THE first ever Otley Sportiva has been hailed a "fantastic" success.

More than 150 riders took part in the women's only social road cycle on Saturday, May 17.

Organised by Otley Sportive cycling organisation, whose Sportive has quickly established itself as a very popular annual event, the Sportiva offered riders a choice of either a 25 mile or a 75 mile route.

The Sportiva was hosted specifically to promote women's cycling as part of the group's wider bid to encourage more people to try the sport.

Otley Sportive organiser Luke Minshall said: "The event was a success, we are still a young organisation hosting cycling events yet the feedback has been fantastic.

"We have some areas we want to improve but we always want to make our events better, and provide high quality, inclusive days.

"It's not about this event being women only - we want to break down the barriers into cycling and the sport.

"We're hosting a handcycling event in October which is about further breaking down barriers to entry, and we want individuals to take part in our events knowing their social, fun and non-egotistical ethos.

"We want to encourage everyone to have a go at cycling."

Otley Sportive also launched the Otley Loves Cyclists scheme earlier this year, and in September will hold the fourth Otley Sportive, a social race day designed to cater for all abilities that offers riders the choice of three routes.