Olympics star Joanna Rowsell on track for Sky Ride Leeds

Caption: British Cycling star Joanna Rowsell will be attending Sky Ride Leeds next week (if image used credit British Cycling)

One of the superstars of British track cycling is to be guest of honour as Leeds hosts its second Sky Ride next week.

Olympic and double world champion Joanna Rowsell MBE will be on hand to see thousands of people take to traffic-free streets in the city centre from 10am-3pm on Sunday 15 June for a free family-orientated mass participation bike ride.

The 25-year-old who was one of the stars of London 2012 will watch as riders of all ages and abilities start from the exact same point and follow the same stretch of road on The Headrow which the world’s finest cyclists will use when the Tour de France Grand Départ begins in Leeds in a month’s time.

Together with teammates Laura Trott and Dani King, Joanna claimed gold for Team GB on ‘Super Saturday’ at the Olympics in the women’s team pursuit. Such was their dominance of the event, the trio broke the world record three times and continued their amazing record of never having lost a single race together.

Joanna’s winning form continued earlier this year at the Track Cycling World Championships in Colombia, claiming gold in the team pursuit before putting in a stunning performance to also win the individual pursuit event.

Olympic and double world champion Joanna Rowsell MBE said:

“Sky Ride big bike events bring together everything I love about cycling. You can cycle with friends and family in a fun, safe environment whilst taking in the best bits of the city, plus it’s free to take part. I’m thrilled to be taking part in Sky Ride Leeds this year.

“This is a huge year for cycling in Yorkshire. With Leeds hosting the Tour de France’s Grand Départ in a few weeks, there’s never been a better time to get on a bike. I encourage everyone to sign up for Sky Ride Leeds and give cycling a go.”

Sky Ride Leeds 2014 will take riders on a 6.5-kilometre loop around the city centre with a shorter route available for young children and families, riders with adapted bikes and those new to cycling who are building their confidence levels.

Among the new elements this year are a special ‘loud zone tunnel’, additional supporting activities at Woodhouse Moor and a sprint zone, enabling riders to race head-to-head and emulate British sprint star Mark Cavendish.

Places at Sky Ride Leeds are available now and can now be booked by registering at goskyride.com. The first thousand people to sign up receive a limited-edition gift on the day. In addition, anyone who signs up will be entitled to a free expert bike check at Halfords.

Sky Ride Leeds is one of 14 big bike events to be held nationally and is part of a continuing partnership between Leeds City Council, British Cycling, Sky and West Yorkshire Metro which aims to encourage more people to get cycling.

Leeds City Council executive member for leisure and skills Councillor Lucinda Yeadon said:

“We are thrilled to be welcoming one of Britain’s top cyclists and a star of London 2012 Joanna Rowsell to join us for Sky Ride in Leeds.

“Last year the event was fantastic, with more than eight thousand people taking part on a beautiful sunny day. It promises to be even bigger and better this year, with the excitement of the Tour de France to come in a matter of weeks and as it also falls on Father’s Day it would be great to see families from all over the city coming to join in the fun.”

In addition to the mass-participation Sky Ride event, a series of 50 free, fun, guided Sky Ride Local bike rides will take place around Leeds this summer tailored for beginners to experienced cyclists, while there will also be women-only rides on offer through British Cycling’s national Breeze programme.

For more information on Sky Ride and to register for Sky Ride Leeds go to www.goskyride.com

For more information on the 2014 Tour de France Grand Départ for Leeds, visit www.leeds.gov.uk/granddepartleeds or sign up for email alerts at granddepartleeds@leeds.gov.uk

Notes to editors:

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Leeds PR Contact Details

Roger Boyde

Senior communications officer

Leeds City Council

Email: roger.boyde@leeds.gov.uk

British Cycling

Courtney Perks, Marketing and Communications team

0161 274 2000


Sky Ride

Sky Rides are big, celebratory events which take over a town or city centre so thousands of cyclists can ride together on a traffic-free route. It doesn’t matter how old you are, how old your bike is, or how fast you ride.

Sky Ride Local

With Sky Ride Local we’ve done all the planning for you. We’ve found the best routes, trained up Ride Leaders to guide and support you, and picked some cracking places to visit along the way.


British Cycling’s Breeze programme is the biggest initiative ever to get more women into riding bikes for fun. Our amazing Breeze champions are trained to organise friendly, social bike rides up and down the country and inspire local women to get involved.

About British Cycling

British Cycling is the national governing body for cycling as recognised by the UCI – the international federation for the sport. Based in Manchester at the National Cycling Centre, British Cycling works across all levels and six disciplines of the sport (BMX, Mountain Bike, Cyclo-Cross, Road, Track and Cycle Speedway), from providing the support and encouragement people need to get riding their bikes for the first time, to being home to the hugely successful Great Britain Cycling Team. Continued success at the highest level is inspiring a boom in participation across the nation.

There have never been more opportunities to ride a bike, be it for fun or sport, and British Cycling is at the heart of this growth. British Cycling also works hard to represent cyclists’ interests at all levels, including campaigning on important issues including road safety. As a membership organisation, British Cycling provides a suite of benefits and support to its members who currently number over 89,000. All membership revenue is invested back into cycling. British Cycling was named Governing Body of the Year at the 2013 Sports Industry Awards. For more information, visit www.britishcycling.org.uk

West Yorkshire Metro

West Yorkshire Metro is now part of the new West Yorkshire Combined Authority. For more information go to www.westyorks-ca.gov.uk/transport/


For media enquiries please contact:

Roger Boyde,

Leeds City Council press office,

Email: roger.boyde@leeds.gov.uk