THE Tour de France may be two weeks away – but cyclists will still be out in force this weekend.

Sunday, June 22, will see the inaugural Malton Festival of Cycling take place with numerous races for different age groups.

One of the event organisers, Ash Clark, said that although festival was a first it was hoped it would now continue on an annual basis.

“There is a large cycling community in the area, and while local riders are more than welcome, the races are open to all.

“We’ve had entries from cyclists in London, Edinburgh and other parts of the country.”

The routes will take cyclists around the streets of Malton, lasting from 15 minutes for younger participants, right through to challenging 45-minute stints for the more serious rider.