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Thousands of cyclists enjoy the final Leeds Sky Ride

Cyclists on the Sky Ride Credit: ITV News

Thousands of cyclists have taken advantage of Leeds city centre being closed to traffic today for fourth and final Leeds Sky Ride

The free event aims to get riders of all ages and abilities to try cycling on a traffic free route. Previous years have proved to be very successful attracting more than 8,000 participants.

The 6.5km route takes riders passed historic city buildings from the University of Leeds to the Town Hall and Civic Hall. Riders can challenge family or friends in the Sprint Zone on the Headrow, watch mountain bike stunts at the Tricks and Tunes zone at Woodhouse Moor, and find out more about cycling opportunities in Leeds at the Hub on Millennium Square.

"Sky Ride is a fantastic event for people of all ages to get on their bike and experience the joy of cycling. This is the fourth year that it will be coming to Leeds and it is great to see people of all abilities build confidence on their bikes in a fun and safe city centre route, whilst having the chance to take in some of Leeds most iconic city centre buildings.

Having hosted the Tour de France Grand Départ in 2014 and featured in events such Tour de Yorkshire, and Sky Ride, Leeds is well and truly on the global cycling map. We are looking forward to moving forward with one of the key elements of our future cycling strategy, which will aim to provide more opportunities for people to get involved and enjoy the sport."

– Councillor James Lewis, Leeds City Council

It's the final year that the Sky Rides will be held but organisers say they have big plans for something new for cyclists next year.

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Otley's Lizzie Armitstead wins Aviva Women's Tour

Lizzie Armitstead celebrating on the podium Credit: PA images

World champion Lizzie Armitstead clinched victory in the Aviva Women's Tour on the final day in Northamptonshire.

Finland's Lotta Lepisto won the sprint from the breakaway group to claim the honours in the final stage but Armitstead became the first Briton to win the title after finishing at the head of the peleton.

The margin of the Boels Dolmans Cycling rider's victory was 11 seconds over Lepisto's Cervelo-Bigla team-mate Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio, with Italy's Elisa Longo Borghini third a further two seconds back.

Tour de France winner wishes Gary Verity and Tour de Yorkshire good luck

The 2013 and 2015 Tour de France winner Chris Froome has wished Gary Verity and the rest of the Tour de Yorkshire team good luck.

Women's Tour de Yorkshire 'most lucrative cycle race in the world'

This year's Women's Tour de Yorkshire will be the most lucrative women's cycle race in the world, the organisers say.

Yorkshire’s own world champion Lizzie Armitstead is the first rider to announce she will compete in the race, which takes place on April 30 and will take riders on a 135km route from Otley to Doncaster.

The prize pot of £50,000 for individuals and teams is said to be the biggest in the world.

The 14 women's teams were unveiled, along with the 18 teams for the men's race, by Welcome to Yorkshire’s Sir Gary Verity and Christian Prudhomme, of co-organisers ASO, at tourism conference Y16, in York.

Mr Prudhomme said: "Yorkshire is at the top level in terms of equality between men and women."

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Pioneering thermal technology to detect cyclists at junctions in York

Pioneering thermal imaging technology is set to be introduced on key cycle routes in York to help improve cycle safety.

The new technology will accurately detect cyclists at signals by their 'heat signature', allowing the signals to adjust to give more 'green time' for cyclists.

The thermal technology was first introduced by Transport for London (TFL) last year as part of the cycle superhighway network.

Fulford Road/Hospital Fields Road junction will become one of the first sites to benefit from the new thermal technology in May 2016. The authority will roll out the new technology at junctions with high levels of cycle use across the city.

The scheme is all part of a multi million pound overhaul of York’s ageing traffic signals – the largest scheme the city has seen in over 20-years.

Ben Swift denied on the line in stage one of Paris Nice race

Ben Swift was pipped to the post Credit: PA

Rotherham's Ben Swift had to settle for second place as Arnaud Demare mounted a late surge to win stage one of Paris-Nice.

The Team Sky rider looked set for victory after overtaking Edward Theuns (Trek-Segafredo) in the last 100m to hit the front by a bike length, but Demare (FDJ) timed his sprint to perfection to beat Swift and Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis) to the line.

Swift's team-mate Geraint Thomas began the 198km stage in seventh after the opening day's prologue and he picked up one second to sit fifth overall.

Race leader Michael Matthews (Orica-GreenEdge) holds a three-second advantage after the second stage, with Patrick Bevin (Cannondale) a further second behind Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin).

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