Ripley Castle Cyclocross


It is with great regret that we have been forced to cancel the event due to the recent extreme weather. 

For those riders who have pre-entered the event, we will be in touch in due course regarding your entry.

1200hrs Wednesday 30th December

Interim Information

The Harrogate Nova Organising Team are bitterly disappointed to have not delivered the race for you today. We all felt empty today. Our team have literally lived and breathed this race over the last six weeks or so, over and above the ten months or so background preparatory work. We’d stuffed six hundred goody bags, amassed approximately two tons of race equipment. Our sponsors at Marsland Timber had delivered seven tons of grit sand and the scaffolding contractors had built the flyover in tremendously muddy conditions ready for you. Grit CX had delivered a cubic meter of magazines and the equipment for the course side disco. Our lead event sponsors at All Terrain Cycles were ready to go. Approximately 50 of Harrogate Nova’s finest members had made their New Year plans around giving the 100-130 ‘man days’ that Ripley takes to deliver, marshal and clear away.

The recent weather had resulted in significant operational difficulties regarding event parking and management of the impact of the event on the venue. Managing these, along with maintaining event safety simply left us at point where arrangements ceased to be viable, never mind us delivering high quality competition and race experience. In short it became undoable. 

For those who follow us on social media, you will know we are very vocal about pre-entry. This is because as a not for profit race, we really value knowing that the event will be supported, and this gives us the confidence to invest in the infrastructure that we believe has given our races that feeling of occasion that New Year’s Day deserves.

As eluded to, we had gone a long way down the path of building the course, especially with the heavy infrastructure. Fortunately we hadn’t gone further. Better still, we didn’t find ourselves in the situation of on the day abandonment. The team worked very hard on Wednesday afternoon to limit financial liability to the race and we very much hope we managed to get the message to our competitors to avoid wasted journeys.

We will need a couple of weeks to sort our selves out, work out what we are liable for and all being well, sort out a decent refund for our pre entrants.

We’re very down, but certainly not out. We’re also trying to maintain a perspective, when so many people in the north of England find themselves in a real mess through flooding. Our team have big ambitions for 2017 and will do our best to deliver you something special and hopefully more weather resilient.

Steve Smales

Race Director, Harrogate Nova Organising Team


On behalf of Harrogate Nova Cycling Club, I would like to welcome competitors and spectators to Ripley Castle Cyclocross. Following on from our successful first running in 2014, we approached 2015 with some degree of trepidation. A ‘difficult second album’ was very much our feeling as the event drew near.

Working closely with our kind sponsors and Ripley Castle, the organising team delivered another fantastic day of high quality, accessible cyclocross racing. In 2014, we catered for 360 competitors. In 2015 we welcomed some 523! Moreover we saw nearly a 100% increase in participation in our slightly more relaxed GoCross race which surely has to bode well for the sport.

Our course designer set about a minor redesign of our 2014 course which resulted in a great balance between providing challenging racing for committed riders, yet was still great fun for less experienced riders. 2016 will see some further fine tuning, which will probably see an really exciting change to the finish area layout and technical changes to pit arrangements.

2015, saw us make further steady progress by offering modest, but warm changing rooms. We also achieved live to web results from transponder timing…..even for the children’s races. The new spectator hub around the finishing straight with a strong trade team presence worked well as well as our relationship with the Dave Rayner Fund.

For 2016 we seek to broaden the appeal of the slightly shorter adult Go-Cross race early in the day that typically enjoys easier course conditions over a shorter duration. For those who perhaps had one too many the night before, maybe building fitness, perhaps fancy having a lower key ‘go’ or maybe run a mountain bike, it’s probably just the job.

Our biggest ambition is to build our women’s race into the exciting one hundred strong stand alone race that we all know it should be. From day one we have offered equal prizes to both genders. Now is the time to make a stand alone race happen in front of our estimated 1000 spectators. I have given this aspiration the title ‘RCCX100′ and will not settle for any compromise between this race and the Senior Men’s race. One Hundred focused athletes on that starting grid….  

New Years Day is a challenging day to run a major event on. Our event is organised on a ‘not for profit basis’ with the Organising Team running this event for the love of the sport.

Whilst the weather cannot be controlled, what is beyond doubt is that Ripley Castle is both a beautiful and spectator friendly venue that can be easily reached from anywhere in the North of England. We really look forward to seeing you on New Year’s Day, be it to blow away that hangover, fine tune your race form, or simply have a go on whatever bike you bring.

Steve Smales

Race Director

Proud to be sponsoring Ripley Castle CyclocrossATC LOGO LOCAL WETHERBY

Background Photos – Russell Ellis, Andy Whitehouse.