Get ready for Ayrshire Alps cycling festival in Girvan

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If you have been inspired by the Tour de France then put another important cycling date in your diary – the Ayrshire Alps Cycle Festival on 17 and 18 August 2013 in and around Girvan.

Having recently launched their website – www.ayrshirealps.org - the Ayr Roads Cycling Club will host a cycling festival on 17 and 18 August 2013, it will include road racing, audax (long distance cycle with a maximum completion time) and a youth race in Girvan. The success of events like the David Bell Memorial and the Graeme Obree Sportive demonstrate the quality of road cycling Ayrshire offers, with climbs such as Nick o’ the Balloch, Tairlaw and the Screws. The cycling festival will show case some of the lesser known climbs in the park area including Carleton and Knockgardner.

Councillor John McDowall, Sustainability and Environment Portfolio Holder for South Ayrshire Council said: “South Ayrshire is very suited to cycling for everyone, whether on our wide range of cycle paths or in the hills of South Carrick. The Ayrshire Alps Cycle Festival is a very exciting event to watch and I am sure it will inspire many to take up competitive cycling. Go along and support the cyclists and have a great day out.”

David Fulton, Ayr Roads Vice Chairman said: ““We are looking forward to hosting the David Bell Memorial in Girvan for the second year running. Last year we had a great response by the South Carrick community who even organised great weather for the visiting cyclists. As well as the Davie Bell Road Race and Highwayman Challenge, the SCCL Youth Criterium is a great opportunity for our new junior section, the Ayr Burners, to perform ‘at home’.”

The cycling events will take place as follows:

17 August 2013 − Highwayman Challenge Audax will give riders the choice between a 100 kilometre or a 200 kilometre race. The 200km circulate will take riders down the Raiders Road and the Carrick Forest Drive.

17 August 2013 – South Carrick Community Leisure (SCCL) Youth Criterium will take place over the Victory Park circuit with events for cyclists in three age categories under 16, under 14 and under 12 years of age. After years of watching the professional riders in the area this is a great opportunity for young people to take part in a cycling event.

18 August 2013 − 48th David Bell Memorial Race, an Ayrshire Alps classic, will be run over an 81 mile course featuring the ascents of Carleton, the Screws and the Byne. Bases in and around Girvan, the race concludes with four laps of a circuit featuring the Byne and Assel Valley. This is a hard race with riders ascending over 1,000 metres.

With riders passing by Victory Park in Girvan six times this really is an exciting race for spectators in the town or at vantage points across the course.

Councillor Bill Grant, Economic Development, Tourism and Leisure Portfolio Holder for the Council said: “Cycling events are enjoyed by local people and tourists alike. Many people come to South Ayrshire to watch the cycling and end up making it into a a mini-break holiday. This is great news for our local economy, giving it a boost.”

For more information about the times, dates and routes of the events or to learn more about cycling in South Ayrshire check out the Ayrshire Alps Cycle Park website www.ayrshirealps,.org.