Coming soon: Yorkshire Elite Road Race

Giles Pidcock, former organiser of the Otley Town Centre races, reacts to a lack of Elite road racing by putting on a E/1/2/3 in Yorkshire – ‘Link my Ride – Return to Racing for Big Dogs”

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Coming soon: Yorkshire Elite Road Race

Whilst there are a few National B test road races planned for men prior to the kick off of the National Road Series in July (Beaumont Trophy), it was clear to Giles Pidcock, who has organised the Otley Town Centre races before, that more were needed especially in Yorkshire where none were planned.

Link: The event page for entry

So news of his event hit the social media airwaves on Friday. The ‘Link my Ride – Return to Racing for Big Dogs” aims to help the resuscitation of the sport as it drags itself off the floor with an exciting smashfest on a grippy South Yorkshire circuit near Penistone.

With entries already pouring in for the May 23rd event, the race under test event conditions will be limited to two hours and 60 riders. Riders from three British UCI teams have already said they will be looking to be selected for it.

Giles explained how part of his role in Yorkshire cycle sport is to coordinate the winter Reliability Trials usually held between January to March. “These were always looked upon as a halfway house between everyone training on their own and road races” explains Giles.

“They are very important to those who race and at a recent Zoom meeting with British Cycling, they explained to those attending what we can and can’t do” Giles added. “That gave us the green light to organise three Reliability events starting this Sunday. This should give everyone some hope that things are getting back to normal.”

Giles went on to tell me how when Test Road Race events were also discussed and how whilst there are a few in Yorkshire on the calendar, they are only for 2/3/4 category riders. So Giles, who’s lads are Elite riders as anyone in the sport will know, (Tom and Joe Pidcock), thought what about something for Elite and first cat riders who are trying to make a career out of the sport?

Being very much one of those in the sport who doesn’t just talk the talk but also walks the walk, Giles, who runs a Junior Elite team, decided he’d organise a race for the ‘big dogs’ in the sport. “It is a little bit restrictive in that we can only do two hours, but I don’t think that restriction will matter though” says Giles, adding, “if its 50 odd miles and they ride it full gas, then it’s better than what they are doing now”.

With demand already high, as there is little Elite racing about, I asked Giles what the selection criteria will be for a race restricted to 60 riders. “If I get 60 Elites and first cats with a few Juniors, it will be a good race. The priority will be for elite and first cat riders and that includes elite juniors and under 23s.”

Giles is keen to help riders looking to make a career out of the sport from development teams to get some racing. He knows that being a short race, the Elite Juniors will be competitive and will certainly spice the race up.

The eight mile course at Penistone will be quite a draggy, hilly course but Giles says the top riders will be fine in the big ring. “It is not so hard as to be terrifying but hard enough the better riders will be able to force their advantage and split it.”

Link: The webpage for the race here

The race sponsor,, is a new app for cyclists to link up with others, follow riders and to use to organize club runs and the like. Tom Pidcock, one of the co-founders was inspired partly by his own experience of often being somewhere new, on his own, and perhaps sometimes wanting hook up with other riders of similar ability. The app will also aim to help those who may have been in the sport a while but are riding on their own as they don’t know where to access group rides. “Group riding is where it’s at for many” says Giles, “and where all the fun is having a burn up with your mates before heading off to the café. The app is designed to help cyclists hook up with other cyclists in their area and will be expanded to locate cyclist friendly cafés, bars, restaurants and hotels. Become a “patron” by following them. Find hotels for cycling holiday. Find the closest cycling stores or workshops”.

The lead up to this road race which should be quite an exciting one with a stacked field, sees the first of the Reliability trials that Giles is connected to, this weekend and for only five quid for entry, and with profits going to the Rayner fund, they should be a lot of fun and quite probably a good workout before riders start racing. The event is having to restrict the size of groups to 15.

The first is this weekend at Harrogate then there is another on May 2 at Ripon and then the third one on May 9 at Harrogate again. Riders can see more details here:



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