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PostPosted: Mon Aug 02, 2010 5:34 pm    Post subject: SKY GIVES FREEDOM OF THE CITY TO THOUSANDS OF CYCLISTS Reply with quote

Manchester, 1 August 2010: 20,000 people today joined stars from the worlds of cycling and television at Sky Ride Manchester to enjoy a day of entertainment on traffic-free, city centre streets. The event was the fourth in Skys series of 12 mass participation cycling events taking place this summer.Cyclists of all ages and abilities took to the streets of Manchester with friends and family for the event hosted by Sky, in partnership with British Cycling and Manchester City Council. They were joined by Manchester-born model and actress Gemma Atkinson, and a number of high profile Manchester-based riders from British Cycling and Team Sky, including Olympic gold medallist Victoria Pendleton, Team Sky lead rider Bradley Wiggins, Team Sky riders Geraint Thomas and Simon Gerrans alongside Olympic Academy riders Becky James and Dave Daniell.

The 12km route took in iconic landmarks and sights including the Manchester Wheel, Manchester Town Hall and the iconic Urbis before heading out to Sports City, where participants cycled around the outside of the Manchester City Stadium and then looped back into the city centre. As well as having the opportunity to see their city in a new light participants were able to take part in a number of activities and entertainment taking place along the route and at the Sky Ride Entertainment Village in Castlefield.

Riders enjoyed performances from live bands, games of Bicycle Bingo and were able to take part in a Wacky Riders fancy dress parade. There was something on hand for everyone to enjoy as celebrities also took to the Sky Ride stage for interviews, BMX riders preformed impressive demonstrations in the entertainment village and the Gilbert & Sullivan Street Theatre staged surprise performances along the route.

To keep everyone hydrated throughout the day, there were Gatorade Hydration Stations dotted around the route giving out free drinks. Evans Cycles Servicing helped those with any punctures or repairs, whilst an adidas shop sold Team Sky kit and Sky Ride merchandise.

Olympic gold-medallist Victoria Pendleton commented: It was fantastic to see so many people enjoying a day out cycling together in Manchester and Im sure having the unique opportunity to enjoy the traffic-free streets was a great experience for everybody. I hope today will have reminded people how much fun can be had from cycling and encouraged people to get back on their bikes.

Bradley Wiggins, Team Sky Leader, said: Sky Ride Manchester has given the local residents an amazing opportunity to see their city in a totally new light and hopefully has given them the encouragement they need to keep on cycling in the future. It was great to see so many riders wearing fancy dress and enjoying all the activities on offer and having fun on their bikes.

Gemma Atkinson said: It has been amazing to share in the unique Sky Ride experience with cyclists in my home town of Manchester. The atmosphere on the route and in the Entertainment Village was fantastic! Cycling is a personal passion of mine as not only is it a great, fun way to keep fit but anyone can get involved. It was brilliant to see the streets of Manchester filled with so many people, of all ages and abilities, out on their bikes enjoying themselves.

Corin Dimopoulos Skys Director of Cycling said: Im delighted Sky Ride has returned to Manchester for a second year and that thousands of residents were able to enjoy the wonderful sights and famous landmarks of the city from two wheels. Sky Ride Manchester is the fourth in our series of 12 Sky Ride events taking place in 10 cities this summer. Through our great partnership with Manchester City Council and British Cycling, were building towards our aim of getting one million more Britons cycling regularly by the end of 2013.

Councillor Rosa Battle Manchester City Council's assistant executive member for culture and leisure said: Our residents turned out in their thousands to support Sky Ride Manchester and experience traffic-free cycling. I was so pleased to see all the cyclists having a great time with friends and family. Everyone was really enjoying the fantastic free entertainment on offer, such as the Gilbert and Sullivan Street Theatre and the amazing BMX stunt riders, and we are thrilled the event has been so popular once again."

People in the region inspired by this event can also get involved in Sky Ride Local rides, which run from every Sunday through to October in and around Manchester. They will be led by fully trained cycle leaders from British Cycling and will take in everything from the countryside and local sights, to historical and art tours. Riders can pick a level to suit their age and ability and will be given a hi-visibility vest for the ride. For full details on the next Sky Ride Local in your area please visit<>.
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