races got started and the cyclists set-off.
Riders face a 106km race through the Yorkshire countryside, with the final destination of Harrogate. The fastest cyclist is expected to complete the course in approximately 2 hours 15 minutes. Alongside Beverley, competitors and supporters are also congregating in Tadcaster and Wetherby, the other starting locations. All races have the same final destination of Harrogate.
The weather for the day was perfect as crowds gathered under the beautiful sunshine in a cloudless sky. The light breeze offering a little respite from the heat.
Family-friendly activities throughout the day, where events and activities included Bike Trial stunts, a mini cycling assault course, and a chance to try out a variety of different cycles from tandems to scaled-down versions of the penny farthing in the cycling arena. Plenty of food and drink on offer, as well as free bike safety checks, cycles for sale, and perhaps most importantly, the Big Screen in the centre of town tracking the action during the race as the riders make their way to Harrogate.
This is a major event for both Para-Cycling and Beverley, with everyone congregating to support cycling, healthy competition and perhaps most significantly as the official commentator put it to “celebrate inclusivity”.