After a short respite from the sportive calendar, the White Rose Classic has not only returned in 2012, but courtesy of organisers Ilkley Cycling Club, its revival has been met with a tangible approval.
The endorsement comes in the form of 1000 entries, well over the target set and forcing the club to resort to a waiting list which in itself is growing at speed ahead of the event on 17 June. Those fortunate enough to have acquired a spot can look forward to the ‘very best the beautiful Yorkshire Dales has to offer’ along one of the three routes available - coming in at 110 miles, 84 miles and 50 miles respectively.
“We were quite surprised,” admits organiser Alison Kinloch when asked about the take-up on entry. “We were aiming to target 750 entrants and we got to the thousand mark just after Easter. We are sticking to the classic route that they have used for the White Rose before with just a couple of modifications to make the route safer for everybody, so we are not doing the descent into Malham. The route has all been reccy’d by a couple of us a few times and it’s almost ready for signing.”
Gaining a place may be one obstacle overcome, but then there is the ride itself, what awaits the thousand riders embarking on the Yorkshire Dales? Kinloch confirms entrants will be taken ‘from the bottom to the top of the Dales’. For the long route - which confronts the climbs of Norwood Edge, Fleet Moss and Garsdale Head before finishing with a climb over Langbar to complete over 3000m of ascent - the statement bears only too true.
“They’ll be crossing the best the Dales have to offer,” enthuses Kinloch. “Starting at the beginning with the climb up Norwood Edge and finishing off with another nice climb local to us at Langbar.
"We’re being sponsored by Warburtons so we’ve got all four lots of brioche and sweet tea bread coming down from them for the feed stations so there is no shortage of sandwiches!"
White Rose Classic organiser Alison Kinloch
“I think they will find it most difficult turning left to Langbar at the end instead of following the flat river back. I think that will be a challenge for a lot of them because if you stay on the road you are on they follow the river back which is nice and flat - or we’re sending them left to a climbing station on Langbar, that will be quite a psychological challenge.”
Naturally the medium and short routes offer a less taxing route, but like the long ride, also engage the climb of Langbar. Fortunately riders will be well nourished for the task thanks to the feed stations - at Grassington for the short route, with Airton as well for the medium route and Hawes completing the treble for the long route – with an assortment of treats in store.
Kinloch explains: “We’re being sponsored by Warburtons so we’ve got all four lots of brioche and sweet tea bread coming down from them for the feed stations so there is no shortage of sandwiches! Rapha are also sponsoring us and printing off route cards for us which will have something from them on the back.
“For the long route, the feed stations are more or less equally spaced. All the feed stations are going to be stocked with sandwiches, cakes, fruit and flapjacks.”
Add chip timing, a Family Zone at the event HQ – the new Ilkley Rugby Club which offers changing and showering facilities, parking, food and drink – as well as mechanical support and photography by Cycle Sport Photos and everything is place for the Sunday in June. The event will not only help support the club, which has amassed over 700 members in just one year since it reformed, but at least 10% of profits will go to local charity, the Sue Ryder Manorlands Hospice.
All that then remains is for those who are fortunate enough to be on the start line to take in the breathtaking scenery on the testing course - then the White Rose Classic’s resurgence will no doubt be truly complete.