HUNDREDS of cyclists from around the country have taken part in a new event in Selby.

More than 700 riders, from as far away as London and Scotland, came to the North Yorkshire market town to take part in the Three Swans Cycle Sportive, to complete rides of 30, 60 or 100 miles.

The cyclists gathered in the Market Place at 8am, before Selby District Council chairman, Councillor John Cattanach, cut the yellow ribbon to send them off.

While the rides were taking place, other visitors and residents of Selby took part in challenges at the Event Village, which had been set up in the Abbey Market Place.

The village, set up by Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust’s Sport Development Team, offered visitors the chance to try out a climbing wall, giant badminton, cycle obstacle course and other sporting activities.

Councillor Gillian Ivey, deputy leader of the council, said: “It was really exciting to see all those bikes lined up for the start. It was as good as the Tour De France!

“I’d like to pass on particular thanks to the volunteers who ran a feed station in Cawood and those from Yorkshire Cancer Research who came along to register the riders and received a donation from the proceeds of the event. And David Buckle who provided the catering commented to us that he had never cooked pasta for more than 700 people before. It was brilliant to be involved in such an exciting event.”

Heather Kennedy, sport development officer for WLCT in Selby, said: “The atmosphere from the cyclists, spectator families and friends was brilliant.

“There was a great buzz about the town all day. The climbing wall provided by Just Climb of Pickering was a popular hit with young and old alike, we had a great sporting day.”