Team GB cycling star rides into Heptonstall

Team GB cyclist Joanna with White Lion Manager Janet Durning

Team GB cyclist Joanna with White Lion Manager Janet Durning

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double Olympic gold medal-winning and World Champion cyclist paid a visit to the Calder Valley ahead of a new cycling event.

Team GB star Joanna Rowsell Shand MBE was in Heptonstall undertaking media engagements ahead of Ride Rochdale, a new cycling event for women taking place on Sunday 21 May.

Both routes of the event, which is part of British Cycling’s national Sportive/Breeze series for 2017, will pass through Hebden Bridge and Heptonstall next month.

The 28 year old, who announced her retirement last month, enjoyed the sunshine and was filmed and photographed cycling around the village, before taking a break for lunch at The White Lion public house.

Joanna said:“I love the scenery, this is a beautiful part of the world and perfect for exploring on two wheels.

“The views on these two routes are breathtaking and I’m really looking forward to it.

“Ride Rochdale is a great way to get more women on their bikes and hopefully encourage anyone who was previously daunted by the idea of riding on the roads or taking on such a challenge to get together with a few friends and get involved.”

Ride Rochdale will take place on Sunday May 21 with two routes, both of which pass through the Calder Valley.

The Blackstone Vale route is 50 miles long with 4,500 feet of climbing and the more challenging route, Blackstone Vale and Moor, features 75 miles of cycling with 8,000 feet of climbing.

Both routes start from the Kingsway Park Sports Centre​​ in Rochdale and the event is open to women aged 16 and over.

For more information on the event and register for places visit the website, www.rochdale.gov.uk/ride