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Le Tour star inspires young cyclists to reach for the Sky

Some lucky young cyclists from Leeds got the chance to meet Team Sky rider, and Rotherham-born cycling star, Ben Swift.

Team Sky cyclist Ben Swift with young cyclists
Team Sky cyclist Ben Swift with young cyclists

Twenty lucky children from Otley Cycling Club and The Hunslet Club in Leeds came along to the exclusive event held at Aspire in Leeds city centre to meet Yorkshire's Team Sky rider Ben Swift.

As well as meeting and having their pictures taken with in-form Yorkshire man, who came third in Milan- San Remo and had stage wins at Coppi e Bartali and the Tour of the Basque Country, the children also took part in a quick-fire question and answer session with the 26-year-old cyclist.

Ben Swift with Ryan Middlemiss (Otley Cycling Club) and Ruby Gilmore (The Hunslet Club)
Ben Swift with Ryan Middlemiss (Otley Cycling Club) and Ruby Gilmore (The Hunslet Club)

During the Q&A session they asked him about how his cycling career got started and his thoughts on the upcoming Tour de France Grand Depart, leaving from Yorkshire in July.

Speaking about the event, Ben said: “It’s fantastic to be involved in an event like this today seeing first-hand the excitement around cycling with the tour coming to Yorkshire and the Grand Depart in Leeds.

"Cycling in the UK has transformed so much in the last few years with more people on their bikes than ever – and Sky’s support of cycling, at both elite and grassroots level, has been at the heart of this transformation."

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Hundreds gather in Mytholmroyd for the first large-scale outdoor event of the Yorkshire Festival, which is being staged with the Tour de France.

In an unusual mix of strength, endurance and culture, a group of eighteen cyclists pulled a grand piano up Cragg Vale to Blackstone Edge, the longest continuous ascent on the route of this summer's Grand Depart.

Along the way specially commissioned music was played, inspired by the motion of cyclists.

Cyclists to pull grand piano up six mile hill

Yorkshire Festival 2014

One of the Yorkshire Festival's more unusual events kicks off at midday today in Mytholmroyd.

A team of cyclists will pull a grand piano six miles up the longest continuous ascent in England, Cragg Vale.

To pull the piano, riders will use a PianoPorté, an invention by sculptor Andy Plant which includes a 2CV gearbox . As the ensemble makes its way upwards, local and international pianists will play a specially commissioned musical cycle.

The event, aptly named Grand Departs, is an official part of the Yorkshire Festival 2014 - the first ever cultural festival to precede the Grand Départ of the Tour de France.

Ripon Cathedral goes yellow for Le Tour dinner

Ripon Cathedral

Day 1 of the 100-day countdown to the Grand Départ of the Tour de France, is ending with a Yorkshire-style gala dinner at Ripon Cathedral.

Event includes gala dinner

After the champagne reception, hundreds of people will be sat down inside the cathedral, specially lit up yellow for ‘Le Grand Départ 100 Days Dinner’.

Yorkshire-made decorative pieces inside

The exclusive black tie event is decked out with Le Tour-related sculptures made here in Yorkshire.

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