VIDEO: Olympic medalists join thousands of cyclists for fun ride around Sheffield city centre

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Thousands of cyclists tooted their bells with glee in the summer sun as they took to the streets for a specially-organised bike ride around Sheffield city centre.

Riders of all ages an abilities joined the start line at Endcliffe Park this morning as they set off as part of the HSBC UK City Ride.

Cyclists get under way.

Cyclists get under way.

Participants made their way into the city centre, passing the Town Hall and Winter Gardens, before heading towards Sheffield United’s Bramall Lane ground.

Joining the riders on the 8km route were Olympic bronze medalist Katy Marchant and Olympic gold medalist Callum Skinner.

Katy, aged 24, of Leeds, who trained at the city’s English Institute of Sport during the early part of her career, described the route as "brilliant" which provided cyclists with "a unique opportunity to see their city from a different perspective."

The event is the fifth of 14 free-to-attend HSBC UK City Ride events held across the country this year.

Excited riders set off from the start line.

Excited riders set off from the start line.

It is being supported by British Cycling as part of their ambition to get two million people on bikes by 2020.

Helen Webster,aged 42, partnership manager for British Cycling, said: "The turn out has been fantastic.

"Sheffield is great for the outdoors and is becoming more and more popular with cyclists."

Those taking part agreed it was a fantastic way to spend a relaxing Sunday.

Cate Johnson.

Cate Johnson.

Cate Johnson, aged 60, of Sheffield, said: "The roads are closed so you have a clear run and it is a great adventure for the children who are just starting out.

"I have not been out on my bike for a couple of years, but I dusted it off and came down here to take part. It is really good for raising the profile of cycling."

Stuart Barrett welcomed a recently announced plan by Sheffield Council and Cycle Sheffield to improve access and safety for cyclists around the city, which could include new routes.

The 73-year-old, of Swallownest in Rotherham, said: "Some of the cycle lanes just come to a stop so it would be better if they were a bit more joined up. But what a great idea the cycle ride is. It brings people together."

Helen Webster.

Helen Webster.

In addition to the main cycle ride, youngsters were also invited to test their abilities on the HSBC UK Go-Ride course, which featured a series of fun obstacles and challenges.

Stuart Barrett.

Stuart Barrett.