News – Huddersfield’s new Crit takes off


After months of hard work, the streets in Huddersfield are the setting for a curtain raiser crit for Yorkshire’s Grand Depart

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News – Huddersfield’s new Crit takes off

Surprisingly in spite impressive connections to cycling success Huddersfield in West Yorkshire has never staged a Criterium (town centre race), until this year.

Former Tour de France stage winner Brian Robinson & his brother Des both rode for the Huddersfield Road Club when they represented Britain at the Olympics, the area is home to double Olympic Gold medal winner Ed Clancy and now has a host of talented youngsters emerging through the Kirklees Cycling Academy

Now following months of hard work by 2 local cycling enthusiasts the streets in the town centre are the setting for not only an impressive evenings racing, but a curtain raiser for Yorkshire’s Grand Depart, as the event is on Friday 4th July, the day before the Tour rolls out of Leeds and later passes through Huddersfield.

Whilst town centre events often attract crowds of 10-15,000 with the influx of visitors to the region to watch the tour organisers are hoping that the inaugural event may attract them from their tents and bedrooms that night

The event was the idea of Mirfield bike shop owner Dave Sowerby, who has in the past organised both road races and crits in local parks, and he approached his local councillor & keen cyclist and organiser of the Brian Robinson Challenge ride Martyn Bolt to see if there may be any interest.

At the time Martyn was Mayor of Kirklees , and organised an initial meeting in the Mayor’s Parlour at Huddersfield town hall, the support of local highways staff and West Yorkshire Metro helped advise on streets to avoid and the route was borne.

The event now has an impressive field of riders for most of the events, with only the Youth race looking a bit light, possibly due to a national championship event later being scheduled for the same weekend.

The races start at 6pm and feature a support event for 2,3 & 4 th category licence holders, followed by the youth race and culminating at about 8pm with the Elite race for professionals and 1st & 2nd category licence holders.

The technical circuit takes in some of the towns land marks, and challenges rider skills, and can be seen from that viewpoint on youtube ,

Support from the local business community has been excellent, and to add to the festival atmosphere a post event reception has been offered by for teams, sponsors and the VIPs

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