John Rawnsley – Land Art Tribute

THREE Peaks cyclo-cross race founder John Rawnsley is to be honoured during this year’s Tour de Yorkshire.
The 82-year-old from Bingley, who died on Christmas Day last year, will have a piece of land art in his memory at Horton-in-Ribblesdale during stage two of the tour from Skipton to Leyburn on Friday, May 1 (stage one for the women).​
The land art will be ‘sculpted’ by award-winning Bradford artist Tim Curtis, who is a member of Pennine Cycles.​
The village of Horton-in-Ribblesdale is the competitive starting point of the famous Three Peaks race (the riders are escorted there from Helwith Bridge 5½ kilometres away) and is close to the three peaks themselves – Ingleborough, Pen-y-Ghent and Whernside.​
Rawnsley not only organised 50 Three Peaks races and competed in 45 but was the first winner of the race in 1961.​
The news of the tribute to Rawnsley, who was also a former president of the Yorkshire Cyclo-Cross Association, was announced by Tony Wild at the association’s prize presentation dinner at Otley Golf Club.​
Wild, who organised the dinner, said: “My friend John Dennis suggested that a tribute be made to John Rawnsley in the form of a land art installation as the Tour riders pass up the valley. ​
“With approval from the Rawnsley family, Tim Curtis – an established Bradford artist and winner of previous land art competitions (for example at Baildon, where Tim lives, during the UCI World Championships) – was approached and committed enthusiastically.”​
Wild, who had been awarded Otley Cycle Club’s Rider of the Year 24 hours previously, added: “John Dennis approached the various regional bodies – Craven District Council, North Yorkshire County Council, National Parks UK and Welcome to Yorkshire – and all responded enthusiastically.​
“Welcome to Yorkshire also suggested a piece on John could be provided for live commentary during the race.  ​
“Tim is currently scoping the design, which will be revealed in due course! ​
“It is hoped to include volunteer cyclists and their bikes – a chance perhaps for Three Peaks competitors, past and present, friends of John Rawnsley and supporters of cyclo-cross in general to take an active part in paying tribute to him.”​
Watch this space for further news! 

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