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Axiologik is all set for Tour de France anniversary ride!

Hundreds of cyclists will hit the streets of Leeds this weekend as the city celebrates the 10th anniversary of the Tour de France Grand Depart’s visit to Yorkshire.

Plans to mark the anniversary with a mass participation cycling event called Legacy Ride were first announced in March.

And, with final preparations now under way ahead of the event this Sunday (July 7), organisers have confirmed that more than 500 people have signed up to take part.

These hardy amateur cyclists will follow much of the 2014 Grand Depart route as they head for the heart of the Yorkshire Dales from a starting point in Leeds’s Roundhay Park.

Legacy Ride is being organised by leading cycling events company Struggle Events with support from Leeds City Council and sponsorship from Leeds-based advanced digital delivery consultancy Axiologik.

It will raise money for the Motor Neurone Disease (MND) Association as well as a £6.8m Leeds Hospitals Charity appeal to create a new Rob Burrow Centre for MND.

This Saturday, meanwhile, will see City Square playing host to a separate programme of cycling-themed activities, competitions and other fun for all the family.

The entertainment in City Square runs from 10am to 3pm and has been organised by the council with support from British Cycling and the Dr Bike repairs service.

Both of this weekend’s events will stir memories for many of 2014 and the remarkable scenes that accompanied Yorkshire’s staging of the Grand Depart.

An estimated 230,000 spectators packed into Leeds city centre for the start of the race, with large crowds also lining the streets as the riders made their way through other parts of the county.

A report by the council and UK Sport showed the Grand Depart boosted Yorkshire’s economy by more than £100m, with further long-term benefits predicted as a result of increased tourism, profile and trade deals.

Councillor Jonathan Pryor, Leeds City Council’s deputy leader and executive member for economy, transport and sustainable development, said:

“It’s hard to believe that 10 years have passed since the Tour de France Grand Depart came to Leeds and Yorkshire.

“That unforgettable weekend was a magical moment in time for city and county alike, so I’m delighted that we have the opportunity to celebrate its anniversary in style.

“Saturday’s event in City Square and Sunday’s Legacy Ride will, between them, underline the huge local popularity of cycling. It promises to be a great couple of days.”

Matt Mannakee, director and co-founder of Struggle Events, said:

“Summer is here and with it we’ve noticed more cyclists pulling their bikes out of the garage so they can enjoy our fantastic countryside while travelling on two wheels.

“We’ve also seen a final surge of entries for our Legacy Ride. There aren’t many places left, so if you’re keen to take part then sign up today.”

Ben Davison, founder and director of Axiologik, said:

“Legacy Ride is now just a few days away and there’s lots of buzz in the community about the event.

“People remember with great fondness the Tour de France being in our region and, following the sad death of Rob Burrow, it’s especially poignant that the event is raising money for MND-related causes.

“There’s still time to join the hundreds of others supporting this great event and such brilliant causes.”

To ensure Legacy Ride caters for a broad range of ability levels, it will feature three route options – 230km, 120km and 70km.

All the routes start and finish in Roundhay Park and, between them, will take in spots such as Buttertubs Pass, Bolton Abbey and Askwith Moor, near Otley.

The event will be run on open roads, with participants setting off early in the morning in staggered groups. There will be no road closures, and residents are being encouraged to turn out and show their support for the riders as they pass by.

Further information about Legacy Ride, including entry prices, can be found here ( Cyclists can take part in a team or individual capacity on any type of bike, including e-bikes.

This article also appeared in the BBC.

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