Saturday, June 24, 2017
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Bradford Dragons travelled to Newcastle’s Sport Central for the second of their three National Trophy pool games. This weekend’s opponents, Team Northumbria, took the spoils with a convincing 80-66 victory in front of their home crowd, leaving Bradford with little other than Yorkshire pride to play for in their final Trophy game, next weekend.

sdfBradford just held the edge at the end of the first quarter, leading by a single basket, 17-19, but it didn’t take long before the home side took control of the game. Only five minutes into the second period and they had turned the scores around to lead by five, 30-25, a lead which they extended to twelve points (45-33) by the time the two sides went back to their locker rooms for the half time interval. For the second successive weekend Bradford faced an uphill struggle in the second half of the game.

Struggle they did and despite marginally reducing the deficit to nine points (57-46) at the mid-point of the third quarter, it was the hosts who extended their lead, ending the penultimate period of the game in the ascendancy, with the scores at 65-51.

It was game over for the Dragons as the final quarter followed a similar pattern to the previous two. At the final buzzer, Team Northumbria took the plaudits, whilst any hope of Bradford reaching the semi-final stage of the National Trophy was put on ice for another year.

Once again, it was Bradford’s two American imports that topped the scoring for the Dragons. Marcus Gooding bagged 19 points to finish as the games top scorer, closely followed by Ricky Fetske, who added 18 points of his own. Fetske just missed out on a double-double, collecting a total of nine rebounds.

For Team Northumbia, Blayne Freckleton put down 17 points and Siman Stewart contributed a further 13 points.

Reflecting on the defeat, Dragons’ head coach, Chris Mellor mused, “We rebounded the ball very poorly and our lack of ball movement offensively contributed to too many low percentage opportunities. Their defence was good and overall they played with more intensity than we did.”

Bradford now face a final Trophy fixture against rivals from across the Pennines, Lancashire Spinners. Like the Dragons, Spinners have also gone 0/2 in their opening pool games and therefore both teams will be playing to avoid finishing at the foot of their group. The game takes place on Saturday, 1st October, at the Dragons Den (6:15pm). Discounted tickets for the game are available online via the Dragon’s website (

Team Northumbria will now travel to Manchester Magic to determine which of the two will make it through to the semi-final stage of the competition.

Bradford Dragons Under 16’s started their league campaign with an 81-57 victory against Sheffield Junior Sharks II, at Buttershaw Business and Enterprise College on Sunday Morning. Joe Barrett impressed for Bradford, top scoring with 23 points.


Tens of thousands of people lined the streets of Leeds tonight to welcome home in style their amazing Yorkshire Olympic and Paralympic Rio Heroes.

800_homecomingSet in a sea of colour, music and entertainment, Yorkshire’s athletes received a reception never to be forgotten as they toured the city centre on open top buses with coaches, supporters and family members. Accompanying the buses included a DJ and dancers from the West Indian Carnival, the Band of the King’s Division, West Yorkshire Police Band and the Handmade Samba Band, which helped ensure that the parade had a real Rio flavour.

Present at the parade included:

•Triathletes Alistair and Jonny Brownlee who earned gold and silver medals respectively.

•World, European and Paralympic champion Hannah Cockroft MBE who won three golds in Rio.

•Diver and gold medallist, Jack Laugher.

•Paralympic Cycling Pilot double gold medallist, Adam Duggleby.

•Paralympic swimmer, Jonathan Booth.

•Bronze medal gymnast, Nile Wilson.

•Rowing silver medallist, Zoe Lee.

•Vicky Holland who won bronze in the triathlon.

•Rowers Andy Triggs Hodge, Tom Ransley and Paul Bennett who all claimed gold.

•Double Paralympic gold medallist, Kadeena Cox

•Paralympic gold and silver medal cyclist David Stone MBE

Organised in partnership with Welcome to Yorkshire, the main event sponsor of the parade was Clipper Logistics with partner support from Slingsby Gin, Radio Aire, Yorkshire Water, Yorkshire Tea and Vale of Mowbray.

Afterwards, all of the athletes received an invite to a special civic reception held at Leeds Civic Hall.

Leader of Leeds City Council Councillor Judith Blake, said:

“We have been extremely fortunate to host some truly memorable occasions in Leeds, but to see so many people of all ages line the streets of the city centre to welcome home our Yorkshire Olympic and Paralympic Heroes tonight took the breath away!

“It really was fantastic to see the county’s athletes get the recognition they so fully deserve for their phenomenal success in Rio. I would like to thank all of them for finding the time in their extremely demanding and hectic schedules to attend the parade and of course the Yorkshire public, who once again proved why their support is amongst the very best in the world.”

Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire Sir Gary Verity, said:

“Wow what a welcome for our Yorkshire Rio Heroes. Tens of thousands of people lined the route around the city centre to cheer on our athletes and it really has been an event to go down in history. Yorkshire you really know how to party.”

Double Olympic champion Alistair Brownlee, said:

“We can’t believe how many people are here! It’s great being in our home city and we’re very proud to be from Leeds and Yorkshire. What a welcome home!”

Lord Mayor of Leeds Councillor Gerry Harper, said:

“To be given the chance as a city to host the Yorkshire Rio Heroes parade was an extremely proud moment for us, and it was amazing to see so many people from the county and beyond cheering the outstanding achievements of all our local Olympic and Paralympic athletes.”


by James Oddy
by James Oddy

Boxing’s new meme is ‘dare to be great’. Bernard Hopkins, one of the game’s most eloquent and occasionally bizarre figures, popularised the term during the run up to Amir Khan’s fight against ‘Canelo’ Alverez. Canelo, of course, is a middleweight, and Khan is a welter, two weight classes lower. It seemed an absurd fight to make, with a forgone conclusion, which proved spot on – Khan, would outbox the bigger man until he ate a huge shot, and he’d be done.

But it was made because two fights, which make much more sense, couldn’t be made – Canelo fighting fellow middleweight Gennadey ‘GGG’ Golovkin and Khan fighting fellow Brit welterweight Kell Brook. Why they couldn’t be made, well, that depends on whom you talk to.

Off the back of Khan vs Canelo, we now have the equivalent fight. Golovkin taking on Brook at the 02 arena. It makes just as much sense as Amir Khan’s futile challenge.

Brook has loudly stated since the fight was announced that he is a ‘beast’ at 160 (the middleweight limit), and that he actually wants to feel the power of Golovkin. Golovkin, for those who don’t know, is a knockout artist who has brutalised the rest of the division, and had the biggest names running scared.

It’s audacious and brave of Brook, just like it was of Khan. And I can only see one outcome.

GGGI could almost make a case for Khan gaining a victory – he has blistering speed and he has been in with some huge names, even if it’s often in losing efforts. With Brook, I find it even harder to see how he can win. He is undefeated, but aside from his razor thin world title win over Shawn Porter, his resume is rather lacking. Brook is athletic, seems to possess a reasonable chin (Carson Jones can hit) and is technically superb. But so is Golovkin, and the Kazakh monster is bigger and has the greatest KO streak in middleweight history.

Golovkin also seems to possess an iron chin, brushing off shots from opponents who he has little respect for. Yet he can box when needed. When in a unification against heavy-handed David Lemuix, Golovkin worked behind a beautiful jab, breaking his opponent down with movement and pure boxing.

Can Brook out box Golovkin? Possibly. Can Brook take Golovkin’s power for 12 rounds? I doubt it. I think Brook will make Golovkin work and give him some problems in the early going. But as the fight progresses, I just don’t see how ‘GGG’ wont back Brook into the ropes or corner and unleash shots to the body and head, walking into whatever Brook tries to counter with.

Hopefully, following the conclusion of this fight, we can get the match ups which make the most sense. A middleweight showdown and a welterweight showndown. Khan vs Brook is still huge domestically. Canelo vs Golovkin is huge internationally.

It’s going to be a wild few months, that’s for sure.


Bradford is one of only nine cities across the country being launched as an official Team GB FanZone.

And Bradford schoolchildren are celebrating the fact that they can share in the experience of watching the Rio 2016 Olympic Games live on the Big Screen.

The children from Clayton Village Primary School are waving their Brazilian flags in support of the host country after taking part in a project on Rio at their school.

Bradford Council is also working with sport national governing bodies, Team GB and local sporting groups to bring sporting activities to City Park so people can try out sports that Team GB will be competing in.

There will be two full size table tennis tables throughout the whole period of the Olympics 5 – 21 August. Bats and balls will be supplied to anyone interested in taking part, with members of local clubs offering encouragement and tips.

Volleyball England are setting up a “come and try” court and a “Go Spike” cage on certain days for people to have a go at this popular sport in a 8 metre x 8 metre cage that will keep the ball within a certain perimter.

A “Go spike” campaign was launched five years ago to get more adults playing volleyball.

Live action and highlights of the Olympics Games will be shown from midday until early evening. The UK is four hours behind Brazil so people will have to check out the schedule carefully if there are certain events they want to see.

Coun Sarah Ferriby, Bradford Council’s Executive Member for Environment, Sport and Culture, said: “We’re proud to be chosen as one of nine cities as an Official Team GB FanZone.

“It will be great for local people to come down to City Park and share in any Team GB successes.

“I would also like to encourage people to ‘have a go’ at the sporting activities we are bringing along with Team GB to feel a part of the action.”

Vicky Drake from Clayton Village Primary School said: “The children have been talking about the Olympics in relation to their own sports day and they are so excited about coming down to City Park and showing their enthusiasm and support for the world’s greatest sporting spectacle.”

Former Olympic gymnast Beth Tweddle said: “Team GB fans are so passionate and it was fantastic in 2012 to get everyone together at locations across the country.

“There is something very special about everyone coming together to support Team GB. I’d encourage fans around the UK to visit a FanZone during the Olympic Games and show the athletes in Rio that they are behind them.

“It is great to see Bradford backing Team GB ahead of another exciting Olympic Games and they’d love as many fans as possible to visit.”


by James Oddy
by James Oddy

A lot has rightly been written about Muhammad Ali as a cultural icon. He was certainly that, as it is part of his greatness. However, his legacy was first built on his sparkling ring career. It’s in my humble opinion that he is the greatest heavyweight of all time, and a top five pound for pound fighter in the history of the sport.

Even if he had taken on largely poor opposition, his physical attributes alone put him up there, at least in his prime. He grew up idolizing the greatest pound for pounder of all time, Sugar Ray Robinson. Ali danced and boxed with all of Ray’s elegance, but Ray was a welterweight and middleweight. To be able to replicate that at heavyweight was something else. The speed of foot and fist was unlike anything seen previously at heavyweight. His punching power wasn’t exactly bad, either.

825fea7ac6c6e52c3cb15cf19897e44cThe 1960’s Ali (formerly known as Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr), coming off the back of winning an Olympic gold medal, beat some sterling names. Sonny Liston was the Mike Tyson of his day and Ali beat him twice, with relative ease, even though there were some doubts about Liston’s legitimacy. Add to that, a comprehensive win over Floyd Patterson, almost a proto type version of Ali. Furthermore, he defeated durable and skilled opponents such as Ernie Terrell, Henry Cooper, George Chuvalo and Archie Moore. But the best was yet to come.

What really solidifies his greatness is the 1970’s incarnation. He was no longer the fleet footed young champ. He was the slower challenger. In his years out, a young, exciting new breed of America heavyweights had arrived on the scene. Despite his primary physical advantage having left him, Ali managed to chop down George Foreman in arguably the most famous fight of all time. Foreman was a buzz saw who had decimated the division, yet Ali out thought and out fought ‘Big George’. He then defeated arch rival Joe Frazier in perhaps the most brutal fight of all time in Manila. Add in wins over Ernie Shavers, considered by many to be the hardest hitter ever in boxing, Ken Norton, Leon Spinks, Jimmy Young and Jimmy Ellis, and it is frightening how good he was. The fact he avenged all his defats in his prime, to Spinks, Frazier and Norton, also speaks volumes.

Ali_vs_Norton_1973_a_hThe unfortunate epitaph is the beatings he took in the 1980’s. Larry Holmes isn’t the best know heavyweight champ, but skills wise, he is up there with the best. He and Trevor Berbick, no slouch himself, physically outclassed the shell of Ali in fights which were a travesty.

The world has seen some great heavyweight champs. Jack Dempsey, Joe Louis, Rocky Marciano, Frazier, Foreman, Holmes, Evander Holyfield, Lennox Lewis, Mike Tyson. Yet, purely based on athletic achievements, I’d still put Ali at the top. Add in his significant cultural achievements spoken about in the rest of this issue, he truly was ‘The Greatest’.


England cricketers Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid owe part of their success to early Asian migrants who played in local parks and set up teams and leagues over four decades ago. Now, a new project, ‘From Parks to Pavilions’ has been awarded a grant by the Heritage Lottery Fund to document the history of Asian cricket in Yorkshire.

Press Image - From Parks to Pavilions - Courtesy of John Bolloten
From Parks to Pavilions – Image courtesy of John Bolloten

The AYA Foundation, a community organisation specialising in promoting minority heritage, arts and culture, has been awarded a grant by the Heritage Lottery Fund to work with young people from across West Yorkshire to record interviews and collect memorabilia from the founders of one of the oldest Asian led cricket leagues in Britain, the Bradford based Quaid-e Azam Sunday Cricket League.

Mobeen Butt, Projects Director at the AYA Foundation said: “The Quaid-e Azam League has been running for nearly four decades. Players from these Asian cricket leagues are now being scouted by county cricket clubs and have even gone on to play for England. I believe the way Black and mixed-race players and audiences have changed the face of football, Asian players and supporters could go on to change the face of cricket – and when this happens the material that a project like this collects will be vital to help tell a wider story of cricket in Britain.”

Thanks to National Lottery players the project will work with over twenty young people and include trips to museums and archives, as well as, visits to Headingley and Lords. The project will produce a documentary and exhibit at this summer’s England versus Pakistan one day international at Headingley.

Mr Butt added: “It’s very important that minority ethnic communities start writing their own history. Recording first-hand the voices of the pioneers and collecting primary source material is invaluable. We have already started losing some of our ‘founding-fathers’, those that arrived in the 1960s and 1970s. It is imperative that we empower the second, third and now fourth generations by giving them the resources and skills necessary to capture their own histories; before they are lost forever.

He went on the say: “This project is important on so many levels and without the financial support of the Heritage Lottery Fund a project like this wouldn’t be possible. Young people will be taught how to conduct oral history interviews; how archives and museums work; how to produce documentaries;  how to develop exhibitions; how to conserve fragile objects; and hopefully one day in the not too distance future they will start to develop their own heritage projects.”

Nasser Hanif, a BBC Radio journalist and Project Manager of the From Parks to Pavilions project, commented: “This project has been developed to coincide with this summer’s Pakistan tour of England. Older members of the Quaid-e Azam League say that it was when Pakistan toured England in the 70s that their passion for cricket was ignited and they would grab a bat and ball and start playing in the streets, alley ways and parks.

“Asian men came to England to work in the 60s and 70s. They worked unsociable hours, did the night shifts and many worked six days a week. The only day they had off was Sundays, and as cricket was traditionally played during the week and Saturdays, the Asian cricketers didn’t get a chance to play with the established teams. Asian cricketers ended up playing in the streets, in carparks and play grounds. They started their own teams and competitions, and eventually their own Sunday leagues. The investment the Asian cricketing pioneers put in nearly four decades ago is now reaping rewards as theirs sons, nephews and grandchildren are now starting to break into the highest levels of English cricket.”

Mark Arthur, Chief Executive of Yorkshire County Cricket Club, noted: “Yorkshire Cricket has a rich history and heritage and Asian cricket plays a major part in this. The Quaid-e Azam League is a very strong and well respected league, not just in Yorkshire, but nationally. This project will be fantastic in documenting how the clubs and league have developed over the years as well as providing many people with fond memories.”

Councillor Sarah Ferriby, Bradford Council’s Executive Member for Environment, Sport and Culture, said: “It’s important to record the rich history of our South Asian communities participating in one of our great national sports. Cricket is still close to the hearts of local people and is a significant factor in community cohesion. We’re pleased to see the Heritage Lottery Fund get behind this as we have an enormous passion for sport across the Yorkshire region and it is a great unifier.”

Fiona Spiers, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund Yorkshire and the Humber, said: “South Asian communities have contributed to cricket across the UK for many years, and we are delighted to fund this fascinating project looking back at the grassroots origins of so many successful players. We are particularly pleased to see young people getting the opportunity to explore an area of their community’s heritage with particular relevance to them”.

Mr Hanif adds: ‘We are looking for enthusiastic and energetic young people, 14 to 24 year olds, from across West Yorkshire to help with the project. So please do come forward if you are a young person or know a young person that would benefit from taking part.’

Anyone interested in finding out more should email or phone 07764 335 879.


Following the announcement on Sunday that Bradford City Football Club has been sold, the new owners Stefan Rupp and Edin Rahic are now in full control of the club marking a new chapter in its history.

The joint owners have been friends and business associates for a number of years and see their investment as a long term commitment to the club.

Edin (Chairman/Chief Executive) will move to the UK with his family and base himself permanently at the Coral Windows Stadium working alongside Chief Operating Officer James Mason to maintain the continuity of relationship between the board of directors, the fans and players.

Stefan is expected to stay in Germany in the immediate future but will make regular visits to the UK and be fully involved in club affairs.

Speaking yesterday, Edin explained the reasons behind the investment, ‘Both myself and Stefan have a background in business and sport, and after looking at a number of clubs in England, Bradford City had the potential and fan base that interested us most. We do not have plans to make big changes but to work with the existing structure. We have seen the way the club and fans interact and the model of affordable football is very important to us. I met with Phil (Parkinson) this morning and we had a very encouraging discussion about the future.’

‘We understand there is a lot to do over the summer and we must manage expectations of the fans in the short term. We agreed the season ticket prices before we took over because we fully support the idea of cheaper ticketing and having witnessed games here at the stadium we know how passionate the fans are. We are looking forward to working with everyone associated with the club and respect its traditions.’

James Mason added, ‘This is a new era in the history of Bradford City Football Club. Both my team and I will be giving our new owners all the support the club needs to succeed. I’m sure the fans will do the same. It’s a testimony to how we have developed over recent years under the stewardship of both Julian Rhodes and Mark Lawn that the club is an attractive business proposition.’

‘Our aim is to continue to grow the fan base and develop the club commercially to support Phil and the players. We know we have built a unique bond with the club and its supporters at the heart of the community. We are a very special club with undeniable potential.’

It was agreed that the announcement of the club’s sale would be postponed until after the play offs concluded so as not to be a distraction at a crucial time of the season. Attention now focuses on preparing the playing squad for next season and on selling season tickets (which are now on sale at £149.00).

The club’s new kit will also be launched later this week.

Source: Bradford City AFC



Police have thanked fans for their behaviour after yesterday’s Bradford City v Millwall play off tie concluded safely.

West Yorkshire Police undertook a full policing operation during the Football League One Semi-final tie on Sunday afternoon.

In total, officers made two arrests at the largely good natured fixture.

West Yorkshire Police Match Commander, Detective Chief Inspector Daniel Greenwood, said: “The high profile game between Bradford and Millwall has passed off largely without incident.

“As always, we worked closely with both clubs and the Football League prior to the match to ensure fans could support their teams in a safe environment.

“Whilst a small number of supporters let themselves down with their behaviour, the vast majority of people showed their support for their clubs and made the match an enjoyable event.

“I would like to thank the overwhelming majority of fans on both sides for attending and enjoying the game in the right spirit and wish both sides the best of luck for the second leg.


by James Oddy
by James Oddy

Big time boxing returned to Leeds arena in April. The headline act, as always, was the super popular Josh Warrington, defending his WBC international featherweight title.

Warrington beat the ultra-tough, tricky Tokyo based Hisashi Amagasa over 12 rounds in front of a rabid crowd, picking up scores of 118-111, 117-111, and, ludicrously, 120-107.

Warrington did win the fight, starting an ending the contest very well, but Amagasa appeared, from ringside at least, to drag himself back into the fight during the middle section. Amagasa flung unorthodox shots with his long arms and his right uppercut landed on more than a few occasions. It has to be said however, Warrington, particularly in the last couple of rounds, landed some hellacious shots on the visitor and Amagasa was clearly wobbled at times.

QCdjB5HwFOTaWQ8X4xMDoxOjBzMTt2bJWarrington was vocal in the aftermath as he feels he is ready for Barry’s IBF champion Lee Selby. The man dubbed the ‘Welsh Mayweather’ would be an extremely hard fight, but the opportunity to stage a world title fight at Elland Road between the pair may be too attractive, financially, for promoter Eddie Hearn to pass up.

The rest of the card had some intriguing fights. The fight of the night was the 12 round war of attrition between Stuey Hall and Rodrigo Guerrero at bantamweight. Guerrero was a former IBF super flyweight champion and after a slow start, showed his championship class with a non-stop display of punching. Hall, however, looked much larger, a natural bantamweight, and few of Guerrero’s shots seemed to worry the Darlington man. Hall smartly boxed off the back foot, but occasionally allowed himself to get dragged into a brawl on the inside or to simply let Guerrero tee off on him. Many ringsiders expected the fight to be adjudged a draw, but three scores of 117-111 allowed Hall to press for another world title shot.

Josh Warrington celebrates his victory over Davide Dieli to win the European Featherweight title contest at the First Direct Arena, Leeds. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday October 4, 2014. See PA story BOXING Leeds. Photo credit should read: Anna Gowthorpe/PA Wire

The card was huge, lasting over five hours. Of local interest was another victory for classy Bradford welterweight Darren Tetley, who outclassed Casey Blair over 6, referee Howard Foster judging the contest 60-54. Lots of talk along the press row was concerning the progression of Tetley to English title level, and the consensus seemed to be he is more than ready. Tetley has a vocal number of followers in the crowd for a fight on relatively early, and as he steps up the level of opposition, it looks as if he can make an impact on the wider consciousness of Bradford and West Yorkshire.

Doncaster’s Reece Mould also made his debut at super featherweight, flooring Phil Hervey twice in the first round before the referee called it off.

From further afield, London’s Issac Chamberlain and Nottingham’s Russ Henshaw engaged in a wild slugfest between two undefeated cruiserweights. Henshaw was dropped in the first, but wore Chamberlain down, resulting in the Londoner being docked a point for persistent holding. Chamberlain looked to be worn out, but managed a second wind, and in the 6th and final round, began unloading on Henshaw. With the referee attempting to jump in, the towel also came sailing in from Henshaw’s corner.



The hugely anticipated second edition of the Tour de Yorkshire international cycle race is now only a week away. Excitement is building in Otley which plays host to the start of Stage Two of the race on Saturday 30 April.

Stage Two is a particularly important milestone this year, following the recent announcement that the inaugural women’s race will follow exactly the same route as the men’s race and has record prize money on offer. Former Olympic silver medalist cyclist Emma Pooley has just been announced to compete alongside Otley’s very own World Champion Lizzie Armitstead. Sir Bradley Wiggins along with Team Sky’s Lars Petter Nordhaug and current British road champion, Pete Kennaugh, have already been announced by the race organisers as competing in the men’s race.

Banners, flags and bunting have already been erected around the streets of Otley as the town prepares for final countdown to the event and the trophy will also be visiting on Friday 22 April as part of a whistle-stop tour of the route.

Both men’s and women’s races will start from a closed section of Boroughgate where the inflatable start arch will be situated before the riders follow a ‘ceremonial’ route around the town centre. Spectators will be able to spread out and get a close up view of the riders via; Westgate, Piper Lane, Bradford Road, West Chevin Road, Burras Lane, Station Road, Bondgate, Crossgate, Nelson Street, Walkergate and Cross Green before heading towards Pool on the A659 where the race will officially begin.

The women’s race will start at 8.15am which means these will be affected between 7.45am and 8.45am. The men’s race starts at 2.20pm meaning that the roads will be affected between 1.45pm and 2.45pm.

Otley Town Council, working with Leeds City Council, have organised a variety of activities all throughout the day to entertain the crowds between races. The activities include street entertainers, marching bands including the City of Leeds Pipe Band and the Paradise Steel Band, buskers and two children’s cycling processions. Riders from the Otley cycle club mini-flyers will set off prior to the women’s race and pupils from all five primary schools in Otley and Prince Henry’s Grammar School will ride out before the men’s race.

The market place will be used as the official sign-in position with riders parading along Market Street. A large screen showing live TV broadcast of both races will also act as a focal point in the market place for spectators throughout the day.

A free ‘spectator hub’ will also be located on Garnett’s Field next to the river, showing full TV coverage of both races on the big screen. Food, refreshment and toilet facilities will be available throughout the day together with various family activities, fairground rides and entertainment. Various other events and activities have been organised by the local community providing indoor TV coverage and refreshments at Otley Rugby Club, Otley Courthouse, and local churches, as well as local shops, cafes and other businesses.

Councillor Judith Blake, leader of Leeds City Council said:

“We are delighted to welcome the tour to Leeds again this year. There is a huge passion for cycling across the city – evident for the whole world to see thanks to the incredible atmosphere at the Grand Départ in 2014 and last year’s inaugural Tour de Yorkshire. I’m confident the people of Leeds will again turn out in their thousands and do the city proud at this great event.

“This is a great opportunity to put Otley on the map and as with the Tour de France, we know visitors will benefit from a fantastic Yorkshire welcome.”

Councillor Ray Georgeson, chair of Otley Town Council said:

“After the huge success of the Tour de France, last year’s Tour de Yorkshire and with our proud heritage of hosting the annual road races, Otley is proud to be the host start town for Stage Two of this year’s Tour de Yorkshire. The excitement and buzz is building and we have been working hard to provide a full days entertainment for our residents and visitors alike to make this a memorable occasion for all.

“This will undoubtedly be a fantastic event for Otley especially given we are a cycling town and the proud home of World Road Racing Champion Lizzie Armitstead. We are particularly looking forward to supporting Lizzie through the streets of her home town and welcoming everyone to Otley for this fantastic event.”

The team buses, which are accessible to the public as an integral part of the overall spectator experience, will be located in the North Parade car park and on the closed sections of Wesley Street, North Parade and on part of Boroughgate. Road closures and parking suspensions on these roads will be effective from 7.00pm on Friday 29 April until 7.00pm on Saturday 30 April.

Road closures along the route will generally be managed on a ‘rolling road closure’ basis under national police escort, so roads are not closed for a long period of time and any disruption kept to a minimum. Advance warning and road signs will be used in the lead up to the event to help inform residents and spectators of these restrictions. Orgainsers are encouraging anyone who lives on or close by to the route to plan prepare well in advance. There is also likely to be some disruption to public transport services on the day and details of any bus service interruptions and / or temporary diversions will be available at or by calling (0113) 2457676.

Pubic car parking for the event will be available at Station Top car park (access off East Chevin Road) and Wharfebank Business Centre car park (Ilkley Road). Facilities for disabled spectators in Otley will include an Accessible Viewing Area in close proximity to the start line, designated blue badge parking at Beech Hill car park on Westgate, disabled persons toilet provisions and a Changing Places toilet located at the spectator hub. For any access queries or for further information please contact Leeds city council’s events team at

Residents who live on or nearby the route are also being advised that refuse collections will not be able to take place on Saturday 30 April, due to the road closures. Those households which will be affected will receive a letter this week. Replacement collections will take place on Sunday 1 April instead.

For further information including full race times and route details, interactive maps, images and information on how to get involved visit the official event website at