Ilkley Cycling Club has a storied past, although many of the details have been lost to time. The Club was first founded in the early history of cycling: 1896. We know about the founding largely through the ‘Established 1896’ clearly shown on the certificates awarded by the Club 70 years ago.
Our only firm facts are from the details offered by Brian Sweet, who was one of the top club riders early in the 1950s, and by Bev Barrat, who was another top rider later that decade. At that time the club was known as Ilkley and District CC, and was the major club in the area.
On Sunday 26th July 1953, the following Club riders competed in the Third Annual Three Dales Road Race: P.N Ellis, B.V. Sweet, M. Dibb and D.H. Modley. A couple of weeks later, Ellis, Sweet and Dibb were joined by D.A. Molloy, and A.G. Smith in the York Rally Road Race.
Ilkley and District Cycling Club organised its own prestigious race, called the Yorkshire Dales Road Race. 1953 was the fifth annual edition of the Race. The Start was at the Town Hall with the finish on Skipton Road via a circuit of Addingham, Bolton Bridge, Blubberhouses, Catchem Corner, Summerbridge, Pately Bridge, Greenhow Hill (prime), Dibblebridge, Grassington, Skipton.
Today, the Ilkley Cycling Club is one of the largest and most active clubs in the country. Besides the White Rose Classic sportive, we run the Two-Day Races in spring and the Town Centre Races in late June. We have active programs for youth riders, and every week there are dozens of Club rides for every level of rider.
ICC and the White Rose Classic
The Ilkley Cycling Club adopted the White Rose Classic in 2012 and has been running it every year since then. The sportive has a permanent place on the Club and British Cycling calendar and up until 2022 it was usually run on a Sunday late in June that is closest to the summer solstice, making it the longest Sunday of the year.