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Matthew Burns

SEDBERGH GEARS UP FOR INAUGURAL CYCLING FESTIVAL

Organisers of the first Sedbergh Cycling Festival and of the fourth Sedbergh Sportive have revealed the programme of events for this June’s cycling event.

The fourth Sedbergh CycloSportive takes place on Sunday 19th June 2016, with the choice of two distances of 30 and 70 miles in the Howgills and Eden Valley, and Yorkshire Dales. The CycloSportive will be part of the town’s first two-day Sedbergh Cycling Festival on the 18th and 19th June. Registration for the races is from 07.30 at Sedbergh School’s Queen’s Hall off Loftus Hill, with the race starting at 09.00 from Queen’s Hall and finishing on Lupton Fields. To register in advance, please visit www.sedberghschool.org/foundation.

The Cycling Festival, also on Lupton Fields on Back Lane, will be open from 10am each day on 18th and 19th June, with no entrance fee and only nominal charges for some activities. Cyclists and families will have a choice of cycling activities and courses. Activities will include a grass track meet, mountain biking, watt bikes, races for children, Trials cycle display team, a family treasure hunt and bouncy castles. Food stalls include The Three Hares, Ellie’s Crepes and Pancakes, Howgills Ice Cream and a hog roast, and there will be live music, a film, camping, and a bar and Kirkby Lonsdale Brewery.

Jacky Baines, Event Organiser and owner of No.6 Finkle Street and The Mad Hatter’s Tea Room, said: “The idea for this event, and from others planned for 2016, came from Sedbergh needing to reinvent itself and to find a way of complementing the ‘book town’ aspect of our tourism. We have some of the best mountain biking in the world here and are hoping to make this an annual event and put Sedbergh firmly on the map as a cycling destination.”

Richard Witt, Sedbergh School Foundation Director, said: “The 70-mile CycloSportive route includes the Côte de Buttertubs climb featured in the Tour de France in Yorkshire 2014, which is very challenging with more than 5,400 ft (2,000m) of ascent and a hilly route along nearly all of its length. The 30-mile route heads along Garsdaleʼn towards Kirkby Stephen, then to the Fat Lamb Inn at Ravenstonedale and back to Sedbergh. All entry fees and sponsorship money raised from the CycloSportive will go to the Roger Lupton Scholarships, providing a Sedbergh education for young people from the most disadvantaged backgrounds, and we have Sedbergh School cycling jerseys now available online.”

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