A 70-YEAR-OLD cycling rally is set to return in 2015 as York continues to thrive from the buzz of the Tour de France.
The York Rally started out as "The Grand All-Yorkshire Cyclists Rally" in September 1945 when a group of cycling enthusiasts decided to hold a rally in the city, but after 68 years the rally was forced to dissolve in 2013.
The first event was held on York’s Knavesmire, and it quickly became one of the biggest annual meeting points for cyclists across the UK and beyond.
Just a year after the 2013 York Cycle Show was cancelled following terrible weather, resulting in the event losing a large part of its income, a newly-elected committee has announced The York Rally 2015 will take place on June 20-21, and annually thereafter.
Now organisers say next year’s event “will aim to attract cyclists and potential cyclists old and new”, and will be a good opportunity for those new to the sport to get involved and meet some of the rally regulars.
Peter Eland, committee member, said: "The Tour De France’s visit to Yorkshire has inspired people to see all the lovely countryside outside the city.
“Some of the volunteers have been helping at the Rally for 30 to 40 years."
A fundraiser for the 2015 rally, the York Rally Grande Classic Sportive, will take place on Sunday September 21 this year, when three courses will be on offer to members of the public.
Participants can choose between a 36km ride, suitable for families and those new to cycling, a 100km ride for those who fancy a serious challenge, and a 140km ride which includes the famous Rosedale Chimney Bank in its route.
Mr Eland said he hoped the fundraiser would attract around 150 people, and raise between £3000 and £4000 for the event next year, which needs between £15,000 and £20,000 to go ahead.
All proceeds will go towards staging the York Rally. Entries are open on the British Cycling website at www.britishcycling.org.uk/events/details/114853/York-Rally-Grande-Classic. Full details are available on the York Rally website at www.yorkrally.org.
* On Friday, July 18 Beverley will welcome some of the UK's best cyclists when it hosts the Elite Men's Circuit Race. The race, from 6pm on Friday, will be televised on Sky Sports and the event will see parts of Beverley town centre closed to motorists from 6am. Alongside Friday’s main race, the Keith Jordan Memorial support race will give local riders the opportunity to ride in front of huge crowds, and for the first time there will be a ladies' race.