TRIAL RUN: The first road race in the region to be controlled by marshals takes place on Saturday
TRIAL RUN: The first road race in the region to be controlled by marshals takes place on Saturday

THE first cycling road race of its type to be held in the region will take place in Teesdale this Saturday, August 4.

The event, organised by Teesdale CRC, will feature a massed start in both men’s and women’s races, with the course controlled by marshals and no road closures.

This kind of event has been held elsewhere in the country, but after getting the go-ahead from police and council officials, it will be a first for the county.

To date, the club has only be able to stage time trial events, with riders setting off individually at set intervals.

A five-mile course has been designed, starting and finishing at the Marwood Social Centre, near Kininvie.

It will be controlled by 11 accredited marshals supported by other volunteers. There will also be plenty of signs at junctions and along the course alerting motorists to the event and warning of short delays to allow the cyclists to pass.

The first race will set off at 12.30pm with up to 20 female riders tackling five laps of the course. This event is expected to take about an hour to complete.

Organisers will then hold a debrief with the marshals before the main race, featuring up to 70 male riders from all across the North, starts at 3.15pm.

This is an eight lap race and is expected to be finished by 5pm.

Andy Cosgrove, a founder member of Teesdale CRC and regional events officer for British Cycling, said it was a big day for the club.

“The police and county council have been against these type of races taking place on the road without a road closure,” he said.

Blenkiron

“That’s meant as a club, there have not been any regional level road races for more than 20 years.

“There have been some national level events, such as the Tour of the Reservoir, but they have budgets that allow for road closures.

“We have been trying to get permission with the police to use accredited marshals, who have the same rights at school crossing patrols.

“This means we can run the race without road closures.”

Mr Cosgrove said police would be attending Saturday’s races to monitor events.

“We have never run a road race with accredited marshals in the North East. We are the last region into the country to do this. This will be a real first for the North East.

“This is very much a trial event. The police will be along to see how it goes,” he said.

“We have competitors from all over the North – even one from the Isle of Man.”

Mr Cosgrove said if the event proves a success, it could lead to others in the North East.

And given its history, he said it would be nice to stage a road race as part of Barnard Castle Meet weekend.