Bike star Annie kicks off festival of cycling

Annie Last
Annie Last
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Olympic cyclist Annie Last got on her bike to set the first Peak District Cycling Festival off to a flying start – and events are continuing this weekend.

Festival patron Annie, from Great Longstone, was on hand to cut the ribbon and send cyclists on their way at the official launch, which coincided with her 23rd birthday.

Annie joined David James, chief executive of tourist agency Visit Peak District and Derbyshire, and Jim Dixon, chief executive of the Peak District National Park Authority, to wave off cyclists taking part in The Only Way Is Up event, starting from Baslow Village Hall.

The event, organised by Christine Dicken, of Baslow, was an 18-mile long hilly road ride for experienced women cyclists – taking in stunning views such as Monsal Dale.

Annie, – who finished eighth for Team GB in mountain biking at the London Olympics 2012 – said: “It was great to see the launch event was fully booked – hopefully the rest of the festival will be just as well supported.”

One of the festival’s main highlights takes place at Sheffield Council’s Thornbridge Outdoors activity centre, Great Longstone.

Thornbridge Bike Fest – including cycling demonstrations, stands, workshops, rides and evening entertainment – runs today and Sunday.

Visitors can camp at the centre and are also welcome to drop in at any time during the weekend.

Other events include a bike safety course and guided ride in Bakewell tomorrow.

n For full details of all events, how to book places and prices, visit