News – Ripley Castle Cyclo-Cross Returns!


New Year’s Day sees the second running of the Ripley Castle Cyclo Cross just north of Harrogate, promoted by a team from Harrogate Nova CC

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News – Ripley Castle Cyclo-Cross Returns!

NOTE: Send your results as well as club, team & event news here


The 2015 event builds on the success of 2014, where three hundred riders competed on what may well turn out to become an iconic venue in year’s to come. The event’s course is based around a castle that dates back nine hundred years (in parts), and includes a sector across a gravel courtyard, over a cobbled section and through the obligatory wood and grass lands.


A popular feature last year was the specially constructed flyover which allows the course to weave it’s way around the deer park and incorporate the now notorious ha-ha ditch, which could be best described as cyclo-cross’s equivalent to a snowboarder’s half pipe.

The Yorkshire Divisional annual report for 2014 described the weather for last year’s race as ‘the worst in living memory…..’. This was a fair assessment and produced heroic racing in epic conditions for the main races, with Paul Oldham and Abby-Mae Parkinson showing their class against high quality opposition such as Ian Bibby and Delia Beddis.

With the race falling just a week or so before the National Championships, it provides both an opportunity for the contenders to get dialled back in following Christmas and a great opportunity for spectators to see some of the best riders at the height of their form ride for a share of a four figure prize fund.

The race is proud to promote the women’s race with it’s own separate identity and start grid. Importantly the prize structure for the whole day of racing offers equal prize funds for men and women. The races being run during the day include senior men’s and women’s races, Vets Juniors and Youths racing (men and women), along with adult novice and kids races. All races will have chip timing and this year there will be a live to web results service.


Another exciting feature for 2015 is the Harrogate Nova children’s ‘Ready2Race’ cyclocross skills course for first timers being run by their BC qualified coaches that will act as a pathway into the event.

Race Director, Steve Smales told Velo UK “In 2014, what started out as an idea in my head of a modest event, held in an interesting venue, has now turned into quite an animal. What was effectively a ‘first go’ at putting on a ‘cross race exceeded my every expectation both in terms of participation and feedback about both rider and spectator experience. In our second year, we have been granted category A status by British Cycling that effectively puts us just one rung below the National Trophy.”
“This brings us some challenges, but we’re massively excited at some of the enquiries we are getting from the very best level of riders. Importantly we aim to give every rider a great race experience with a course that allows lots of choice of line and strikes a great balance between athletic difficulty, technical challenge and spectator interaction. This year we are running a slightly shorter, more compact and importantly more spectator friendly course”.

“We’ve realised that an apocalyptic and seemingly chaotic pits has it’s own appeal to spectators, so we have moved them for this year. This builds on some of the things we played with last year to great effect…..for instance building our hurdles a hint lower so they were hoppable”.


Our venue, Ripley Castle sat on the route of stage one of the Tour de France and, as in 2014, Sir Thomas Ingilby (the Castle’s owner), continues to utterly embrace all things cycling. Hence, the castle tearooms turn from their normal business, strip all their furniture out and put on an affordable classic cross lovers menu for attendees.

For 2015 we have a significant new sponsor in All Terrain Cycles along with an exciting new Cat Eye cycle lights disco with thumping music that the course goes through each lap. Other sponsors will be announced shortly”

Entry on the day will be available, however pre entry is strongly advised to allow gridding. Full details and link to entry can be found on the race website

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