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VIDEO: Racing underway at YESSS Tickhill Velo Grand Prix

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  • by Lee Peace
 

Dynamic racing is underway at the YESSS Tickhill Grand Prix.

About 5000 spectators are expected to have lined the streets to watch a dynamic day of cycle racing.

Visitors are watching as riders race around a closed 1.3km route, which starts and finishes in Sunderland Street.

Those who can’t quite get a good view of the action can watch the racing unfold on giant TV screens.

Derbyshire lad Josh Giddings, 11, won the under 12’s race, and said: “It was really exciting. I’m happy to have won, it was really close on the line.”

Dad Geoff, 48, added: “I’m so proud of him. What a fantastic event this is.”

There are eight races in total, involving more than 400 cyclists. The last two features professional riders from Britain and across Europe, including Italy and Belgium.

There are also more than 130 women entered, believed to be a record for a UK single-day event.

This is only the second year running that the race has been held, which has mushroomed into one of the country’s top cycling events.

Main organiser Richard Stoodley, of Tickhill Velo Club, said the success of the Olympics, Le Tour de France visiting Yorkshire and the recent Doncaster Cycle Festival have all contributed to helping the event grow.

The 53-year-old auctioneer, who only took up cycling 18 months ago, said: “The way the event has grown in one year is unbelievable.

“I don’t think cycling has ever been bigger in Doncaster than it is now. The Olympics, Le Tour de France, the cycle festival, and the Tickhill Velo will collectively inspire the next generation of cyclists.

“We are already seeing that now and I’m sure it will last for years to come.”

Dave Thorp, 43, from near Glossop, was cheering on his son Joe, 11.

He said: “Cycling is massive now. We have travelled quite a distance like many other people to be here.”

Fellow cyclists James Storey, 32, and John Walker, 50, both from Retford, also enjoyed their day out.

Mr Storey said: “Its great to see so many people here. The organisers really have pulled out all the stops.”

Mr Walker added: “I’ve never known cycling be so popular, especially in this area.”

Chesterfield-based cyclist Paul Gregory, 47, said: “Events like this inspire the next generation. Its great to see more and more people pick up a bike and go.”

The business community has also supported the event, with more than £8,000 in sponsorship and prize money up for grabs. The event is free to attend, includes a free souvenir programme.

Along with the racing, spectators have been enjoying entertainment including music, roller racing and a visit from the Yorkshire Air Ambulance, the event’s chosen charity over the next three years.

Mark Perry, the South Yorkshire area fundraiser for the YAA, said: “We are honoured that they Tickhill Velo has chosen to support us. We need as many donations as possible and events like this really serve us well.”

Laura Connell, community safety office for the Safer Roads Partnership, said: “Cycling is a great sport and we are seeing more and more cyclists on the road so it is important to consider the safety aspects aswell.”

Spectators also took the chance to get involved by ‘racing’ against themselves on the ‘Rollapaluza’ static roller racing bikes for a chance to win a £100 voucher and the opportunity to present £1,000 to YAA.

There are also information stalls and food and drink places.

Awards ceremonies for each race will take place after the final race and will be followed by an evening of entertainment for spectators and riders alike.

British Cycling has provided a podium truck and Olympian Matt Stephens is the race commentator foe the day.

For more information about the YESSS Tickhill Grand Prix 2014 visit www.tickhillgp.com.

Here is an approximate guide to road closures and race timings

12.00: Roads closed

13.00: Race 1. AAD GAS Under 12 Mixed - 15 mins

13.20: Race 2. HILL HOUSE SCHOOL U14 & U16 Girls - 25 mins

13.50: Race 3. HILL HOUSE SCHOOL Under 14 Boys - 30 mins

14.25: Resident’s access window - 10 mins

14.45: Race 4. POLYPIPE Under 16 Boys - 35 mins

15.25: Race 5. GIANT SHEFFIELD Women’s Cat 3 & 4 - 35 mins

16.05: Race 6. J E JAMES CYCLES Men’s Cat 3 & 4 - 50 mins

17.00: Resident access window - 10 mins

17.25: Race 7. GIANT SHEFFIELD Women’s Grand Prix: Elite, 1, 2 & 3 - 60 mins

18.35: Race 8. YESSS ELECTRICAL Men’s Elite, 1, 2 & 3 - 60 mins

19.45: Resident access window - 10 mins

20.30: Award ceremony

21.00: Roads re-open and the celebrations begin with music and a party

 

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