UP TO 1,000 riders of a range of man-powered vehicles will visit North Yorkshire and County Durham towns as part of a mass endurance ride this summer.

The London-Edinburgh-London event will see riders from 33 countries, most of whom will be on cycles, attempt to complete the 1,400km challenge in less than five days from Sunday, July 28.

The volunteer-run around-the-clock event, which is backed by British long-distance cycling organisation Audax UK, features 13 control locations, where the participants can sleep, eat, wash and prepare for the next stage of the epic ride.

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Two of the controls will be at Sowerby, Thirsk and Barnard Castle, where about 250 beds and and 2,000 meals will be prepared for the participants and volunteers at Thirsk and Teesdale schools.

Organisers say they expect the fastest few riders to arrive in Sowerby around 9pm on the Sunday, with the majority passing through the town the following day. The riders are expected to return to the town on the Tuesday.

Lynn Headley, who will run the Sowerby control, said: “I am going to be pointing the riders into the town and the riders will need things as well as things to do to relax, such as visiting the Herriot museum.”

After a meeting in Thirsk to highlight the event, which was attended by about 40 people, traders said they hoped it would serve as a showcase for the town.

Guy Baragwanath, of Thirsk and District Business Association, said: “With the event stopping overnight, this will be a huge boost for the local economy as it will help promote the town with an increase in visitor numbers as well as the media attention the cycling will bring.”

Phil Dyson, who is overseeing the Barnard Castle control, said he was preparing for riders to arrive over a wide period of time.

He said the weather conditions would determine their speeds and the section around the town was one of the toughest in the event.

Due to the international field of entrants, organisers are looking for volunteers for such tasks as serving food, welcoming riders and marshalling and are particularly keen to people who can speak foreign languages, including Japanese, Russian and Danish.

The detailed route is expected to be finalised next month.

For more details, visit londonedinburghlondon.com