Leeds ,

Let’s Ride Leeds

Sky Ride is now only days away and Leeds is saddling up for a wheelie spectacular day.

Team Sky rider Xabi Zandio will be on-hand to officially open the mass-participation bike ride, which is now in its third year, on Sunday 14 June at 10am.

Zandio was part of Team Sky for the Tour de France 2014, which of course began in Leeds with the “Grandest of Grand Départs”.

Great Britain para-cycling star Sophie Thornhill, who competes in para-cycling tandem events, will also be sharing centre stage.

Thornhill is a double world champion, with pilot Rachel James and a double Commonwealth gold medallist, with pilot Helen Scott in the tandem sprint and 1km time trial events.

She recently retained her world champion title in both the kilometre and sprint events at the 2015 UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships in Apeldoorn, with pilot Helen Scott.

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All media are invited to the opening of Sky Ride Leeds Sunday 14 June from 9:45am on The Headrow where Sarah Thornill and Xabi Zandio will be starting proceeding alongside Leader of Leeds City Council Cllr Judith Blake, as well as Cllr Roger Harington and Lord Mayor Cllr Judith Chapman. Please call the press office on 07891274102 to notify of your attendance. 

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Registration for Sky Ride is still open at www.goskyride.com/leedsskyride and people are being encouraged to sign up before the free event to claim a free bike check-up worth £14.99.

The event not only sees a 6.5km traffic-free cycle course laid out across the city but also features stalls, entertainment; DJs and more creating a vibrant festival feel from the city centre to Woodhouse Moor and on to Leeds University.

For those not jumping on a bike there is plenty to get involved with thanks to the return of the “Tricks and Tunes” area featuring top DJs as well as pro BMX and mountain bikers performing incredible stunts. The Big Air Bag is also back allowing members of the public to launch themselves from a take off ramp and land safely on a giant inflatable stunt mat.

“The stage is set for a fantastic day at what will be the third Sky Ride here in Leeds. Each year sees a wonderful turn out that really brings a party atmosphere to the streets of the city.

“We are very lucky in Leeds to have some great cycle routes and we would love to see more people inspired to use a bike regularly. Cycling is huge in the city, as shown by the support for the Grand Depart and this year’s Tour de Yorkshire.

“I have no doubt that Sky Ride will be another fantastic day for cycling in Leeds and it really promises to be a great day out for all the family.”
Councillor Judith Blake, leader of Leeds City Council and executive member for economy and culture

Riders can look forward to starting from the same point, on The Headrow, as cycling legends during last summer’s Grand Départ. They will also pass iconic city landmarks from Leeds University to the town hall and First Direct Arena.

Riders can challenge family and friends in the Sprint Zone, experience the sensory tunnel and find out more about cycling opportunities in Leeds. Bike experts at Halfords are offering a free bike safety check to everyone who registers and will be on hand to help out with any last minute problems.

“I’m really excited about Sky Ride Leeds. It’s going to be so special to be riding on completely traffic-free streets. I can’t wait to be a part of it.

“Sky Rides combine two of my most favourite things cycling and family. It’s going to be awesome to see so many different people out doing the sport I love. It’s so good that British Cycling and Sky organise these events.”
Sky Team Rider Xabi Zandio
“I’m delighted to be attending Sky Ride Leeds, joining thousands of people to be part of a great celebration of cycling. From big people to little ones – Sky Ride is for everyone regardless of bike type or ability. So get your family and friends involved and Let’s Ride Leeds!”
Para-cycling athlete Sarah Thornhill

Previous years have proved to be very successful attracting more than 8,500 people of all ages and abilities, with many more lining the streets to cheer along friends, relatives and loved ones.

Since the partnership was first formed, the number of cyclists jumping on their bikes in Leeds once a week has increased by more than 57 per cent.

"We are delighted to welcome Sky Ride onto our campus for the third year. The route takes in some of our most impressive buildings including The Great Hall, The Edge and the brand new Laidlaw Library which only opened its door a couple of weeks ago. We would encourage all participants to stop at our activation zone where you will get a warm welcome and hopefully a feel for the university.”
Rob Wadsworth, Head of Sport at the University of Leeds

The event is one of 15 to be held nationally and is part of a continuing partnership between Leeds City Council, British Cycling, Sky and the West Yorkshire Combined Authority which aims to encourage more people to get cycling.In addition to the mass-participation Sky Ride event, a series of free, fun, guided Sky Ride Local and women-only Breeze bike rides will also be taking place around Leeds this summer for cyclists of all abilities.For more information on Sky Ride Local, Breeze and to register for Sky Ride Leeds go to www.goskyride.com/leedsskyride


Leeds PR contact details

Dan JohnsonCommunications Officer

Leeds City Council

Email: Daniel.johnson2@leeds.gov.uk

British Cycling PR contact details

Katie Perkins

Marketing and Communications Executive

British Cycling

Email: katieperkins@britishcycling.org.uk