‘Mini Tour de France’ cycling competition comes to the North West
Published by Kate Meighan for New Charter Housing Trust Group in Communities and also in Health, Housing
Full credit for photographs to Andrew Kennedy from British Cycling - www.britishcycling.org.uk
Over 400 young athletes from across the world took part in the North West’s ‘mini Tour de France’ this bank holiday weekend.
Competitors from as far away as Belgium joined in with the North West International Youth Tour, the biggest youth cycling tour in the UK.
The competition, organised by Cycling Development North West, has been running for four years.
Competitors aged between 8 and 16 years old raced in Preston, Lancaster and Blackpool over three gruelling days, battling all the way for first place.
The best in youth cycling competed at the following places:
- 25th May - Sports Arena, Preston
- 26th May – Salt Ayre Sports Arena, Lancaster
- 27th May – North Shore Promenade, Blackpool
There were also a handful of riders representing the North West with competitors from Mossley included in the line-up.
A very wet and windy final day on Blackpool promenade did nothing to curb the spirits of some very able and enthusiastic youngsters and the three days of racing were rounded off with some superb competitive finishes across the categories.
New Charter Housing Trust sponsored the event for the first time this year and were pleased to see young people and their families turn up to watch the races.
As a keen cyclist Group Chief Executive Ian Munro opened the competition in Blackpool,.
Mr Munro said: “We’re delighted to be the headline sponsor for this great event. Cycling is a great way of keeping fit and we are really keen to encourage the young people of Tameside to get involved in exercise, be it for fun or in a competitive sense like this event.”
He added: “We already have a great community asset on our doorstep in the form of the Velodrome but the North West has the potential to grow world stars so we need to give young people the opportunities to do this.
“The races were spectacular to watch.”
Race Director at Cycle Development North West, Ivor Armstrong, said: “This is the biggest event in UK youth cycling, and we’re extremely grateful to New Charter for their support.
He added: “Events like this one help us to cultivate young North West talent and inspire the Olympic medal winners of the future. It allows us to improve our service to young people and to the sport as a whole.”
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