7000 ride first Daily Mirror Great Manchester Cycle

Closed road event attracts big crowds on Jubilee Monday

The inaugural Daily Mirror Great Manchester Cycle attracted a full field of 7000 cyclists for the closed road ride around Manchester on Monday 4 June.

Reigning Olympic champion Rebecca Romero and Lizzie Armitstead, a big hope for Britain for Olympic gold at this summer's road race in London, were among the crowd who took part.

“I spend a lot of time in Manchester and to be able to explore the city in this way is something I really wanted to do,” said Armitstead, who was part of the first wave of riders. “It was a fantastic day and something I was delighted to be a part of.”

Rebecca Romero, who was the ambassador of the event said: “This event is so great because it’s a big sporting event but it has closed roads and that’s unique. For people who cycle recreationally, to have this kind of structured event with a timing chip and to have the route mapped out, is a great opportunity to test themselves.”

Other celebrities included, ex-England footballer Geoff Thomas and Ashes to Ashes actor Dean Andrews. Emmerdale’s Tom Lister (Carl King), Tony Audenshaw (Bob Hope) and Rik Makarem (Nikhil Sharma) were part of the Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research fundraising team known as “The Unstoppables” who pedalled alongside Corrie rivals Ryan Thomas (Jason Grimshaw), and Chris Fountain (Tommy Duckworth).

Riders on the Mancunian Way

The event featured three different distances based around a 13-mile closed road loop starting and finishing in Eastlands, home of Manchester City FC. It included part of the city’s most well known motorway, the Mancunian Way - normally off limits to cyclists. Riders could choose from Get Out and Pedal (13 miles), Rule the Roads (26 miles), or Test Yourself (52 miles).

David Hart, Communications Director of organisers Nova International, said: “We were thrilled with the reaction to the Great Manchester Cycle, which in its first year, has become the UK’s biggest timed cycling event.”

"With the three distances, it was a celebration of cycling on the closed roads of Manchester to suit different levels of ability and we believe this event has a hugely exciting future.”

For more information, visit www.greatcycle.org

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