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Hundreds get on their bikes for town event
A fun-focused Otley cycling event attracted hundreds of participants and raised more than £2,000 for charity.
The second Otley Sportive, consisting of three circular routes ranging from 14 to 66 miles, attracted more than 400 cyclists of all abilities on Saturday.
Otley's MP Greg Mulholland (Lib Dem, Leeds North West), who opened the event and started the longest ride to show his support, said the day's success was a further boost for the town's cycling reputation, following Lizzie Armitstead's Olympic success.
He said: “I was delighted to be able to start the event and the long race. It was a beautiful sunny day and if I had not had my advice surgeries I would have loved to have got on my bike and taken part.
“The sportive raised over £2,000 for charity and the turnout was fantastic. I would like to thank the organisers for doing such an amazing job and for inviting me to start the long race.
“Thanks to the recent success of annual Otley races, the recent first cycling festival and of course, Lizzie Armitstead winning the town’s first ever Olympic medal, Otley is, throughout the country, establishing itself as a famous cycling town.
“People are enthused by Lizzie’s Olympic performance and the legacy she has brought home to Otley is one that will continue to inspire the town for generations to come.”
Sportive organiser Luke Minshall, from Guiseley, was also delighted to see such a strong turnout for the rides, which began from the Bridge Church.
He said: “More than 400 individuals took part on the day, which really starts to boost an already fantastic cycling scene.
“To develop this scene further it really needs individuals like Greg to be involved, backing cycling community ventures and really engaging in creating a legacy from a fantastic Olympic Games that lasts beyond one or two years – really making it sustainable.
"We have taken all the feedback on board and will return with an Otley Sportive next year that is bigger and better, hopefully with Greg cycling one of the routes.”
The surplus money from the event's entrance fees will be shared between Martin House Children's Hospice and Bridge Church Scout Group.