This year's Three Peaks Cyclo-Cross race, scheduled to take place on
Sunday 30th September, has been cancelled following the outbreak of foot
and mouth disease in the Settle area.
The classic race, which scales the summits of Ingleborough, Whernside and Pen-y-Ghent in North Yorkshire, has been held annually since 1961 in an unbroken run. Last year it
celebrated its fortieth edition, with over 300 cyclists taking part.
Speaking of the cancellation, organiser John Rawnsley said:
"Although there are more than three and a half months until the scheduled date of
the race, we feel it would be irresponsible of us to continue our preparations for the event under the present circumstances. Virtually the whole course runs over open moorland or private farmland in the National Park, which is currently subject to restriction and likely to be so for some time.
"We are sensitive to the concerns of the local rural community, on whose goodwill we rely every year to allow the race to go ahead. Many of the relationships with local landowners
have been built up over many years, and we do not want to jeopardise this trust by trying to push ahead at this difficult time."
However, Rawnsley, who has both organised and competed in all forty editions of the
race, is looking forward to better times: next year's race is set for Sunday 29th September 2002.